卡萨罗马城堡

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亨利·米尔·柏拉特爵士(Sir Henry Mill Pellatt)出生于1859年,1876年(17岁)毕业于加拿大的阿波尔学院,随后便进入父亲所经营的柏拉特股票经纪公司工作。1882年,爱迪生发明了蒸汽发电机,亨利敏锐地意识到供电企业可以获得巨额利润,于是迅速地成立了多伦多供电公司。1889年,亨利通过谈判地方式,成功地获得了独家为多伦多市供电30年的合同。1889年的同时,他又斥巨资建设横贯加拿大全境的太平洋铁路,大量购买加拿大东北地产公司的股票。在短短的几年内,亨利的投资获利高达三、四百万加元(约合今天的一亿元)。1901年,亨利成为涉及矿业、电力、保险、地产四大行业21家公司的经理。1902年他又在尼亚加拉瀑布兴建了加拿大第一个水力发电站,由此一举成为加拿大金融界、实业界翘楚。

亨利·米尔·柏拉特的发迹,不仅仅依靠金融家、商人的胆识和魄力,更是依靠其在军界的人脉。亨利一生忠实于英国王室,他在学生时代即加入了女王兵步团,职至少将。1905年,亨利获英王爱德华七世封爵士头衔,以表彰他为加拿大军界服务,以及为加拿大电力发展所作出的巨大贡献。凭借在军队的影响,亨利·柏拉特建立了与英国王室和加拿大政府的长期密切电池关系,这也使得他的财富积累得到了一定的保障。

亨利·柏拉特生性浪漫,有感于妻子玛丽出行不便,无法欣赏到欧洲建筑的精髓,便希望清最好的设计师,采用最好的建筑材料,修一栋欧洲古典城堡式样的房子,以此作为送给爱妻的礼物。1909年,由加拿大建筑师E.J.利诺斯绘制蓝图,启动了他毕生的梦想——在可以俯瞰多伦多市区的山顶,兴建一座中世纪风格的城堡。城堡被命名为CASA LOMA,意为“山坡上的房子”。1911年4月,卡萨罗马正式动工,但是,参加施工的欧洲石匠却认为奠基石是一个“不祥之兆”,因为按照欧洲的传统,奠基石只能位于建筑物的东北角,而不是其他的任何方向。卡萨罗马的建造雇佣了300名工人,历时3年,耗资350万加元建成,这是加拿大历史上最早、也是建造最为辉煌的私人城堡,它既有朴实浑厚的美感,又不失童话般的梦幻。青铜大门、秀美的城垛、高耸的塔楼,处处显现出建筑师的巧妙构思,主楼通过800英尺的隧道与豪华的马厩连接,环绕城堡的是5.5英亩的花园。每当艳阳高照,这座城堡,在繁花的映衬下,气势更是另人震撼。

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