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by Amber Autumn
August 1, 2005
On the other side of the fountain from Celtic Heritage is Thomas Kinkade's. The shop has features of romantic realism in his paintings, as he is dubbed the Painter of Light. Mostly new artwork is displayed in this gallery. There are nightlights, mouse pads, notebooks, and his paintings sold there. For any lover of Thomas Kinkade, this is an excellent place for the perfect souvenir. Upstairs is another part of the gallery where you can see his outdoor paintings. Stained-glass windows pour light into the front room, making the Painter of Light's cottage truly luminary.
From journal Must-See Gatlinburg
Celtic Heritage is inside the Village, a shopping district with a nostalgic charm of another time in an Old World Setting. Fountains and 27 unique shops are around each corner. You can see this if you look through the Archway on the Parkway near the Pancake Pantry. When you go to the left alley near the first fountain, past the Donut Friar shop, you find yourself at another fountain, and on the left of this is where Celtic Heritage is.
You are greeted by airy Celtic music when you step through the store. Magnet coats of arms with people's names are on a rack. Celtic charms and crosses decorate the walls, and Guinness beer and other stuff are near the books and music. There was even a book about Scottish weddings, too. Fine jewelry and handcrafted gifts can also be found.
January 20, 2004
One step through the arched passage way and we were back in our favorite European village with 27 wonderful and unique shops for us to plunder. Cobblestone streets led to alcoves and tiny cluttered alleyways where art studios and Christmas shops lay in wait. There were clay pots at every door and terraced gardens sprouted masses of petunias and brilliant impatience. In the center square, wrought-iron tables clustered under shady trees beside red telephone booths and peaked gazebos. Salvaged church pews stood sentry at carved doors under heavy roof slates. Couch lights for street lamps lined the paths and hung from massive doorframes around ornate molding. Blazing hanging baskets hung from each façade. It felt like an old and different world.
Wrought-iron hooks held gilded business signs for shops like The Silver Tree(the place for the silver lover) and The Candle Cottage (where they sell every size, shape, and fragrance of candle you could need). We moved from the Jelly Jar to Garden Gate and then to the Hofbrauhaus, where we took respite in the second floor restaurant over the Cheese Cupboard below. Old World elegance oozes from these tidy shops. The Hayloft, a Gatlinburg tradition, offered up Western wear, while Verbena’s delved out pampering for the body, bath, and the home. After a stroll through the Thomas Kinkade Gallery and admiring the calligraphy in the Alice Moore Gallery, we had to admit we could not visit them all. Even my credit card would not hold out that long, but I just had to visit Cattitudes. Yes, it is all about cats -- they sell hundreds of items with a cat painted, sewn, or stamped on every one. But who can forget the signature shop, The Day Hiker, because this is where you find everything you need for that glorious hike through the Smoky Mountain National Park.
We took a rest in Fountain Square beneath bright umbrellas, I with a cool drink and Bob with a latte from Coffee and Company. It was so easy to believe we were some place we were not. Even the shoppers seemed to have slowed down and spoke in hushed tones. Was that another language I heard? We just people watched and they watched us I am sure. Just when we thought it would all is like this we followed Primrose Walk deep into the village and suddenly it became a modern parking lot just beyond the trees. Just like in the Great Smoky Mountain Nation Park or Disneyland the fantasy ends at the gate and here comes the modern world. The Village slogan is "Look for the Archway on the Parkway" and you can check out their website here.
From journal "On Top of Old Smoky"
January 14, 2003
If you have time walk along the back road called River Road. There is usually less people and traffic. Most shops are accessible from this road up to the main street. Along the way you may see flocks of Mallard ducks, they are very friendly, take along some bread they love to be fed.
From journal Gatlinburg, TN my childhood getaway