Enter the Stable Courtyard

The day’s sunlight is shaded as we pass under the arched Porte Cochere.  Horse drawn carriages arrived and departed from under this gateway to the Stable Courtyard.  Red bricks formed the courtyard floor leading up to the 12,000 square foot stable. No longer filled when 19th century transportation the courtyard today takes on the atmosphere of an outdoor café.  Passing thru an arched doorway large enough to accommodate a carriage we follow the red brick road into the interior of the stable. Up to 25 horses and 20 carriages were sheltered at the stable around the turn of the 20th century.  No longer housing horses, the stable has been transformed into several shops and a uniquely styled restaurant.  The actual stalls now hold dining booths, the ambiance is quite unique, the food delicious.

Stables at Biltmore Estate Stables at Biltmore Estate

Leaving the comfort of the Stable Courtyard we head towards the terrace on the opposite end of Biltmore House, about a city block away.  Passing from end to end the front of the house becomes our primary focus. The height is overwhelming, the stonework captivating.  Out here we can examine the exterior architecture of certain interior rooms such as the glass roofed Winter Garden and the Grand Staircase as well as the four-story 375-foot long front facade. 

To ward off demon spirits of the air, you’ll find stone gargoyles on the crowned roof of the main entrance and two marble lions act as sentries to the entryway.  Mounted along the outside of the Grand Staircase tower, are knights in armor, both male and female guardians of the famed castle walls. 

The lush green Front Lawn rolls out a great distance from the Biltmore House, until it arrives at a graduated stairway of rough-cut limestone. A second tree lined lawn rises up an incline that takes you to a statue of Diana, Goddess of the Hunt located at the summit.

Continuing our stroll, we soon round the south wing on Biltmore House and arrive at the Library Terrace. The shaded canopy of Wisteria and Trumpet Creeper, along with the surrounding expanse of mountains and valleys offer a unique setting for reading or meditating, a very inspiring atmosphere.

From here, steps lead down to the South Terrace, an open court that stretches out a great distance ending at a limestone teahouse with a commanding view of the distant mountains bordering the horizon. 

South Terrace Court at Biltmore

The South Terrace Court was originally used as a bowling green and for recreational gatherings. There’s playfulness in the air on the South Terrace, a sense of mischief and abandonment that’s noticeably depicted in the statues boarding the court.

There is a statue of a cherub beckoning the sun with grapes, and a wanderer and his canine companion on their way over the next horizon. An ethereal being works the charms of his woodwind instrument, luring the adolescent guests to come and play, distancing themselves from their inhibitions and the responsibilities of daily life, for fun and games.  Then there is the white goddess with child, dancing down the steps from the great house, tossing aside worry and concern, conquering the beast displayed in the drape of a lioness skin. 

From the open terrace both the south and west sides of Biltmore House can be viewed. The house takes the dramatic shape of steep castle towers with stone fortification extending down from balconies and the Loggia Terrace.

A bit of a Midsummer’s Night Dream is about the open Terrace Court.  A sense of joyfulness that fringes on the exotic spirit of the Estate, passionate play in an outdoor wonderland with playful spirits floating down into the garden lands of Biltmore Estate.

Garden Parks at Biltmore Estate
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