Friday, January 9, 2009

The Biggest House I've Ever Seen!

One hot July morning in the summer of 2006 we left our cozy little rented cabin that sat back in the woods on top of a mountain in Pigeon Forge/Sevierville, TN and drove over to a little larger house we'd heard about. We'd driven by on another trip a few years before and decided to finally go back and check this out. It was well worth our drive! The drive over and back was a treat all on its own!

Enjoy some photos I took a couple years ago: of the BILTMORE ESTATE... A National Landmark. If you ever have a chance to go and you're near Asheville, North Carolina--stop in! It's something to see and very impressive: an example of the Gilded Age. It's a French Renaissance style Chateau. Looks more like a palace to me.

No photos were allowed on the inside, so I took all that I could from the outside. You can't imagine what the inside of this place is like! I would like to go again someday. To build this home, a whole city had to be constructed so that all the workers would have somewhere to live. It's 175,000 square feet and contains 225 rooms.

The tour does not allow you to see even half of all the rooms it contains, and the tour of only part of the home takes hours! It was once an estate that covered an unbelievable 125,000 acres; some very fine scenery in the Smoky Mountains! It was modeled after old estates in Europe. It was once a huge, self-contained farm and many types of crops were raised and many cattle on the hills. It's all surreal and I'd love to go back someday. I hope you enjoy some of the photos I was able to take from the outside.

There is no way to show the enormity of this house. It's almost like stepping into a dream! You can see the haze the envelops the Smokies here, behind the house. Remember, you can click on any photo to enlarge.

It was a hot day in North Carolina, and HUMID! Tour buses bring people in all day long. This retaining wall is thousands of feet straight in front of the mansion. There are gardens and beautiful vistas everywhere one looks.

Tiers of fountains, enormous planters and lots and lots of steps.

A tour includes individual devices to listen to, each room has a story you'll want to hear, I thought it was worth the price to rent the audio tour. This is a side portico where many rocking chairs were placed so visitors could sit a spell and look over this gorgeous piece of land.
This photo was taken two and a half years ago, and now Luke stands way over me...this was my little boy. This home made quite an impression on him, I don't think he'll ever forget it.
Looking out over the remaining approximately 40,000 acres! It's part of the Pisgah National Forest which is within the Smoky Mountain Range.

This is oustide view of the circular staircase. Doesn't the palm tree kind of look like a little toy next to this gigantic home?

Lots of sculpture and ornamentation, very breathtaking.

Evil looking gargoyles!

Good-Bye for now, I'll be back to see more of that gorgeous garden on another day! There's a winery that we didn't tour, either. The gardens are something to behold! The drive to exit the grounds takes you past many outbuildings and other cottages that are just as breathtaking. Learn more here:

The buildings and grounds of this historic home have appeared in the following movies....Thanks to Wikipedia for the info.
The Clearing (2002)
Hannibal (2001)
Patch Adams (1998)
My Fellow Americans (1996)
Richie Rich (1994)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Mr. Destiny (1990)
A Breed Apart (1984)
The Private Eyes (1981)
Being There (1979)
The Swan (1956)
Tap Roots (1948)


The Raggedy Girl said...

That is really impressive. I think those were gargoyles on the side of the building. It was like a mini guided tour.
Roberta Anne

Kathy said...

Oh my gosh, girl, I was born just on the other side of that mountain your cabin was on! I am a Michigan girl now but my parents and sister still live in east TN and I go back frequently. I just got back and I'm going again in two weeks. I have to have my mountain "fix"! I've been to the's an incredible place, isn't it? I would actually love to go again.

Thanks so much for stopping by and following Mimi's Garden, Joni. I hope you've visit often. By the way, love the picture you have on your profile with the darling baby!


Anonymous said...

Wow, who knew that was there! It's so beautiful. It's just amazing places like this go up. Have you ever been to the Mansions in Newport, Rhode Island? Another worthy stop as the Vanderbilt's & Rockerfeller's really built some beautiful homes as well.

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

Thanks, Kathy! I'd love to get your input, we're planning on visiting the Smokies again this spring, and I'd love some advice from you. That little girl is my grandniece, and I just love her to pieces!

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

Hi Cathy! I've never been out east, but it's always been a goal of mine to go...I'd love to see the places in R.I. you're talking about. The Vanderbilts are related to the fellow that built the Biltmore mansion, if I'm not mistaken!