Friday, March 18, 2016

Back to the Biltmore House


I made a return trip to the Biltmore House yesterday, thanks to my kind blog friend who sent me some free passes. It was a glorious, blue-skied, mild day and enough spring bulbs and flowering trees were blooming to make it a most desirable place to be.


Evidently others felt the same. I was kinda unprepared for the crowds and the lines . . .


And I quickly decided to forego the tour of the interior (which I've seen many times over the years) in favor of enjoying the exterior.


And a fairly spectacular exterior it is . . . reminiscent (and in some parts copied from) the chateaux of the Loire Valley.



It's pretty amazing -- and incredibly well maintained  . . .



Such amazing detail everywhere . . .


And lots of decorative statuary, including a pair of winsome sphinxes atop the entry gates who seem to be wondering if this pose makes their butts look big.


Two charming lions on the front terrace seem to be worrying  -- maybe they wonder where all those people came from.



A gargoyle is above it all . . .


Swan-necked dragonettes . . .

At one side of the house a pergola is twined with massive wisteria vines . . .



More statuary just over the wall . . . I think he's ignoring us.


Walks through the garden were beautiful and busy . . .



And most visitors seemed to be as cheerful as this cherub . . .


Or  this frolicsome pair (of statues) though the visitors kept their clothes on . . .


This fella and his dog caught my eye . . .


A nice looking dog except for the weird teeth.


I wasn't the only one taking pictures of statues . . .


Most people seemed to mainly take pictures of each other.


The tracery of shadows added to the decorative treatment above the window . . .


Beautiful work everywhere.


Architectural detail, shadows, and reflections --
an embarrassment of riches!


At last I'd had my Biltmore fix and was ready to head home . .




On the way out, I paused to get a shot of the walled garden I visited a few weeks ago -- now bright with daffodils and pansies -- and a group of young women picnicking on the grass.  What a fine way to spend a gorgeous day!




11 comments:

katy gilmore said...

Lovely post - looks to be a lovely place to visit on a spring day!

Ms. A said...

Such an amazing place and out of all the times I've been to Carolina, I've never been to Biltmore.

Cathy Keller said...

You have some wonderful photos of the exterior. It's been a few years since we were there, but it is a beautiful place to visit! Thank you!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I can't help but always be in awe every time I see the Biltmore Estate. It's amazing how many different things you notice each time you visit. The lions do seem to question where all the people came from. Every time we watch Downton Abbey I can't help but think of the Biltmore.
Sam

Anvilcloud said...

My goodness: people were out in droves.

Jim Egerton said...

What wonderful pictures of an opulant time and place

Frances said...

Vicki, thank you for the tour of a place I hope to see for myself someday.

It was certainly a spectacular effort to have it originally built, and rather wonderful that the place is still so well cared for, so that folks can still enjoy it.

Springtime must be the best time to visit...perhaps also at Christmastime?

xo

L. D. said...

You had plenty to see on the outside. I am fascinated by the place and its history.

NCmountainwoman said...

We visit often but rarely go inside unless it's on one of the special tours. And I think we have completed all of them now. We ramble around the estate and especially love the walk down to the Bass Pond or along the French Broad. And, of course, we always end up at the Dairy Bar.

jennyfreckles said...

It looks lovely (apart from the long queues!) - such attractive details and statues.

Pat Ball Morrison said...

I absolutely enjoyed both my times at the Biltmore when in NC, but it was very crowded then too, October once and September another as I recall. Everyone else goes there too. My favorite of all your lovely pics is the one with the statue showing us his back...