Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Asheville: The Biltmore Estate

The main reason we went to Asheville was to visit the Biltmore Estate. It was built in the late 1890's and should be the 8th wonder of the world! It is amazing what they did with the house and landscaping of the Estate without modern tools.

George Vanderbilt planned on building a small summer home (6,500 sq ft) but it turned into 175,000 square feet!

They didn't allow cameras inside the house but it is amazing. Lots of detail but not in a overly tacky way, just a how did they do that kind of way. We saw a lot, but with 175,000 sq feet, there is so much more we didn't see and I want to know what it all looks like.

This house was built before modern tools, it took 6 years. Everything was carved by hand. And George decorated it himself.

The staircase is the area with all the windows. There was no external support for the stairs which were limestone, they were supported by the weight of the wall. I loved how there were little doors and juts on the stairs to rest and cool off.

All this carved by hand, blew me away. Acorns were the Vanderbilt family symbol.

There is a huge lawn in front of the house that we spent a lot of time on

Eric looks like he is propped up to a doll house!

Yes 2 days of the same pictures, we don't have kids so this is what all of our pictures look like!

Eric is cleaning a chimney

The forest behind Eric was planted to look natural since all the land around the house was stripped out farm land. I loved imagining what it was like only 100 years ago sitting on the porch after a daily formal lunch or tea.

We spent a whole day at the Biltmore and the next morning we back for a few hours. I am sure that is over kill for most people, but we love history and architecture and I love details and old homes so I needed to go back the next day to see the details one more time.
If you go you have to do the audio tour, otherwise you miss so much. We ate lunch at Deer Run Park which was very nice and quiet and it was great to get to sit down and cool off. The house obviously isn't air conditioned, but they have fans and the windows open for breezes so it wasn't too bad.
Hopefully we can go back again. I want to do the Behind the Scenes tour and Eric wants to do the Legacy of the Land tour.
There are so many questions I have about George Vanderbilt and the house so I am hoping I can start reading some books about them soon. And of course I will then have to visit again so I can see it all again with my new knowledge.



Looks awesome, I have always wanted to go there. It's on my bucket list

Rachel said...

Beautiful pictures! It's just gorgeous.

p.s. I love your shirtdress...where did you get it? Too cute!

Nikki said...

Oh my gosh, I laughed so hard at your jumping photos! Beautiful architecture.

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