Biltmore House Tour

Biltmore House: Fun Facts

Here are some fun facts about the largest home in the United States. Biltmore House's size and architecture is absolutely amazing. Even after six years of construction by 1,000+ workers, the 250-room castle was not complete when George Vanderbilt opened it in 1895. Work continued 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. He married Edith in 1898. It was definitely his life's work since he decided to build the estate at age 25 and died too young at age 52. Read more about Biltmore's history.

Biltmore House in snow

The house is a staggering 175,000 square feet (four acres) with 33 bedrooms, 65 fireplaces and 43 bathrooms. Almost 10 million pounds of limestone were used to build it. The entire estate originally covered 125,000 acres (now it's a modest 8,000 acres).

Your self-guided tour covers three floors and the basement. Additional sections of the house can be seen with special guided tours. While there is so much to see, take time to appreciate the amazing art collection. Get a close look at original art by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and John Singer Sargent. Marvel at magnificent 16th century tapestries. Almost all of the priceless objects that you see throughout the house are from George and Edith Vanderbilt’s original collection. The largest room in the house is the Banquet Hall with a seven-story high ceiling and triple fireplace. Take our photo tour inside the house!

In 1930, Cornelia and John Cecil open Biltmore House to the public in 1930, hoping to increase local during the Depression. In 1942 during World War II, Biltmore House stored pricesless art from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Biltmore House Library at Christmas

The Library showcases Vanderbilt’s favorite passion, books. There are more than 10,000 volumes in eight languages here. Take a photo tour of Christmas inside Biltmore House.

George Vanderbilt engaged two of the most distinguished designers of the 19th century: architect Richard Morris Hunt (1828-1895) and landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903). The centerpiece was a four-story stone house with a 780-foot façade—a monument that would rival the surrounding mountains in grandeur. Hunt modeled the architecture on the richly ornamented style of the French Renaissance and adapted elements, such as the stair tower and the steeply pitched roof, from three famous early-16th-century châteaux in the Loire Valley: Blois, Chenonceau, and Chambord. Even after six years, Biltmore House was not complete when George Vanderbilt opened it in 1895; work would continue for years. Its scale continues to be astounding: the house contains more than 11 million bricks; the massive stone spiral staircase rises four floors and has 102 steps. Through its center hangs an iron chandelier suspended from a single point, containing 72 electric light bulbs.

For much more info about things to do on the estate, go to our Biltmore Guide. And download a printed room-by-room guide of Biltmore House.

More about Biltmore

Biltmore House
Experience Biltmore Estate
Take in the grandeur of our country's largest home, the "Downton Abbey" of America. Explore the many rooms inside the house, walk through breathtaking landscapes and gardens, taste vintages at the winery and enjoy fine dining. Take a guided tour for a "behind the scenes" look. If you have been before, discover many new things to do with our detailed insider's guide!
Christmas at Biltmore
Christmas at Biltmore
November 04, 2016 to January 08, 2017
The biggest event of the holiday season. See America's largest home decked out in festive finery. Candlelight Evenings are especially magical. See our extensive guide with tips, photos and details.
Biltmore Winery
Biltmore Winery
Experience Biltmore’s historic winery and savor complimentary tastings, relax at the wine bar and enhance your wine knowledge with specialty tastings and tours. Plus enjoy shopping all Biltmore wines and distinctive products to complete your visit. Located in Antler Hill Village, it's open every day and included in your Biltmore Estate admission ticket.
Biltmore Blooms
Biltmore Blooms
March 18, 2017 to May 25, 2017
This festival of flowers celebrates two months of spring blooms that include 75,000+ tulips, orchids, azalaeas and elaborate floral displays.

How could you spend a winter day at Biltmore? The busy holiday season is over, so it’s the perfect time to consider a quiet and romantic getaway with your valentine to Biltmore in Asheville. During... read more
Stroll 30+ acres of formal and informal gardens adjacent to the Biltmore House, all designed by America's foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted (read... read more
Biltmore House and the Blue Ridge Mountains serve as the backdrop for amazing musical experiences during the annual Biltmore Concert Series each summer. The series offer you an incomparable setting... read more
The Vision
In the late 1880s, George W. Vanderbilt, then a young man of 25, came upon the perfect spot in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains for a 250-room French Renaissance chateau to be... read more
For fall leaf color seekers, there’s no better place to revel in autumn than on the Biltmore Estate, which is home to some of the region’s oldest and most beautiful trees.... read more