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Good For Kids

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A reflecting pool near the house offers a good spot for a photo.
Photo Credit: guyonthego


931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway Charlottesville, VA 22902
Open 9-6, 7 days a week & closed Christmas. Last tour starts at 5:10.
434-984-9800 Half day
July 2012 Summer, Fall, Spring
$10-29 Charlottesville Virginia
Website Historical Homes
First review
Monticello is world famous as the home and plantation of Thomas Jefferson, one of the greatest Americans who ever lived and a champion of liberty, democracy and knowledge. Jefferson styled the house to reflect his architectural tastes and European designs. The house is approximately 11,000 square feet with three floors of living space. Monticello means little mountain in Italian and there are good views of nearby areas, including of the University of Virginia, which Jefferson founded. Facilities include a museum, restaurant and gift shop.

Construction on Monticello began in 1768 and it was redesigned by Jefferson over his life. The house has a neoclassical architectural theme and reflects Jefferson’s fondness of efficiency, symmetry and modesty. After Jefferson died, Monticello was acquired by Uriah Levy who deeply respected Jefferson. Levy and his nephew committed their wealth to preserve Monticello and later facilitated its ownership to a non-profit foundation.

The main house tour is 30 minutes and includes 5 rooms on the first floor only. While some aspects of the tour were interesting, such as Jefferson’s scientific and technical innovations, overall it was rushed, formulaic and cursory. For an extra cost, the behind the scenes tour has fewer people and includes more of the house. Also, the ticket still covers a basic tour. The gardens tour in summer was exceedingly boring is not recommended. However, the museum displays provide insightful information on Jefferson and his times. While the main tour was perfunctory, a visit to Monticello is still worthwhile. One can gain a richer perspective on Jefferson’s singular talents and noble ideals by seeing how he lived. Monticello is better suited for adults than for kids and will most appeal to history buffs.
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