Monticello was the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, who began designing and building Monticello at age 26 after inheriting land from his father.

Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and later served as the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809.

The President of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States.



Located just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, in the Piedmont region, the plantation was originally 5,000 acres, with Jefferson using slaves for extensive cultivation of tobacco and mixed crops, later shifting from tobacco cultivation to wheat in response to changing markets.

Charlottesville, colloquially C'ville and formally the City of Charlottesville, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Thomas Jefferson's Castle; Monticello by King Rose Archives


The current Nickel features a depiction of Monticello on the reverse.


Jefferson designed the main house using neoclassical design principles described by Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio and reworking the design through much of his presidency to include design elements popular in late 18th-century Europe and integrating numerous of his own design solutions.

The Italian Renaissance was the earliest manifestation of the general European Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement that began in Italy during the 14th century and lasted until the 16th century, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe.

An architect is someone who plans, designs, and reviews the construction of buildings.


Situated on the summit of an 850-foot -high peak in the Southwest Mountains south of the Rivanna Gap, the name Monticello derives from the Italian for "little mount".

The Southwest Mountains of Virginia are a mountain range centered on Charlottesville, parallel to and geologically associated with the Blue Ridge Mountains, which lie about 30 miles to the west.


Along a prominent lane adjacent to the house, Mulberry Row, the plantation came to include numerous outbuildings for specialized functions, e.g., a nailery; quarters for domestic slaves; gardens for flowers, produce, and Jefferson's experiments in plant breeding — along with tobacco fields and mixed crops.

A dome is an architectural element that resembles the hollow upper half of a sphere.


Cabins for field slaves were farther from the mansion.


At Jefferson's direction, he was buried on the grounds, in an area now designated as the Monticello Cemetery.


The cemetery is owned by the Monticello Association, a society of his descendants through Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson.

The Monticello Association was founded in 1913 to care for, preserve, and continue the family graveyard at Monticello.


After Jefferson's death, his daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph sold the property.


In 1834 it was bought by Uriah P. Levy, a commodore in the U.S. Navy, who admired Jefferson and spent his own money to preserve the property.

Uriah Phillips Levy was a naval officer, real estate investor, and philanthropist.


His nephew Jefferson Monroe Levy took over the property in 1879; he also invested considerable money to restore and preserve it.

Jefferson Monroe Levy was a three-term U.S. Congressman from New York, a leader of the New York Democratic Party, and a renowned real estate and stock speculator.


In 1923, Monroe Levy sold it to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which operates it as a house museum and educational institution.

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation, originally known as the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, is a private, nonprofit 5013 corporation founded in 1923 to purchase and maintain Monticello, the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States.

A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance.


It has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

A National Historic Landmark is a building, district, object, site, or structure that is officially recognized by the United States government for its outstanding historical significance.


In 1987 Monticello and the nearby University of Virginia, also designed by Jefferson, were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A World Heritage Site is a landmark which has been officially recognized by the United Nations, specifically by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The University of Virginia, frequently referred to simply as Virginia, is a public research university and the flagship for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations based in Paris.

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