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Frizztext’s Story Challenge on Flickr Comments at http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/  last week was the Letter H.

The House on the Rock is essentially a collection of collections. And what a spectacular conglomeration of curiosities it is!  I don’t consider myself easily impressed but this place never ceases to amaze me, no matter how many times we visit.

Designed by Alex Jordan Jr, The House on the Rock first opened in 1959.  The original 13 roomed house is perched high above the trees on a place called Deer Shelter Rock just south of Spring Green in Wisconsin. Over the years many other attractions have been added to the site.

Among the items on display are collections of automated music machines, dolls and dollhouses, model airplanes, model ships, guns, glassware and circus memorabilia.

Although much of what is seen there is authentic, many of the exhibits were specifically made for The House on the Rock such as the armor and ‘Tiffany lamps.’  Illusion seems to play a large part in the overall effect but there’s no denying the results are almost overwhelming.

One of the highlights for me are the music machines. I can’t resist putting in the necessary tokens in order to listen to the Gladiator Calliope and the great Mikado and Franz Josef music machines, the notes reverberating throughout the galleries.

The Heritage of the Sea exhibit boasts a 200ft tall sea creature and 269 handcrafted animals grace The Giant Carousel which has 20,000 lights and 182 chandeliers on board. This merry-go-round is not for riding however.

The Infinity Room juts out 218ft from the rock, and 156 ft above the surrounding countryside offering a great view from its glass-paneled walls.

It may all be smoke and mirrors at The House on the Rock, it’s difficult to tell where reality ends and make-believe begins, but it’s great entertainment! If you’ve never been there before I can highly recommend a visit.