Deep in the Queensland rain forest, the ruins of a hand-built castle begun almost a hundred years ago still stand, slowly being resurrected from the ravages of time and nature. Paronella Castle was a labor of love the first time around, and also the second.
It was the impossible dream of an ambitious Spanish immigrant who sailed to Australia in 1913 to make a life for himself and his fiancé waiting back home. José Paronella worked for over a decade worlds away from his homeland, first as a labourer cutting sugar cane, and then slowly building his wealth, buying, improving and selling cane farms. In his first years of travelling around Queensland, he discovered a virgin forest land alongside a waterfall and knew at first sight that he would one day call it his home. Over a century later, the ruins of his incredible story remain in the jungle…
Paronella and his wife Margarita spent ten years building a beautiful castle in the jungles of Australia, complete with fountains, a movie theater, tennis courts, 7,000 exotic trees, and a hydroelectric plant to power it all. They opened it to the public as Paronalla Park in 1935. They endured floods, cyclones, fires, and the creeping jungle, until the Paronellas died and the jungle eventually won. But that’s not the end of the story. Read about Paronella Castle and see plenty of pictures at Messy Nessy Chic.
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