After reaching Alamosa via the US Highway 285, if you proceed another 28 miles and veer off from the thoroughfare, you’ll end up in Antonito. And the most famous landmark of Antonito, visible even from miles away, is Cano’s Castle. Depending on your outlook, you can call Cano’s Castle just a mammoth mound of metallic junk or a towering tinny temple.
Cano’s Caste is the brainchild of Donald Cano Espinoza; it has a main edifice and four luminous towers at four corners and stands tall at over 40 feet from the ground. Cano, a Vietnam veteran, has been building this castle for the last 30 years. He thought of creating a monument to pay his homage to God for surviving the Vietnam War and that his how Cano’s Castle took shape. The tapering structure is a work-in-progress as Donald keeps on adding to the construction bit by bit.
There are four distinct sections titled the ‘palace’, ‘the rook’, ‘the king’ and ‘the queen’. The castle is situated a few miles away from the New Mexico Border and close to US 285.
Beer cans and scrap aluminum and metal shards
Cano’s Castle juts out from the surrounding low-profile homes and structures, making it stand out. The silvery façade of the citadel gleaming in the bright Colorado sun can blind you if you stare a little too long. The stronghold is comprised five composite sections—a residence, shed, garage, and a few other sections—and have been layered with scrap aluminum.
Cano plastered scraps of aluminum onto the walls and facades that he gathered from the neighborhood. He picked up anything that he could lay his hands on-window casements, screen doors, hubcaps, grills, bicycle reflectors, beer cans, and so on. He painstakingly cut open the cans of beer and flattened them inside out for sticking onto the walls. He also evened out aluminum siding using a hammer for layering them along the castle’s seams.
Cano was known as Dominic Espinoza before he became obsessed with the idea of constructing a castle. Nevertheless, he does not wish to remember who he was and what he did before he started working on the citadel. He prefers calling his foundation, ‘Jesus Castle’ and believes that the Lord has been residing in it for long time.
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