From 2011/12/28 to 2011/12/31

-- From Washington, DC to Richmond, VA




The road tracklog 
From Washington, DC to Richmond, VA
from 2011/12/28 to 201/12/31


Virginia had been occupied for more than 5,000 years. Several thousands Native Americans were on the territory when Captain Smith arrived in 1607, he founded Jamestown, the first English settlement. The state was called after Elisabeth I, Virgin Queen. In 1610 the majority of the first settlers had died from starvation or disease. In the absence of gold John Rolfe discovered the richness of the area, tobacco, which was at the origin of a feudal aristocracy of whom George Washington as well as the importation of the first slaves from Africa. It made secession in 1861 and was the epicenter of the Civil War.


December 29 after having left College Park I arrived in Charlottesville at the beginning of afternoon where I collected booklets at Visitor Center. The target of this detour was to see Monticello, a hill where Thomas Jefferson built his manor in 40 years of reflection and modifications. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the Union and the writer of the Declaration of Independence. He was a great landowner having up to 200 slaves as well as an enthusiast intellectual of arts and letters, technology and architecture. After the death of his wife, he had close relations with a slave, Sally Hemings. DNA tests carried out in 1998 between Jefferson and Hemings indicate that he would be the father of her four children. His life and work explain if not justify one of the U.S. paradoxes. The first sentence of the Declaration testifies some:

" … all men are created equal,… Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…"

Of course Blacks, Indians and Women were excluded from.

The house is worth visiting only with guided tour, No photo inside. It is the only one listed in the World Heritance. Its establishment at the top of a hill, its architecture inspired by the Palladio's Rotonda where Joseph Losey shouted Don Giovanni by W. A. Mozart en 1979, the terraces on hillside in the "L" shape under which the dependencies with impedimenta and servants are hidden not to block the landscape view, testify there too to the personality of Thomas Jefferson. The visit with comments is made quickly, groups follow one another every 10 minutes.

Thomas Jefferson

East Façade


West Façade



The day before, due to the late hour, I had not visited the museum at the Visitor Center. I thus returned to Monticello the next morning. This detour was not in vain. The architectural explanations of the construction of the mansion are an essential complement to its visit, it is worth to traverse it before. A room is devoted to the conquest of freedom as well in America as in other parts in the world with a splendid wall of video pictures. Finally on the second floor various documents of the era give full information on the Thomas Jefferson's life and work.

Appomattox, April 9, 1865

In the early afternoon I arrived at Appomattox Court House, place of surrender of General Robert E. Lee to the General Ulysses S. Grant. All things being equal it was Waterloo for the southern army with an enormous difference, soldiers of both armies went to their home and the Union was re-born leaving 600,000 soldiers dead on the battlefield for five years of war.


Richmond is the capital of the state since the 1780 then capital of the Confederate States of America, CSA, from 1861 to 1865. The city is furrowed with turnpikes where it is necessary to throw $0,70  at exit in a basket to open the barrier. Virginia State Capitol, one of most beautiful of the USA, was designed by Thomas Jefferson according to canons of the Palladio's Four Books of Architecture. But contrary to the information given by Visitor Center, it was closed, no visit.

Virginia State Capitol

White House of The Confederacy

The White House of the Confederated States of America is worth visiting only with guided tour, No photo, a cerberus in dress followed the group. It was skillfully restored with furniture of era according to wishes' of President Jefferson Davis.

The Museum of The Confederacy

Beside The Museum of The Confederacy exhibits causes of the Civil War, constitution of the southern army, its battles and its surrender at Appomattox, a bloody page of USA history.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

In the afternoon I traversed the rooms of Virginia Museum of Fine Arts housed in a remarkable modern building. The climax is creations by Fabergé workshop in St Petersburg of which very famous imperial Easter eggs for the ruling Romanov family. The museum has five among fifty produced before the closing of the workshop after the October Revolution.

Imperial Rock Crystal Easter Egg

Imperial Peter The Great Easter Egg

Imperial Red Cross Easter Egg

Imperial Pelican Easter Egg

Imperial Czarevich Easter Egg

Easter Egg

African art, is represented by exceptional items in particular the vision of the turning, cycling, energy of the universe, Dikenga. As to accustomed I spent much time in the rooms devoted to painting without forgetting the collections of Art Deco and Art Nouveau.

African Masks

Triptych, Virgin and Child, Ethiopia, 17th century

Landscape with Cephalus &  Procris by Keirincx

Lotus and Laurel by Prellwitz

La Bièvre, Paris, by Lépine

The Barracks at Montmartre by Utrillo

Finally I overviewed the exhibit of Wertheimer's photographs devoted to Elvis Presley, No photo, that shown comes from the booklet. This sunny day had spent indoor.

Richmond, le 2011/12/31

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