Castle Mont Rouge is a castle on Red Mountain in Rougemont, North Carolina, north of Durham.
Castle Mont Rouge has been described as a Disney-like fairytale castle, an abandoned or deserted castle, a haunted American castle, a quirky North Carolina destination, and the strangest building in North Carolina.
Robert Mihaly was born in Akron, Ohio. He left Kent State University and moved to North Carolina, self-educating himself.
Robert Mihaly, an American sculptor well known for his work at the National Cathedral and at Duke University, designed the castle as a private residence and rural studio.
Mihaly served as the Artist in Residence at Washington National Vermont Marble Block in the years 1996–1997.
In 2002, Duke University commissioned Mihaly to create the first gargoyles at Duke since the Gothic-styled West Campus was built.
Construction of the castle
With 18 pinnacles and a turret, the design was inspired by Central and Eastern European architecture. Moreover, the castle features onion domes like Eastern Orthodox churches and oxidized copper cupolas.
Without a blueprint, Robert Mihaly started building Castle Mont Rouge in 2000.
He lived in one of the finished rooms with his long-term partner, Caroline Smith, whom he met in 2003.
Although the castle was abandoned in 2006, Mihaly's two children participated in a fundraising effort to support its renovation in 2014. In 2016, the castle remained abandoned.
Mihaly started working on the castle's restoration in 2017, saying he wanted to get it done while his kids were still young.
Throughout the years, castle Mont Rouge and its owner, Robert Mihaly, have been the subject of many rumors and legends.