Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Biltmore Estates, Asheville, NC


This is my photo for the Sunday Creative Challenge.  The word for the week is "lonely".  This photo was taken at the amazing Biltmore Estates. George Vanderbilt opened this estate to family and friends in 1895.  I believe it took 5 - 6 years to build, all 135,000 sq. ft.  With 250 rooms, there is a lot to see.  His wife, Edith and he were very much in love.  They had one daughter and George tragically died of complications from an emergency appendectomy.   In 1914 Edith sold 85,000 acres to the federal government and it is now the center of Pisgah National Forest.


The first time we visited, my youngest daughter was 7.  Her chin hit the floor when she realized it had been someone's house.  She said "Mom & Dad, this is the home I want you to buy.  It makes me feel like a princess!"  We wandered through the most amazing green house I have ever seen.  When the house was a residence, and not a tourist site, the fresh flowers from this estate filled the mansion.  I will post photos of multiple flowers from that greenhouse tomorrow.


This is the view of the house I love... I imagine I am strolling back from the tulip gardens with a few stems draping from my arms.  The side yard looks out over the Italian garden, the children playing tag on the huge expanse of green lawn, my husband busy with the horses in the stable...  Boy, I'm just as bad as my daughter!



Which do you like best? The above is for the B&W Wednesday Challenge.




"Everyone" says we must see it decorated for (click following word for details)  Christmas. And I'm sure they are right. But I think Biltmore Estates has something for everyone, anytime of year.  It has been open to the public every day for many decades.   The two times I visited this place, and in particular when I stood at these gates pictured below, I felt it was and still is a place of much peace.

16 comments:

Mary Lou said...

Margaret, First thanks for your comments and wishes on my blog..
I want to go to the Biltmore so badly..As for living there, all I could think of was how much it would be to clean!! DUH..
Thanks for taking me with you this time.

justine said...

what a sad but lovely story and your first picture is such a great shot for the prompt. I can imagine it looks absolutely beautiful decorated for Christmas. Thanks so much for this and another wonderful history lesson.

willow said...

I've visited just once and it was simply amazing. I would love to return some day!

Christina said...

All I know is................I WANNA GO THERE! [with my camera] hehe

Christina said...

oh ya......and my family. lol

Rosie said...

Oh my, what gorgeous photos! The first one is really ideal for the prompt! I loved to read the story and totally understand you and your daughter ;-)
I think the b&w of that statue is fabulous - I love it even more than the colour one (and you know what a colour person I am); I think it's more dramatic.

Margaret Bednar said...

Mary Lou, your welcome! And your "wordless" photography blog highlighting your 365 journey is very relaxing and stunningly beautiful.

Justine, I LOVE the prompts for Sunday Creative. They have helped me focus on the emotion and meaning behind the art of photography. Thank you for taking this challenge over!

Willow, I would love to hear your writings reflecting your feelings regarding this place. It evokes emotion, that is for sure.

Christina, It is well worth a trip. A bit pricey, some say. But it is for the WHOLE day and there is so much to see. We ate in the grand old horse stable, the one next to the house. (it has been converted to a restuarant) Words can't describe it. (but maybe photography could!)

Rosie, As soon as I saw this photo, I rejoiced. I had NO idea what I would use for lonely, but when I saw this, I cried "Eureka"! I too love color, but at times, b&w or antique can lend emotion like no other.

Amy said...

LOVE the black and white of the statue! The desaturated clouds make it look like a storm brewing, but momma and her baby don't mind. They are going to keep dancing anyway!

Erika B said...

Wow, that is a gorgeous estate. The statue was a perfect pick for BW.

Erika B

Margaret Bednar said...

Amy, I love your description "the keep dancing!" That is a wonderful image and we all need to do that more. And thanks for your "undelete" (restoring) information on your blog. Hopefully I will never have to use it!

Erika, Thank you. I antiqued it as well, and that is probably my favorite. Your blog really shows your own ability to do creative compositions!

A Bit of Serendipity said...

I would love to go here! If I ever make it to N.C. I will put this first on my list....

Margaret Bednar said...

Serendipity, Asheville & Biltmore and Appalachian/Pisgah National Forest is a perfect vacation package! I am fortunate to live less than 3 hours away.

Dorian Susan said...

Thank you for sharing about Biltmore. Indeed one would feel like a princess there. I love the shot of the vines wrapped on the portico....and prefer the B & W to the color of the statue-but both are nice.

Margaret Bednar said...

Dorian, My daughter got the "princess" vibes, I got the "laundress" vibes... And the laundry room facilities were considered modern at the time - Let's just say they need a HUGE renovation ;)

Ginnie said...

Oh yes, Margaret. And if you do ever go at Christmas-time, make sure you choose the candlelight tour at night. It's well worth the extra cost!

Margaret Bednar said...

Ginnie, Thanks for the candlelight tip. If I remember correctly, photography is NOT allowed inside the house, so candlelight would be fantastic. Also, I will take photos of the outside and greenhouse while the light is good. John and I are going up there for a long day over the Christmas school break. The kids are staying behind for once. (haven't told them yet, though) ... :)