Monday, June 28, 2010

Brandywine Valley Trip: Nemours Mansion and Gardens

Unlike Winterthur, I wasn't able to take interior shots of the Nemours Mansion. It's vastly different though, from the pictures I shared of Winterthur Saturday. Much more lavish, and ornate, the ceilings are gilded, the floors and stairs clad with marble. These interior photos are from the website:

I'm so happy that this photo was available on the website, as it truly was my favorite of the ones that are available for tour on the main floor. This library is stunning, don't you think? The stone hearth, the gorgeous rug, the warm rich cabinetry and furniture - not to mention those tapestry covered upholstered pieces. GORGEOUS! I don't quite get the rabbit pillow on the sofa though. I noticed that in the second scan of the room (in person) and thought - what the heck? I meant to ask the docent, but it escaped me.

Now, the grounds of the Nemours estate, (Alfred I. DuPont) are lovely. A little over-the-top, and definitely more formal than I prefer, but appropriate to the Nemours Mansion, and definitely awe worthy. I probably took 300 pictures, all of which would be perfect to share - but these are some of the best:

Fountains and statues are big part of the formal front lawn at Nemours. The limestone and marble clad structures, perfectly manicured hedges and trees, and beautifully filled iron urns are stunning - and frame the house like an American Taj Mahal.

The main "fountain" wasn't actually a fountain when the DuPont's installed it, but rather a 6' deep, 800,000 gallon swimming pool. Must be nice.

Looking toward the house, behind the statues and fountains in the first second and largest pond on the property. It's impossible to take a bad picture with this symmetry.

The side of the house, another fountain with turtles spraying jets of cool water.

A stone staircase takes you to the formal boxwood maze and the outside portion of the conservatory you saw above.

Notice that lattice. Gorgeous.

We started that morning with Winterthur and ended with the formal gardens of Nemours. Two tours of grandeur and garden beauty made it hard to head back to the hotel ... but I unknowingly needed the rest, because the tour of Longwood Gardens the day after was going to require a lot of stamina.

I'll start the Longwood Posts and finish up the Nemours Mansion with my smaller vignette shots, which I think turned out pretty well. What do you think so far? Do you see a trip to the Brandywine Valley anytime soon? Have you already been? Do these pictures conjure up visions from your past? Let me know!