Last month, I headed down to Charlottesville, Virginia, with my family to visit Monticello, the home and plantation of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and the author of the Declaration of Independence. According to our tour guide, the plantation is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is recognized not for the historical significance of its former occupant, but for its architectural significance. Thomas Jefferson was an innovative architect and for his home at Monticello, he mixed various architectural styles and included many of his own innovations.
After visiting Monticello, we headed down to visit the University of Virginia. The school was founded by Thomas Jefferson and he designed some of the first buildings, including The Rotunda, which you can see in the following two photos.
According to Wikipedia, The Rotunda "was designed by Thomas Jefferson to represent the 'authority of nature and power of reason' and was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. Construction began in 1822 and was completed shortly after Jefferson's death in 1826. The grounds of the new university were unique in that they surrounded a library housed in the Rotunda rather than a church, as was common at other universities in the English-speaking world. The Rotunda is seen as a lasting symbol of Jefferson's belief in the separation of church and education, as well as his lifelong dedication to both education and architecture."
Keywords: architecture, Charlottesville, Monticello, Rotunda, Thomas Jefferson, University of Virginia, Virginia
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