A visit to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina

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A visit to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina (part 2)

The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, has added a winery, hotel, restaurants, shops and an online collection of home and garden products


 
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SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Each room at Biltmore is more beautiful than the last. Many include paintings by famous artists, like French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir and American artist John Singer Sargent. The chairs, beds, and other furniture were made by artists who worked in wood, leather, glass, marble and cloth.

One room was designed for reading. It contains more than twenty-three thousand books in eight languages. Stairs on the side of the room permit visitors to reach books that are kept near the top. The paintings in this reading room are beautiful, too.

RICH KLEINFELDT: Later, we visit rooms below ground level. The people who worked for the Vanderbilt family lived in this lower part.

The Vanderbilts employed about eighty people to take care of the house. This included cooks, bakers, and house cleaners. Other workers took care of the many horses the Vanderbilts owned. Many of these workers lived in the main house, but some lived in the nearby town.

One of the biggest rooms below ground level is the kitchen. And there are separate rooms for keeping food fresh and cold, and for washing the Vanderbilt's clothes.

Past these rooms we find an indoor swimming pool. This area has several separate small rooms where guests could change into swimming clothes.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: We finally come back to the front door of the house. Yet there is still much to see at the Biltmore estate.

To the left of the front door, about fifty meters away, is where the Vanderbilt family kept its horses. It is no longer used for horses, however. It now has several small stores that sell gifts to visitors. Visitors can also enjoy a meal or buy cold drinks and ice cream.

RICH KLEINFELDT: In addition to seeing the main house at Biltmore, you can walk through the gardens. Hundreds of different flowers grow there. A big stone and glass building holds young plants before they are placed in the ground outside.

Past the gardens is the dark, green forest. Trees seem to grow everywhere. The place seems wild. At the same time, there is a feeling of calm order.

There was once a dairy farm on the Biltmore estate. It is gone now. The milk cows were sold. Some of the land was planted with grapes. And the cow barn was turned into a building for making wine.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: As we continue to walk, we come to an unusual house in the forest. The road on which we are walking passes through the house. The house was used many years ago by the gatekeeper.

Visitors traveled from this gate house to the main house. The distance between the two is almost five kilometers. The trees surrounding Biltmore look like a natural forest.

Yet all of the area was planned, built, and planted by the men who designed the estate. None of it is natural.

Now you may have begun to wonder about the history of Biltmore. Who designed it? How did they plan it? How and why was it built?

(To be continued ...)

Grammar notes:

- Turn sth into sth: biến cái gì thành cái gì

And the cow barn was turned into a building for making wine.

- Continue to do sth/ continue doing sth: tiếp tục làm gì

As we continue to walk, we come to an unusual house in the forest.

- Wonder about sth: băn khoăn về cái gì

Now you may have begun to wonder about the history of Biltmore.

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