Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights Visitor Center, Phoenix

(4.2/5 based on 25 reviews on the web)
Tovrea Castle is a historic structure and landmark in Phoenix, Arizona. Originally intended as a centerpiece for a resort and later a private residence, the castle is now part of the Phoenix parks system and is designated as one of the Phoenix Points of Pride. Plans were to fully open the site to the public in 2009, but cost overruns delayed the opening. Currently the park shows over 5,000 individual cacti in over 100 different varieties, all maintained by volunteers of the Tovrea Carraro Society. Tickets for guided tours of the grounds, first floor, and basement have been offered since March 2012.Tovrea Castle at Carraro HeightsAlthough the castle had long been recognized as a city landmark, the deteriorated state of the grounds and the building left it unsuitable for use as a city park. After finalizing the purchase of surrounding properties, the City of Phoenix began an effort to restore the building and revitalize the gardens.In 2006, significant work was begun on restoring the gardens surrounding the castle to their previous state. Several diseased and dead plants were removed from the site while surviving vegetation was rehabilitated. During restoration efforts, 352 saguaro cacti were planted on the site and over 2,000 other cacti were relocated. Other vegetation, including desert wildflowers were planted in the gardens. Currently the park boasts over 5,000 individual cacti in over 100 different varieties.Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights is named in honor of the original builder, Alessio Carraro, and its second owners, E. A. and Della Tovrea. An interpretive trail exhibiting the gardens and the many desert species, as well as a greenhouse, is planned for the park.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Good city landmark with a very interesting history, but not enough time allowed for the full experience. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and obviously enthused. However, while the website indica...  more »
  • We booked this tour 6 months in advance and it was worth the wait. It is a 2-hour tour of a very interesting house and gardens. The tours are limited to 15 people and the docents are very knowledgeabl...  more »
  • It is a curious building close to the Center, around it is very nice, this illuminated night, worth seeing it if you are near
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Google
  • You can see the Castle from the freeway. The tour guides were so helpful answering questions long after the tour was completed. The telescopes set up on the patio made an exceptional view, especially on the full moon. This is a spectacular place for a first date or a special occasion.
  • Interesting. Great guides.
  • It was great. Loved the history
  • They opened this for tours and I enjoyed getting to hear the history behind it. Always wondered what this place is all about as I drive past it on the freeway...pretty cool! The people that work here are all volunteers so help support and take a tour if you have the chance.