Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Jefferson's Monticello

 Monticello - Italian for "Little Mountain"-, the plantation home of Thomas Jefferson, should be a familiar site to people. After all, it is depicted on the back side of the U.S. nickel (five cent coin). We recently had the good fortune to visit this beautiful estate, which was designed by Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, 3rd President of the United States. It is located just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, and is the only historic house in the U.S. on the United Nations' World Heritage List.

Built on a hill, with 360 degree views of the surrounding land, today the estate is owned and operated by The Thomas Jefferson Foundation. It is open to the public every day except for Christmas. We went on a beautiful June morning, and the flowers in the garden were in full bloom.  After taking a guided tour of the house, visitors are free to roam the grounds. Unfortunately photograhy is not allowed inside the building, so the only pictures I can share with you were taken outside. We explored the gardens and remains of the slave buildings on our own, but thare are also guided tours that start at regular intervals.
The back of the house faces a large lawn.
Extensive kitchen gardens on the hillside

The grounds are beautifully maintained

Wildflowers bloom along a garden path

The large lawn makes the substantial house look small

Under the winged walkways flanking the main house are the support buildings

The front entrance of the building 

For more information visit Monticello's official site.

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