Widgets May 30 ~  Strongest Conjuration Great American Mansions

"Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration." ~ Charles Dickens

Biltmore Estate : The Most Distinguished Private Place A home with strong conjuration, Biltmore Estate is the largest private residence in America, the dream home built in Asheville, North Carolina by millionaire George Washington Vanderbilt (1862-1914), youngest grandson of railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt.

"Home," said writer Helen Rowland, "is any four walls that enclose the right person."

The extraordinary 250-room mansion is nestled amid the Pisgah National Forest in the heart of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, a spot Vanderbilt described as "the most beautiful place in the world."

To build his dream, Vanderbilt hired the renowned architect Richard Morris Hunt and landscape genius Frederick Law Olmsted (who designed New York City's Central Park and the U.S. Capitol grounds).

For designer Christian Lacroix, such elegance "is not to pass unnoticed but to get to the very soul of what one is."

It took 1,000 stonecutters and craftsmen six years to build the elegant castle which overlooks the French Broad River. A tribute to the richly ornate French Renaissance, the spectacular home was opened to guests in 1895.

The Estate extravagantly featured a collection of over 50,000 pieces of art from Renoir, Sargent, Whistler, Boldini, and others, and over 23,000 volumes of books

The spectacular gardens today continues to flourish with a 15-acre Azalea Garden, over 50,000 tulips, and the finest English rose garden in America.

"Not even all that has been said prepared me for this place, its beauty, its splendor, its amazing possessions!" observed writer Sarah Whitman in 1894. "I have walked about it and measured the towers thereof and it is one long tale of delight."

Amazon Best SellersHome resonates magic.