I can’t imagine a better vantage point from which to star gaze than high atop a hill just south of Hudson, New York on the grounds of Olana.

Olana is the Persian fantasy castle built by Hudson River School painter, Frederic Church, in the 1870’s – ’80’s, and it is one of my favorite places to send my Inn guests. It boasts fabulous, unspoiled views of the Catskill mountains and the Hudson River, and those views may be seen from the house as well as along the 5 miles of carriage trails which traverse the 250 acre property.

But I was talking about stars. On Saturday evening, April 13th, 2013, there will be an Astronomy Tour  at Olana, from 7-9 pm. Members of the Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association will be on hand to start the evening with a presentation about “the wonders of the night sky”, and will then lead the group out into the field below Olana so you can view the stars and planets through various telescopes which they will provide. You should also bring a pair of binoculars, and if possible, a red flashlight. Reservations need to be made by Thursday, April 11th. Call 518-828-1872 x 109. The cost is $5.



If you enjoy touring historic homes, you will be enchanted by the fantastic interiors of the house, still filled with the Church family belongings…it looks like they just went away for the weekend. I like to imagine what their life there was like, and how fabulous it must have been to sit on this wonderful loggia and watch the sun set over the Catskills every evening.

You can enjoy such a sunset from inside Olana, this Friday, April 5th. From 6-7:30 pm, there will be a concert of Turkish music in the Court Hall. You will hear music such as Church may have heard when he visited Constantinople in 1868, played on traditional Turkish instruments. After the concert, Turkish hors d’oeuvres and wine will be served in the Studio Corridor over looking the
loggia. The tickets for this event are $100. There is very limited seating. Call 518-828-1872 x102 to reserve.

I also wrote about visiting Olana in my November 3, 2010 blog post which you might enjoy reading.