Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Estate – UNESCO Site

How did Thomas Jefferson construct such a home in the 18th century? The architecture and design of his Monticello estate is amazing. My first impression of Monticello was – wow! magnificent entry way. The foyer itself is elaborately adorned with American Indian décor; on another wall hangs a couple of animal heads (not sure if he killed these animals himself – this wouldn’t sit right with our PETA folks). The unique thing I liked the most is that every door and room takes you into a different theme within the home. There wasn’t one theme throughout the Monticello. As we walked throughout the Mansion one could not help but notice a European and Egyptian theme to the decor of Jefferson’s home.

In between his study and his sitting room there is a bed. Yep, a bed! Smack dab in the middle of two rooms. The bed in his home all seem small. Was Jefferson a small-built man? Were the people back in the 18th century fairly small-framed? He seemed to have had a fascination with Time. Yes, Time! I asked one of the Guides present in the room, “Why all the clocks in the house? Why a clock over his head above the bed that splits two rooms?” The reply: “Jefferson was a man who wanted to make every minute count in his day.” The clock that was over his bed in the split room has an Egyptian theme. Did Jefferson create this beautiful piece? I decided to ask the Guide. It is actually a piece he bought from Egypt. What was also quite interesting was that Jefferson had three portraits of famous men hanging in his home. These gentlemen? Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Francis Drake and John Locke. Why do YOU think Jefferson thought highly of these three men?

Oh, my! Another room to feast one’s senses upon. The main dining room was setup for six people with Ralph Lauren dishware. The room has magnificent, large, ceiling to floor windows and a medium-sized fireplace. The beauty of this room is the detailed, well-crafted moldings, the blue Wedgwood aragon accent pieces on the fireplace mantle flowing together with the medium wall mirror over the fireplace. But, the most unique decor is the dumbwaiter that is comfortably hidden on both sides of the fireplace. I decided to inspect closely, and all I could think at the time of my observation was “holy *%$@# this man really loved wine, or he enjoyed entertaining his guests.”

The entire estate of Thomas Jefferson’s home (Facebook) is a must-see if you are in the Charlottesville area of Virginia. (It is also the only home inscribed on the global UNESCO World Heritage List, and one of few presidential possessions on the list.)

One can spend an entire day just walking throughout the house, relaxing on the acres of lawn, sitting in Jefferson’s garden and watching the beautiful scenery. We toured the estate during the Wine Festival @ Monticello. It was spectacular! We tasted about 25 different wines from vineyard owners in Virginia, all of which were made using only Virginia-grown grapes.

From UNESCO World Heritage List – Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), author of the American Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States, was also a talented architect of neoclassical buildings. He designed Monticello (1769–1809), his plantation home, and his ideal ‘academical village’ (1817–26), which is still the heart of the University of Virginia. Jefferson’s use of an architectural vocabulary based upon classical antiquity symbolizes both the aspirations of the new American republic as the inheritor of European tradition and the cultural experimentation that could be expected as the country matured.

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