As this page loads, visitors are treated to an architectural rendering of Thomas Jefferson’s beloved Monticello. This is a lovely beginning to what is a thoroughly engaging and enriching online experience. From the homepage, visitors can explore the center of his Monticello plantation in glorious detail. What is perhaps most remarkable is that the mapping interface used to explore this area is rather user-friendly, along with containing a diverse set of data points that allow users to learn about the various elements of the built environment in the area. Not surprisingly, all of this is accompanied by brief essays on the general history and development of this famed complex. Next, visitors absolutely must take a look at the “explore the house” feature, where they can wander around a 3-D recreation of Jefferson’s architectural masterpiece and learn about the objects and fascinating stories associated with this palatial home. As if that wasn’t enough, visitors can also take three different tours that explore the home, domestic life at Monticello, and the gardens and grounds, all led by experts who work on the premises. Short of visiting the home itself in Virginia (which isn’t a bad idea), this is certainly the next-best option.
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