Biltmore House is a fascinating late Eighteenth century Chateau style mansion located in North Carolina’s Asheville region and was a project undertaken by George Washington Vanderbilt II. The estate is known for being the biggest home in the United States to be privately owned, covering a hundred and seventy-five thousand square feet and offering two hundred and fifty rooms. To the present day, it still is under the ownership of the Vanderbilt family and is recognized for being one of the prime examples of architectural gems left behind by the Gilded Age. It comprises of beautiful gardens designed on lines of English Landscape gardens and jardin a la francaise styles popular in the USA. It is listed among United States National Historic Landmarks and is also included in the National Register of Historic Places. In 2007, the house was listed on the eighth spot by the well-known American Institute of Architects in America’s Favorite Architecture. Biltmore House tickets are considered to be a must-have among those who have a certain taste for architecture and grandeur.
In the prime of the Gilded Age, around the 1880s, George Vanderbilt started visiting Asheville frequently and fell in love with its wonderful climate and scenery such that he decided to have a summer house constructed there for himself, which he referred to as his ‘mountain escape’, similar to the grand summer mansions his siblings had gotten constructed in areas like New York, Hyde Park, Rhode Island and Newport. Vanderbilt’s basic inspirational point in building the Biltmore House was the working estates he had seen in Europe.
He chose Richard Morris Hunt, a well-established architect from New York, who had already designed many of the family’s estates and commissioned him to design the Chateau-like mansion that possessed characteristics of the French Renaissance Loire Valley architecture similar to the models of Chateau de Blois. Biltmore House also contained a small village that is today referred to as Biltmore Village, as well as a church that has come to be called Cathedral of All Souls. Seventy-five acres of its grounds include a winery, formal gardens and the estate’s very own Inn.
Biltmore House was under the Vanderbilt family’s use until 1956, after which it was opened permanently as a house museum that serves a source of great fascination to visitors with its indoor swimming pool holding seventy thousand gallons of water, exercise equipment from the twentieth century, a bowling alley, a two-story library, room decorated with artwork and furniture, novelties from the nineteenth century such as a unique intercom system, fire alarms, clocks with a central control, air heating system and elevators. The house has been one of the main tourist attractions in Western North Carolina, entertaining as many as a million visitors every year. Today, the estate covers about eight thousand acres and is divided in two by French Broad River. Biltmore House tickets are a fascinating way of exploring the art and architecture of the Gilded Age as encapsulated and preserved in the Biltmore House.