The Biltmore, America’s largest house, is lavishly decorated for the holidays each year. The 250-room French Renaissance chateau took six years and 1,000 men to build and is a National Historic Landmark open to the public today.
It takes a staff of 1,800 over a month to light and decorate over 100 Christmas trees, hang 10,000 feet of fresh garland, miles of ribbon and hang thousands of ornaments for the more than 300,000 visitors that visit during the holiday season.
In the 19th century, it was rare to decorate the outside of the home. In a nod to modern tradition, the lions are now decorated for the holidays with fresh wreaths and swags of garland decorate other exterior elements.
It takes about 45 people to raise the 35-foot live Fraser fir in the 72-foot high Banquet Hall of Biltmore House every holiday season. They must be especially careful to not damage the chandeliers or priceless tapestries. A tree has been placed in the Banquet Hall every year since 1895 when George Biltmore first welcomed guests to the house on Christmas Eve. In subsequent years, the couple welcomed family, friends and the estate’s employees into the Banquet Hall for the annual Christmas party. Each child who lived on the estate at that time received a gift from the Vanderbilt family.
“This year’s Christmas displays throughout Biltmore House, the gardens and grounds follow an art motif, with inspiration coming from various art forms found in and around Biltmore House. Each decorated tree and its complementing display pieces are designed to accent a particular piece of art found in a room, or composed around an expression of art such as the literary arts or music.”
The photos in this post were taken in 2012 and can be found at Romantic Asheville along with many more.