{Biltmore Estate, fourth in the series}  

One of my favorite movie scenes takes place in the 1984 movie Splash with Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah:  his character, Allen Bauer, gives her character, Madison, a lusciously wrapped gift.  Remember?  Because she's a MERMAID and presumably never received a wrapped present before, she takes the bowed and bedazzled box, inspects it from every angle, then enthusiastically declares, "Thank you!  It's beautiful!" without realizing there's a precious treasure tucked inside.  

That's how I feel about The Biltmore House.  

From the verdant, lush winding trail leading up to the Biltmore's entrance, to the meticulously manicured grounds and spectacular boundless gardens, to the home's exquisite exterior and magnificent architecture, you could spend hours examining the outside…and be satisfied. 

Stunningly castlesque, the Biltmore House will steal your breath at first glance.  Please click the photo below for a beautiful view of Biltmore borrowed from their media library–none of my pictures captured the entire home and it's a must-see!  (I'm not sure why it's dark on my page….)


Sarah, Alli and I couldn't wait for our tour….

Biltmore House entrance 

Aslan greets each guest.

Lion sculpture at Biltmore House entrance 

The Biltmore House's French Renaissance-style details are intricate and gorgeous from every angle.

Angled view of Biltmore House 

The home's exterior is artistic masterpiece; grotesques and carvings appoint doorways, entranceways, windows and more.

Biltmore House cherub grotesque

Biltmore Estate monkey grotesque 

Biltmore Estate, grotesque  Biltmore House mandolin player grotesque 

Grotesques, carved stone figures, are often confused with gargoyles; derived from the French word "gargouille" meaning "throat" or "gullet", and the word "gargariser" meaning "to gargle", a true gargoyle serves the function of water spout.  Grotesques are purely decorative sculptures.  

We learned there is only one known gargoyle on the Biltmore House though the uninformed might think otherwise.  Here's a convincing impostor ~ 

Biltmore House grotesques; NOT gargoyles!

But here's the real McCoy (located on the back terrace) ~ 

Real gargoyle at Biltmore Estate

And the water spout that makes this grotesque an actual gargoyle ~

The only gargoyle at Biltmore House

{Class dismissed.}

See what I mean?  You could string together a thousand adjectives to describe the Biltmore House's amazingness without even stepping inside!  But, oh, dear lovies, trust me…precious treasure awaits under all that gorgeous wrapping.

Next up?   Some of my favorite photo captures from atop the roof at Biltmore!   Please be sure to subscribe in a reader or by email so you won't miss a thing!

First in the series (Introduction and disclosure)

Second in the series (Asheville)

Third in the series (The Inn at Biltmore)

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