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“Remarkably Gloomy”

Olana State Historic Site
Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in Hudson
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Hudson River School painter Frederic E. Church designed Olana, his family home, studio, and estate, as an integrated environment embracing architecture, art, and landscape. Olana, a National Historic Landmark, is an icon of naturalistic landscape design, with five miles of carriage roads and a Persian-inspired house at its summit, embracing unrivaled panoramic views of the vast Hudson River Valley. Today, visitors can experience an array of activities, from meandering through the 250 acre artist designed landscape, to taking a tour of the house and surrounding landscape, to viewing the changing exhibitions both in the main house and a gallery devoted to contemporary photography. They can see a 17 minute award-winning video on the property and a permanent orientation exhibit. They can also participate in a variety of educational programs in the Wagon House Education Center, including a free backpack program that includes a variety of projects for children.
Reviewed 4 January 2018

and also dramatic...extraordinary in all seasons...but particularly beautiful in its bleakness of winter..rising up from the top of the mountain as winter winds battle the ancient fortress looking tower,

Warm weather picnics on the lawn...and a watershed view suggesting just why the inspiration of Mr Church to create this odd and wonderful compilation of architectural
elements landed there.

Interior. with it scrim shades always drawn ( preservation issues) also creates a mood. the grand oak staircase quite wonderous and imagination runs wild thinking of the Church family doing their Sunday Theatricals on its landing..The dining room with its truly awful collection of "old Masters' ( re painted by Church himself so the legend..)
is like some out a vintage Daracula movie set.

In all. a fantasy of imagination, and one of the Hudson Valley's most precious assets

Also. the visitor center provides a great informative base to begin your visit. The small gallery. with changing exhibits. also of interest to historically interested visitors. Nearby Thomas Cole house only a 15 minute drive across the river. where is restored studio
is exceptionally interesting to lovers of the American School of Hudson River painters..

Date of experience: November 2017
Thank Richard E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"frederic church"
in 80 reviews
"the hudson river school"
in 67 reviews
"house tour"
in 41 reviews
"thomas cole"
in 24 reviews
"catskill mountains"
in 22 reviews
"landscape painter"
in 19 reviews
"rip van winkle"
in 18 reviews
"original furnishings"
in 11 reviews
"moorish architecture"
in 8 reviews
"hudson ny"
in 7 reviews
"fascinating house"
in 7 reviews
"carriage trails"
in 7 reviews
"explore the grounds"
in 7 reviews
"home tour"
in 7 reviews
"gift shop"
in 41 reviews
"beautiful site"
in 8 reviews
"american art"
in 9 reviews

82 - 86 of 688 reviews

Reviewed 31 December 2017

This historic site is amazing. they feature art pieces now on site and i have to say the property itself is a work of art. if you need a short hike/picnic spot this is a must if you are ever near. stop by they have a gift shop and tour guides on site. I recommend visiting during the fall and the summer as the property's small garden will be in its glory backdropped by the Catskill mountains and Hudson river. can't say enough about this not so known about location.

Date of experience: July 2017
Thank Jurrific
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2017

I arrived one day shortly before they were to close, and the very gracious lady at the desk booked me for the next day. I arrived JUST after my tour group had left and she graciously put me in the next tour. Lovely lady.

She also showed me books in the bookstore. I bought one (a different one from the one she recommended, but that doesn't change how charming she is).

You might want to be there around sunset. Mountain height, 'beautiful for situation'.

Date of experience: November 2017
Thank KeithHruza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2017

We were given the heads up by a store in Hudson. The site is magnificent and a total art lovers dream visit. The views are beyond spectacular and then go to the Met to see the ones there!

Date of experience: August 2017
1  Thank gablegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 November 2017

As it is with most historic mansions, the history is as compelling as the home itself. Olana was the home of Frederic and Isabel Church. They traveled and moved among New York City’s cultured citizens, but Olana was their primary home. The home reflects their travels including mixtures of Victorian, Middle-Eastern and Mexican decorative motifs. It's almost a must that you preorder your home tour on-line, as many visitors get turned away without a reservation. Out docent was terrific - well informed and engaging, as she weaved the history of Church with the house. You book the reservation ahead and pay upon arrival at the visitor center. Try to see the film offered in the center before your tour to gain an understanding of Church and the environs. The museum store offers a variety of Church and Olana offerings. My wife and I were fortunate to also book one of the last historic electric carriage landscape tours before the season ended - this prepay one hour tour was absolutely beautiful and fantastic - we highly recommend this when it continues in the spring. Our tour guide was energetic, fun, and informative - truly appreciating the landscape and history of Olana.

Date of experience: November 2017
Thank Disneybus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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