Monticello was the home of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, third President of the United States and noted architect and inventor. Jefferson began construction on his 'little mountain' home in 1769 and, after remodeling and enlarging the house, finally finished 40 years later in 1809.
The home is about 11,000 square feet with a total of 43 rooms in the entire structure. The grounds consist of gardens, orchards and vineyard that were once part of a 5,000 acre plantation.
Jefferson died in 1826 more than $107,000 in debt, and his heirs were forced to sell Monticello and most of its contents. During the Civil War, the Confederacy seized and sold the property. After many years the property was returned to its rightful owner, Jefferson Monroe Levy, who in 1923 sold it to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.
The newly opened Visitor Center complex contains a ticketing and visitor information counter, cafe with indoor and outdoor seating and a spacious gift shop. The center also features four interactive exhibit areas, an introductory film 'Thomas Jefferson's World,' and the Griffin Discovery Room where children can explore Jefferson's life and times through hands-on elements and activities.
Same-day tickets can be purchased at Monticello's Ticket Office. Because Monticello uses timed ticketing to expedite the house tour process, it's recommended that visitors purchase tickets in advance to ensure their preferred tour time and avoid (sometimes lengthy) waits for the next available tour. Reserved tickets can be purchased up to two hours in advance online at www.monticello.org. Visitors should plan on arriving at least 30 minutes before their reserved tour time.
Please Note: Photography and video recording are allowed on the grounds of Monticello but are prohibited inside the house. Large strollers are not permitted in the house; small strollers are available for use at the Visitor Center.