I have little patience for being herded through these dusty old estates with all of their re-assembled attempts at authenticity, but Olana is a place to itself, astonishingly beautiful in its setting and vividly immediate and authentic in nearly every way. Nearly everything in the house is original, the guides are patient and knowledgeable, and every new room and each new vista is breathtaking, fascinating and a reflection of a truly unique and unusual mind. A day on the grounds alone would be worth the trip. Most of the other estate-museums on the Hudson are merely piles to commemorate someone's massive fortune, but Olana is a work of genius and beauty that is very much worth the journey.
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