Popularly called a “Jewel in the Desert”, Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights has intrigued people in the Valley of the Sun for 90 years and is a Phoenix Point of Pride, an Arizona Centennial Legacy Project and on the National Register of Historic Places.
The question is: Why would anybody build a Castle in the middle of the desert in the late 1920’s and why is it still here today? It’s enough to just look at the unique cast of characters who were inspired by the property beginning in 1907. Due to its unique location (now in the heart of the Phoenix metropolitan area) yet secluded by the forty-four acres of preserved desert surrounding the structure, the Castle still sparks the curiosity of passersby.
The castle was originally built in 1929 by Italian immigrant, gold miner, and entrepreneur Alessio Carraro (who originally intended it to become a hotel), but eventually it was sold to meat-packing magnate Edward Tovrea in the 1930s and became a home for his widow, Della, after his death a few years later.
Tamera Zivic, the president of Tovrea Carraro Society said:
“So there’s a lot of history behind the castle and people are just curious about it. People who’ve lived here for a very long time want to know more about it, like ‘What the heck is that thing out there? What’s inside?’ Other people around the world have heard about and are quite interested in it also. But it’s mainly locals of all ages who’ve just seen it their whole life and want to know what’s going on there.”
It’s a four-story, 5,000 square foot architectural wonder perched atop the highest point of the granite-rich property and viewable from the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway. Groomed cactus gardens and undisturbed natural Sonoran Desert flora cascade from the Castle, providing scenic backdrops and viewing opportunities throughout the established trail system.
Due to an overwhelming demand for Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights Tour Tickets, Tovrea Carraro Society has determined that a Lottery Ticket System is the only fair mechanism for distribution of tickets to our Guests. You are entering the Ticket Lottery for the opportunity to purchase tickets for a Regular Tour.
All tickets from the Lottery for Spring/Summer 2021 Regular Tours have been purchased. The Lottery for Fall 2021 Regular Tour Tickets is now open through June 30, 2021.
Entries will be accepted through the website. In addition to providing your name, email, and other personal and contact info, you’ll be asked to select three possible tour dates on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday between September and December and how many tickets (for up to four people) you’d like to purchase.
You’ll have 72 hours to purchase tickets, which are $22 per person. (Kids 2 and under are free with a paid adult admission.) Tickets can only be purchased by those 18 or over and only one entry will be allowed per person.
If necessary, ticketholders can also cancel with 72 hour’ notice.
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Sources: tovreacastletours & phoenixnewtimes.com