I’m excited to share pictures from the morning Bjorn and I spent at Monticello in Virginia. This was one of my favorite Virginia excursions, by far! Bjorn and I lived in Virginia for the entire summer after we got married (more on why here), and although I did put up a post about Monticello over a year ago, the post I’m sharing with you today is full of photos that I’ve culled through and finally edited!
On a Saturday, Bjorn and I drove to the western part of the state to visit Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. I’m a sucker for beautiful home architecture as well as lovely gardens, and this place had both for us to explore! We felt that the tours were really well done – the only downside was that we couldn’t take pictures inside the estate. One of the things that these historical sites have in common is a Visitor Center to start at, with a 20-minute or so educational video. Bjorn, of course, knew most of the info already, but it offered me a great head start on the history of the place!
Monticello (the last 2 syllables are pronounced like the instrument) was designed and continually re-designed by Thomas Jefferson. It was his beloved retreat from the world, high up in the hills of Virginia. Jefferson loved tweaking the architecture over the years, working on the grounds, filling the home with objects dedicated to his love of lifelong learning, and spending quiet time relaxing and soaking up the surrounding views. I’m including some of my favorite quotes from Jefferson about his home.
1787 August 12. (Jefferson to George Gilmer) “I am as happy no where else and in no other society, and all my wishes end, where I hope my days will end, at Monticello. Too many scenes of happiness mingle themselves with all the recollections of my native woods and fields, to suffer them to be supplanted in my affection by any other.”
^^ The front entrance ^^
^^ The fish pond – fish that were caught earlier were kept in this pond until needed for meals later 🙂 ^^
^^ The back of the estate ^^
^^ The large kitchen ^^
^^ Quill pen practice! (And of course, my husband writes “When in the course of human events…” like a history stud, while I lamely write just my name!) ^^
^^ Overlooking the huge gardens. Jefferson also had a vineyard and orchards. ^^
Jefferson wrote: “From breakfast, or noon at the latest, to dinner, I am mostly on horseback, Attending to my farm or other concerns, which I find healthful to my body, mind, and affairs.”
1786 October 12. (Jefferson to Maria Cosway) “And our own dear Monticello, where has nature spread so rich a mantel under the eye? mountains, forests, rocks, rivers. With what majesty do we there ride above the storms! How sublime to look down into the workhouse of nature, to see her clouds, hail, snow, rain, thunder, all fabricated at our feet! And the glorious Sun, when rising as if out of a distant water, just gilding the tops of the mountains, and giving life to all nature!”
^^ View of the Virginia hills from the gardens in back ^^
Thomas Jefferson dearly loved his Albermarle County estate. We spent several happy, sunny hours walking the grounds and touring the house. Monticello was Jefferson’s retreat from the political world, and I can see why he loved it so! We highly recommend a visit to this estate if you’re in Virginia.
Click HERE to learn more about Monticello. Have you ever visited this location? Do you have any other historical-site recommendations for us?