[Cano’s Castle in Antonito by Jessica Hughes] The San Luis Valley in Colorado is home to a vortex of slightly unusual and peculiar things. One of which resides in the small town of Antonito, CO. Drive 28 miles south of Alamosa, along US HWY 285, and you will come across the town’s most notable landmark, Cano’s Castle.
Don’t let the name fool as it’s not what you might expect as a castle. What some might view as a pile of junk others consider a unique piece of art.
Rising out of an ordinary neighborhood of homes, Cano’s Castle is anything but ordinary. Ascending 40 feet from the ground with four distinct towers built mainly out of beer cans and other various metal materials, its shining walls are blinding in the sun. The scrap aluminum gives the castle its shine with other materials used such as hubcaps, grills, glass bottles, screen doors, and bicycle reflectors for a bit of color.
But the main material applied is beer cans. Cano collected countless beer cans, carefully cutting and flattening them inside and out and adhering them to the walls.
Cano, a Native American Vietnam veteran began building his castle over 35 years ago as an homage to God for surviving the Vietnam War. As a never-ending construction project, Cano continues to add to the structure bit by bit.
The four towers of the castle are identified as “the king”, “the queen”, “the palace”, and “the rook”. The larger-than-life four-story King tower is the crown jewel of this unusual castle. A bit reminiscent of what you might find at a junkyard, Cano spent time plastering scraps of metal onto the walls, plus anything else he could gather from his neighbors.
Cano, or rather Dominic Espinosa, lives across the street in a small trailer but the castle still remains private property, so be respectful and only enjoy from the roadside.
Cano’s Castle is found at the corner of State St. & E. 10th Ave. in Antonito, CO – a few blocks east of HWY 285.
Address: State St & E 10th Ave, Antonito, CO 81120
Season: Year round on private property (observe from road)