I recently visited The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina and I fell in love with all things Biltmore. Asheville was a popular health resort in the late 19th century and enjoyed for its mineral springs, fresh air and pleasant climate. George Vanderbilt visited Asheville with his mother in 1888 and vowed that he would build a vacation home there someday. George began purchasing parcels of land in Asheville and eventually amassed 125,000 acres. He called the estate “Biltmore” from Bilt, the Dutch town where his ancestors originated and “more,” and old English word for open, rolling land. He engaged two of the most distinguished designers of the 19th century to create this house; the architect Richard Morris Hunt and the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. For six years, an army of artisans labored to create a country estate that would rival the great manors of Europe and embody the finest in architecture, landscape planning, and interior design. The estate has four acres of floor space, 250 rooms including 33 guest rooms, 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, three kitchens, a bowling alley, and an indoor swimming pool.
I was not allowed to take photographs inside the estate. I took the regular estate tour as well as the architectural tour. One thing that stood out was the vast number of gargoyles on The Biltmore. Apparently there were so many gargoyles to be carved that the superintendent gave the stone carvers artistic license to carve whatever they wanted on the gargoyles. It is believed that the carvers carved the likeness of family members and fellow stone carvers. As you can see below, one carver carved a bear with a honey pot.
Below is a photo of the backside of The Biltmore taken from a pond on the property.
Visiting The Biltmore is a must. It is truly the stuff that fairy tails are made of. Treat yourself and visit the majesty of The Biltmore Estate.