Our MT Nest is located in a small mountain community about 35 miles from Asheville, North Carolina. Asheville is an exciting city with delightful restaurants, an abundance of craft breweries, fascinating art galleries and studios, a rich tradition of live music, a variety of opportunities for outdoor activities, an incredibly beautiful mountain landscape, and a wonderful architectural treasure, the Biltmore house. The 8000 acre Biltmore Estate is located within Asheville city limits and includes the largest home in America, as well as beautiful formal and informal gardens, several restaurants, two hotels, a winery, an equestrian center, and hiking and biking trails.
The Biltmore Estate is one of Asheville’s most popular tourist attractions. Mr. MT Nest and I purchased annual passes which entitle us to visit the estate as often as we wish, as well as to receive other passholder benefits. We enjoy visiting the house and go several times each year. Photography is not allowed inside the house except during the Annual Passholder Appreciation period each year from mid-January through mid-March. We visited the estate shortly after we arrived home from our winter travels in Florida and Texas and took advantage of the opportunity to take some photographs of the house.
The house is a 250 room chateau that was built by George Vanderbilt and completed in 1895. It’s more than 175,000 square feet of floor space, with 35 bedrooms, 40 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, a library with 10,000 volumes, an indoor swimming pool, a bowling alley, and a banquet hall with a 70-foot ceiling and a Skinner pipe organ.
Almost all of the furnishings and objects on display in the house are part of George and Edith Vanderbilt’s original collection, including 16th century tapestries, and original art work by Renoir and John Singer Sargent. The gardens and grounds of the estate were designed by the renowned landscape architect, Frederick Olmsted.
Biltmore is open to the public 365 days a year. Special exhibits are often featured. In 2015 Biltmore hosted an exhibit of costumes from Downton Abbey. Currently, an exhibit of wedding gowns from films is being featured. This post will focus on the house and it’s finishes and furnishings, but some of the costumes on display may appear in some of the photos. Also, on the day we visited, like most days, there were quite a few visitors, so it was often impossible to get a photo without capturing some of the other Biltmore guests.
As you enter the home through the grand entry, you step into a large open foyer. As part of the Fashionable Romance, Wedding Gowns In Film exhibit, the foyer currently houses an enormous wedding cake, a flower chandelier, and draped tulle.
The detailed columns, woodwork, crown molding, doors, and ceiling embellishments are just amazing.
The next room you enter as you leave the Billiard Room is the Banquet Hall with it’s 70 foot ceiling, 16th century tapestries, and Skinner pipe organ.
I will share pictures from the rest of the house tomorrow. I hope you’ll stop by again to see the rest of the house.
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