Well another oldie but goodie. One might wonder that when we stayed near Asheville in 2015 why we didn’t go to the Biltmore. Well the easy answer is, we’d already been there.
Charlotte showed an interest in going to the Biltmore since we first moved to NC in 1998. So on our anniversary weekend, 2007 I got a bed and breakfast in Asheville and tickets to The Biltmore.
What is The Biltmore. It is America’s largest private residence built in 1889-1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt, The grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt of the shipping and railroad fame. It is the best remaining example of the opulence of the Gilded Age. Vanderbuilt had but one daughter and she married John F.A. Cecil ( pronounced ses cil) the British ambassador to America at the time.. Today the home is still owned by the Cecil Family although it is only a museum now.
You can just walk through the place without any idea of what you are looking at or for a few extra dollars you can get a set of earphones that will tell you stories about much of the house/ the house is full of antiquity. Including a chess set once owned by Napoleon. There are tapestries from the 1500’s in the dining room.
The property is still large but not what it once was. It still contains a hotel and a winery and once had a large dairy operation. It also included what we know today as the Pisgah National Forest. After Vanderbilt’s death his wife began to give tours of the house to help pay the taxes. Later she sold off much of the forest land to the U.S. Government. The house was designed by Richard Morris Hunt and the grounds and gardens were laid out by Frederick Law Olmstead of Central Park fame. The well known naturalist Gifford Pinchot did a lot of forest work on the property as George Vanderbilt had a lot of interest in this field.
Wish I had more pictures of the inside. I don’t remember if it wasn’t allowed, I didn’t download all of them, or haven’t found that file. We were using a DSLR camera at that time.
Anyway if you ever get the chance this is a great trip.