Friday, November 21, 2014

Biltmore Christmas Candlelight Tour

It's Funny Friday
by Prudence

Just saying it with pictures...

It was so cold and windy on the way to Asheville, then it began to rain - thank goodness it was not snow.  But on the way home, just as we approached Weaverville, it began to flurry.
We did the audio tour this time and I enjoyed hearing all the history about the family.
During the candlelight tours several of the guest rooms are included on the tour, and I enjoyed that, you actually got to view what the bathrooms were like, very simple - bathtub, toilet and sink.  In fact the house was originally wired for ac/dc voltage and hot water was pumped to the third floor within minutes, at a temperature of 10 degrees below boiling.  At that time the only light blubs were 15 watt so the rooms were rather dark, but it just adds to the character of the house. The indoor pool was heated, the original underwater lighting still works, the pool held 70,000 gallons of water.
  Mr. George Vanderbilt collected rhinoceros figures (really peaked my interest since that is such an unusual animal, although beautiful and maybe very misunderstood).
George built the estate while he was a bachelor and on December 24, 1895 it was officially opened.  In 1898 he married Edith Stuyvesant Dresser, in 1900 their only child, Cornelia was born (there is one bedroom where all the children were born).  She married the Honorable John Francis Amherst Cecil in 1924.  They had a son, William, and a daughter, Diana.  The Cecil's opened the estate to the public in 1930.
Today Mr. Vanderbilt's grandson, William A.V. Cecil owns Biltmore; his son William A.V. Cecil, Jr. serves as CEO, while his daughter Diana Cecil Pickering is president of the Family Office.  There are 1,800 employees today.
These trees are on display in the gift shop, "A Christmas Past", which is part of the stable area.  The Stable Cafe is the actual stable, the stalls now serve as part of the restaurant, adding a charm all its own.  There is another eating area upstairs, that is were the male stable hands and groomers lived.
 The estate asks that no pictures be taken of the interior, a rule which I hope everyone respects.  I did see a man sneak his camera out in the Tapestry Room and take a picture.  He glanced at me, I gave him "the look", had he been caught he would have be escorted off the property.
More about the estate

Have a wonderful weekend, and hope you have a bee-u-tee-ful pre-Thanksgiving week.



  1. Dear Prudence, I can not believe my eyes. Granny and I did the tour you suggested of the Castle, and we were both "Gob Smacked"... Do you say that Prudence.
    It just looked like a fairy tale, and magic every where.
    I am so glad you let us see all those beautiful trees as well.
    I am sending very warm hugs Prudence to keep you warm.

  2. Wow, oh wow! Wouldn't you love to live there for even a week? I sure would! Hard to believe their water was just under boiling! What pretty pics, so glad you had a nice time, despite the weather!

  3. Oh thank you so much for sharing the pictures and details! I find it all so fascinating!
    Really wonderful!


Thank you for writing, I love to receive mail and comments on my posts. Thank you for dropping by and have a most blessed day. Hugs, Prudence