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University of Virginia in Charlottesville - Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville

Charlottesville, United States

The University of Virginia in Charlottesville is a prestigious institution located in the charming city of Charlottesville, United States. Founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, the university has a rich history and is known for its academic excellence and beautiful campus.

The university offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in various fields such as business, education, engineering, law, medicine, and liberal arts. With over 16,000 students from all 50 states and 148 countries, the university is a diverse and inclusive community that fosters intellectual curiosity and personal growth.

One of the highlights of the University of Virginia is its renowned faculty. The university boasts of having numerous Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and Guggenheim Fellows among its faculty members. These distinguished professors are committed to providing a top-notch education to their students and are actively involved in cutting-edge research and scholarship.

The university's picturesque campus is spread over 1,682 acres and is home to stunning architecture, lush greenery, and historic landmarks. The iconic Rotunda, designed by Thomas Jefferson himself, serves as the centerpiece of the university and is a must-see for visitors. The university also has modern facilities, including state-of-the-art research laboratories, libraries, and sports facilities, providing students with a well-rounded academic experience.

In addition to its academic offerings, the University of Virginia also has a vibrant campus life. With over 800 student organizations, there are endless opportunities for students to get involved in extracurricular activities and pursue their passions. The university also hosts numerous cultural events, performances, and guest lectures, making it a hub of intellectual and cultural exchange.

Overall, the University of Virginia in Charlottesville is a highly esteemed institution that offers a well-rounded education, exceptional faculty, and a vibrant campus life. It is a place where students can grow academically, personally, and culturally, and prepare for successful futures.

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.

Monticello ( MON-tih-CHEL-oh) was the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson, a Founding Father, author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third president of the United States, who began designing Monticello after inheriting land from his father at age 14. Located just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, in the Piedmont region, the plantation was originally 5,000 acres (20 km2), with Jefferson using the forced labor of Black slaves for extensive cultivation of tobacco and mixed crops, later shifting from tobacco cultivation to wheat in response to changing markets. Due to its architectural and historic significance, the property has been designated a National Historic Landmark. In 1987, Monticello and the nearby University of Virginia, also designed by Jefferson, were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The current nickel, a United States coin, features a depiction of Monticello on its reverse side.

Jefferson designed the main house using neoclassical design principles pioneered 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 ideas of his own. Situated on the summit of an 850 ft-high (260 m) peak in the Southwest Mountains south of the Rivanna Gap, the name Monticello derives from Italian meaning "little mountain". 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 slaves who worked in the home; gardens for flowers, produce, and Jefferson's experiments in plant breeding—along with tobacco fields and mixed crops. Cabins for slaves who worked in the fields 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. After Jefferson's death, his daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph, apart from the small family graveyard, sold Monticello for $7,500. In 1834, it was bought by Uriah P. Levy, a commodore in the U.S. Navy, for $2,500, (~$81,513 in 2023) who admired Jefferson and spent his own money to preserve the property. His nephew Jefferson Monroe Levy took over the property in 1879; he also invested considerable money to restore and preserve it. In 1923, Monroe Levy sold it for $500,000 (~$6.96 million in 2023) to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (TJF), which operates it as a house museum and educational institution.