After six years of construction, the Biltmore House opened to family and friends on Christmas Eve 1895. At that time, George Vanderbilt was only 33 -- and single (he married in 1898). His "country retreat" contains 4 acres of floor space, 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, 3 kitchens, an indoor swimming pool and bowling alley -- all (originally) situated on a 125,000 acre parcel of land in Asheville, NC (today it's 8,000 acres). It's really an unbelievable place -- and something I definitely recommend visiting. Depending on when you go, the ticket price can be high, but you can easily spend an entire day touring the house, the gardens, the winery and the trails. An annual pass makes sense if you live in the area. There are often special offers online and ticket prices are always cheaper if ordered online in advance. Click here to visit their website.
About the photos...I always like the effect a wide angle lens has on architecture. It not only can squeeze more real estate into the frame, it also distorts the perspective in interesting ways -- making walls lean dramatically into the center -- and exaggerating the size of objects closest to the camera.