Solomon's Castle- Ona Florida - Orlando / Florida Guide
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One of the oddest and quirky places you can visit in Florida surely has to be Solomon’s Castle which can be found approximately half way between Bradenton on the gulf coast and Sweetwater in the town on Ona .
It is the home, gallery and studio of an internationally known sculptor called Howard Solomon .
The story goes he discovered his talent and enjoyment for building large things one day when he was 17 and home alone . He started to rip down a wall at his parents home and build a porch. The porch grew until it reached what it is today- the family home in the form of a castle.
Solomon’s work can be seen throughout the castle –from the many vibrant and colourful stained glass windows he has made- t-here are more than 80 interpretations of stained glass windows throughout Solomon's Castle to the comical statues that are to be found along the nature trail that you can take that meander through the castle gardens.
The gardens are looked after by Solomon’s wife Peggy and they are a mixture of tropical flowers and foliage that make the perfect surroundings for Solomon’s work. Being a castle of course there is a moat tended by the moat man –one of Solomon’s creations and a drawbridge that will lead you to an area, full of oaks with draping Spanish moss, Palmettos cypress and willows. Walking along the trail you may catch site of turtles, otters and alligators amongst other native wild life.
You can enjoy a meal during your visit in Howard’s eccentric restaurant - The Boat in The Moat restaurant. . The menu has the type of food you would expect in any eating-place –sandwiches, salads and also chilli or chicken pie but the main difference is the surroundings. As you might now have gathered –this is not your ordinary restaurant- but a replica of a 16thC Spanish Galleon built by the owner himself and has beautiful murals and stained glass windows.
Within the castle are the family's living quarters, a stained glass studio, a main entrance hall, and the extensive galleries, exhibiting Solomon's "found object" sculptures. He specialises in creating works of art in forms that are unique such as 3 dimensional representations of famous art works by artist such as Picasso and Modigliani and these are on display in the gardens.
Tours Daily 11:00 A. M. to 4:00 P. M.
Closed Mondays AND the MONTHS of July, August and September
Adults: $10. 00 inc. tax Children (under 12) $4. 00 inc. tax
Special rates and times available to groups
This is one of Florida's most unique experiences. There are many surprises to behold at Solomon's Castle.
4533 Solomon Road
Ona, FL 33865
Telephone: (863) 494-6077
Fax: (863) 993-0755
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