Even after six years, the 250-room Biltmore House was not complete when George Vanderbilt opened it in 1895; work would continue for years. Vanderbilt's diverse and cultured tastes influenced his travels with architect Hunt while Biltmore House was being constructed. The two men traveled throughout Europe and the Orient, purchasing paintings, porcelains, bronzes, carpets and furniture. Also see Biltmore House Christmas Photos.
We hope you enjoy this glimpse of the grandeur inside the Biltmore House. All of these photos were taken (with special permission) on the first floor - just a small portion of the tour!
Photography/video is not allowed inside during tours.
Winter Garden: A glass roof illuminates the center fountain sculpture Boy Stealing Geese by Karl Bitter.
Take a behind-the-scenes tour to learn about similarities to life at Downton Abbey.
Billiard Room: The Vanderbilts and their guests enjoyed playing billiards on the custom oak tables made in 1895.
See more Biltmore House Christmas Photos.
Banquet Hall : This impressive room with a seven-story high ceiling was the scene of dinner parties, holiday celebrations, and intimate family meals enjoyed in front of the triple fireplace.
Banquet Hall: The Flemish tapestries are from the 1500s. The Organ Loft houses a 1916 Skinner pipe organ. In this photo, the table is adorned with displays for Biltmore Blooms festival of flowers.
The massive stone spiral staircase rises four floors with 102 steps. Through its center hangs an iron chandelier suspended from a single point with 72 lights.
Breakfast Room: The family and guests ate breakfast and luncheon here. There are two paintings by Renoir: Young Algerian Girl (on left) and Child with an Orange (on right).
Music Room: This room was completed in 1976; it is not known why it was unfinished in Vanderbilt’s time. During World War II, the National Gallery of Art inWashington, D.C. stored priceless paintings and sculptures here for safekeeping.
Tapestry Gallery: Guests relaxed in this 90-foot-long room before and after meals, by 16th-century Flemish tapestries. See portraits of George Vanderbilt (above Library door) and his mother (to the left) by John Singer Sargent. To the right is a portrait of Edith Vanderbilt by Giovanni Boldini, painted 12 years after her marriage to Vanderbilt.
Library: Showcases Vanderbilt’s favorite passion, books. There are more than 10,000 volumes in eight languages here, attesting to the 1900 quote from a New York journalist that Vanderbilt was “the best read man in the country.”
The Library's Pellegrini ceiling painting, The Chariot of Aurora, came from the Pisani Palace in Venice.
From Biltmore House, it's a short walk to the gardens.
More info for you about the Biltmore House:
Take a guided tour of additional areas of the house not opened for the self-guided tour.
See our Biltmore Intro for details on visiting, including information on the Winery, Gardens, Events, Antler Village, hiking and the outdoors and more!
Download a PDF of the Biltmore House Room-by-Room Guide.
Go to the Biltmore Estate Web site to buy advance discount tickets!