Friday, September 25, 2009

Biltmore Estate- September 25

This is America's largest home,located here in Asheville North Carolina. It was built from 1889 to 1895 by George W. Vanderbilt. The estate lies on 8,000 acres of land,on which are formal gardens,farming fields for crops and cattle,as well as naturalistic wooded areas. The French Broad River and Swannanoa River are located on the east and west perimeters of the grounds. Also,as you may notice,the Blue Ridge Mountains can be seen from the back of the mansion. Quite a beautiful setting! The house is equally impressive-it only has 250 rooms. Of those rooms,there are 36 guest bedrooms and 61 servant's rooms-43 bathrooms. And no,we did not see all the rooms-what we were allowed to view took us several of hours to cover. All the furnishings remain in the house as they were 100 years ago. Many painting and prints fill the walls-two of note are by Renoir. There is a room with 16th-century Flemish tapestries. In the library there are 10,000 volumes in 8 languages. The estate is still privately owned by the family- they employ 1,800 people(there not only is the grounds to keep up,but also a hotel,six restaurants,winery,farm and gift shops). The admission ticket was a bit pricey-but,considering that it was a full days worth of entertainment,it was worth the price.

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