Santa Rosa, California: John Medica Castles and GardensCreator spent 20 years building little castles, stoneworks and gardens. The gated property is rarely open to the public.
- 5000 Medica Rd, Santa Rosa, CA
- Medica Rd, off Stonespring Rd in a gated community. From Summerfield, left onto Rock Springs, left onto Quartz, and left onto Stone Castle Lane.
- Private property. No Trespassing.
Visitor Tips and News About John Medica Castles and Gardens
The castles are beautiful, as are the cacti gardens, model bridge and little statues created by John Medica. The gardens are 1.7 acres of open space and are fenced. It would be terrific if the city of Santa Rosa would help create more access to this site that many Santa Rosans used to visit while growing up.[castle rock visitor, 04/15/2010]
In response to the original posting about John Medica's Castles and Gardens, I'd like to point out that the castles and garden are fenced to keep out the deer, rather than specifically to exclude people. The gardens are not regularly opened even once a year.[C. Talcroft, 10/27/2008]
The California Office of Historic Preservation describes this attraction thusly: "'Trying to make it look better,' John Medica spent 20 years transforming a barren hillside into a magical garden of plants and creative stone works. Castles were his greatest triumph. A native of Yugoslavia, self-taught, Medica created an oasis for people and animals to enjoy. This imaginative assemblage is one of California's remarkable Twentieth Century Folk Art Environments."
I visited the gardens a few nights ago during a full moon. Dates I go on lately tend to end up in reverent historical trespassing. The gardens are the centerpiece of a gated community populated by, apparently, very rich people. I was told that they open the gates and let the public view this attraction once a year, although I haven't been able to find out when. So realistically it is only an annual roadside attraction. The castles are well crafted and slightly cartoonish, made of rock mortared with concrete, a prime example of Dementia Concretia. The creations are arranged on a half-acre plot of land including a poolhouse (the pool has been filled in) and a bridge meant to be a scale model of the Golden Gate, constructed similarly of native stone and concrete.
The neighbors seem to be pretty serious about keeping out those who would follow in my footsteps. Every nook and cranny of the perimeter of the compound is either heavily hedged or fenced to about 8' high. Someone has even installed extra wire in the 10" gap underneath the steel pre-fab gate to keep out slim visitors with excellent shimmying skills. My other caution would be that the garden is landscaped with cacti -- dangerous in the dark. I got a 1" spine in the soft parts of my knee and I am patiently waiting for the gangrene to set in.[Zack Stewart, 10/27/2004]
Roadsideamerica.com does not condone trespassing, even to see attractions held captive by rich people.