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Charlottesville is one of the jewels of Virginia, possessing some of the finest examples of early American architecture in the state.

Its historic centre around pedestrianised Main Street, is shaded by magnificent magnolias, making the town a delightful place to stroll.

Thomas Jefferson, who made his home in Charlottesville, took great pride in founding the University of Virginia here, a building that was modelled on the Pantheon and completed in 1821. Today it is recognised as one of the country's most accomplished pieces of architecture.

Perhaps the greatest attraction in Charlottesville, however, is Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's magnificent mountaintop home. President Monroe's home, Ash Lawn-Highland, was built so that he could see Monticello from his front porch whilst President Madison's home, Montpelier, also lies nearby, just 20 miles north of the town.

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