The Other Wilmington

After staying home most of the year, we headed to New Jersey this week to visit with friends and family. On the way, we made a one day stop in Wilmington, Delaware to see what the other Wilmington was like. Our main destination was the Nemours Estate, site of the mansion built by Alfred DuPont for his second wife, Alicia. The mansion was built in the late 18th century French style that Alicia adored and was named Nemours after the French town that his great-great-grandfather represented in the French Estates General. The estate contains the largest formal French gardens in North America.

The fountain near the entrance gate to the mansion with a combination water tower and clock tower in the background.
These 18th century English gates were once used at Wimbledon Manor outside of London. The weather was even more beautiful than it looks with low humidity, temperature in the mid 70’s, and a breeze.
The front of the mansion.
Unfortunately, the second floor was closed due to COVID, but the chandelier was very nice.
I particularly liked the woodwork over this fireplace.
The dining room. The chandelier came from Shonnbrun Palace in Vienna, Austria
The music room. Alfred loved to compose and play music. He played five different instruments including the violin (his favorite), piano, and the lyre guitar seen in the corner. Unfortunately, he lost his hearing by the time he reached 40, so he could no longer play and enjoy music
We both agreed we would spend most of our day in the garden room – bright and great views of the gardens. There were no birds in the two large birdcages.
The formal garden.
Elk statues were at the top of the Long Walk from the front of the mansion to the Temple of Love at the end.
The reflecting pool with the Colonnade in the background
Looking back up The Long Walk to the mansion.
One of the statues at the reflecting pool.
The maze garden is below the reflecting pool.
The colonnade is a tribute to Alfred’s great-great-grandfather and great-grandfather.
The Sunken Garden is below the Colonnade. The Long Way reminded us of both St Petersburg and Versailles.

We had a very pleasant lunch on the sidewalk in an older section of town where the streets were lined with row houses. We had smoked salmon on a bagel. Yum!

Our second stop was the Delaware Art Museum. We particularly liked the Chihuly glass in this window.
The museum had a contemporary sculpture garden where our favorite was this modern take on The Thinker.

We had dinner at a seafood restaurant on the water front. While this Wilmington had the better mansion and art museum, our Wilmington has the better waterfront. I can’t say enough about how nice the weather was!

3 thoughts on “The Other Wilmington”

  1. Thanks, spectacular. I visited there once as a child. We don’t have many estates like that in America. They are certainly more prevalent in Europe. Have to get to Ashville.

  2. Thanks, Bruce. I knew nothing about this place, it is fabulous.
    I agree about the garden room, but I might change the flooring!

    Ready to venture outside the U.S. yet? We are in out in the mountains of Santa Fe and feel very safe as masks are required everywhere indoors and their numbers are good.

    1. Even though we live only 40 minutes away in Philadelphia, l had not been to Nemours until a few weeks ago. Luckily we did see the second floor which contained lovely bedrooms each with it’s own bathroom and spectacular views of the gardens. The hot weather prevented strolling in the gardens, but the tram tour was excellent.

      Next time you get this close to Philadelphia, let us know and we’ll get together.

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