Saturday, November 5, 2016

Biltmore House

When we originally planned our vacation to the South I checked into visiting the  Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC and decided against going. First it was kind of out of our way to go to Asheville and also, it's kind of expensive and I am kind of cheap when it comes to that kind of stuff.

However, quite a few people highly recommended it, and when we were in Mauldin, my SIL and her family also highly recommended it. They bought a yearly pass last year and loved going there.  So I bit the bullet and planned a route to hit Asheville on our way back home. It ended up working out good because we were able to meet with our friends like I said in my previous post.

Here's a very brief history: Built between 1889 and 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt, it's the largest, privately owned house at 178,926 square feet. It took over six years to build. To this day it is still owned by George's great-grandson William A.V. Cecil, Jr.

 Anyway, when you first get to the entrance into the Estate , and after you buy your tickets, you drive a 4 mile long driveway to one of the parking lots.

We opted to park and walk the 8 minutes to the house along a path.

This is the view from when you first get to the house off of the path.

You are kind of up on a hill and there is a paved driveway going down on either side. 


I took this picture from the bottom.

We thought it was interesting how the driveway was smooth on both sides and stepped in the middle. One of the workers told us after we got down that it was built for horse-drawn carriages. The steps in the middle to make it easier for the horses to walk the incline and the smooth part for the carriage wheels.

I didn't take that many pictures so I'll just show you the best of the ones I did take. It was pretty crowded and hard to get a good look at some of the rooms.

As a side note, our friend Mike told us that whenever they start to get complaints about the crowds there they jack the price of admission up and that thins out the crowd! I'm glad that we went when we did because from the size of the crowd (and this was on a Thursday) the price is going up any time!

Anyway. here's what pictures I did take.

The conservatory when you first enter the house. There was scaffolding all over the place because they were decorating for Christmas.

One of the many, many Christmas trees they were putting up! This one was right inside the entrance.

The chandelier over the main staircase.

The main dining room has a triple fireplace!

This was a smaller dining room. I believe it was for the ladies, with a table that was beautifully set!

This is Edith Vanderbuilt's bedroom. It was beautiful!  She was only 25 when she married George Vanderbilt and came to live in this house. Can you imagine?

This cute little tree under glass was on her nightstand. I loved it! I wanted to steal it but alas, I'm not a thief so I left it!

This is the upper part of the staircase. There is over a hundred steps leading to the guest rooms! Those poor servants!

This is one of the guest room fireplaces! So gorgeous!

Down in the basement there is a bowling alley!

And a pool! Because they did not have any kind of filtration system or chemicals to keep the water clean, they would only fill it when they wanted to use it for a few days. The steam from the boilers was used to keep the water warm. The ropes you see hanging on the left were for people to rest on while swimming. After about three days the water was "a biology experiment" and they would drain it! Yuck!

This was the main kitchen also in the basement! Loved all the copper pots and pans hanging there!

Back outside again. This is the only close up picture I took.

I would have liked to have lingered in the house a little longer but the crowds get to me after a while. I think someday we may go back.

I put a link at the top of this post to their website. Check it out and read all about it! There is lots of interesting information. And if you get a chance, definitely go visit it! You'll love it!

Until the next time......


Paula Kaye said...

I would love to visit. This place looks spectacular!

Donna said...

The Biltmore House is such a beautiful place! Yes, I agree that it is expensive. But I'm glad that Jim and I had our last vacation trip there to celebrate Christmas 2013. The memories will be with me always.

Ann said...

It's beautiful. I can't imagine living in a place like that but it sure would be nice.

Sally said...

Wow, buddy, you took some great photos. I've heard of that house for a long time, but had NO idea it was so huge. I was intrigued by the driveway for the carriages! Thanks for sharing as I doubt I'll ever get out of Florida. LOL

Have a great Sunday.


Sally said...

I had to come back and look again. So pretty! And, SO tired of the political jungle going on right now I'm just going back and forth with looking at beautiful posts like this one.


Debby said...

Wow, it looks like a castle. I'd love to visit there, whenever we get to that side of the country. Thank you for posting the lovely photos.