Charlottesville: Wikis


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Charlottesville, Virginia
—  City  —

Nickname(s): C'ville, Hoo-Ville, The Hook[1]
Motto: A great place to live for all of our citizens
Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia
2007 census map of Charlottesville
Coordinates: 38°1′48″N 78°28′44″W / 38.03°N 78.47889°W / 38.03; -78.47889
Country United States
State Virginia
Founded 1762
 - Mayor Dave Norris
 - City 10.3 sq mi (26.6 km2)
 - Land 10.3 sq mi (26.6 km2)
 - Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 594 ft (181 m)
Population (2000)
 - City 45,049
 Density 4,389.7/sq mi (1,695.3/km2)
 Metro 190,278
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 22901-22908
Area code(s) 434
FIPS code 51-14968[2]
GNIS feature ID 1498463[3]

Charlottesville is an independent city geographically located in Albemarle County in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, and named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the queen consort of King George III of the United Kingdom.

The population was 40,745 according to the 2004 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau.[4] It is the county seat of Albemarle County[5] though the two are separate legal entities. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Charlottesville with Albemarle County for statistical purposes, bringing the total population to 118,398. The city is the heart of the Charlottesville metropolitan area which includes Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Nelson counties.

In 2004, Charlottesville was ranked the best place to live in the United States in the book Cities Ranked and Rated by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander. Sperling and Sander ranked the cities based on cost of living, climate, and quality of life. Charlottesville is best known as the home to three U.S. Presidents (Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe), as well as the home of the University of Virginia, which, along with Monticello is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is also known for Jefferson's Monticello, his renowned mountain-top home which attracts approximately half a million tourists every year.[6]


Geography and history

Charlottesville is located in the center of the Commonwealth of Virginia along the Rivanna River, a tributary of the James, just west of the Southwest Mountains, itself paralleling the Blue Ridge about 20 miles to the west. It was formed by charter in 1762 along a trade route called Three Notched Road (present day U.S. Route 250) which led from Richmond to the Great Valley. It was named for Queen Charlotte, the queen consort of King George III of the United Kingdom.

A view of Monticello from its gardens

During the American Revolutionary War, the Convention Army was imprisoned in Charlottesville between 1779 and 1781 at the Albemarle Barracks.[7] On June 4, 1781, Jack Jouett warned the Virginia Legislature meeting at Monticello of an intended raid by Banastre Tarleton, allowing a narrow escape.

Unlike much of Virginia, Charlottesville was spared the brunt of the American Civil War. The only battle to take place in Charlottesville was the Skirmish at Rio Hill, in which George Armstrong Custer was repulsed by local Confederate militia. The city was later surrendered by the Mayor and others to spare the town from being burnt. The Charlottesville Factory, circa 1820-30, was accidentally burnt during General Sheridan's raid through the Shenandoah Valley in 1865. This factory was seized by the confederacy and used to manufacture woolen soldiers' wear. The mill ignited when coals were taken by union troops to burn a near-by railroad bridge. The factory was rebuilt immediately after and known then on as the Woolen Mills until its liquidation in 1962.[citation needed]

The first black church in Charlottesville was established in 1864. Previously, it was illegal for African-Americans to have their own churches, although they could worship in white churches. A current predominately African-American church can trace its lineage to that first church.[8] Congregation Beth Israel's 1882 building is the oldest synagogue building still standing in Virginia.[9]

Historic Court Square

Charlottesville is the home of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory headquarters, the Leander McCormick Observatory and the CFA Institute. It is served by two area hospitals, the Martha Jefferson Hospital founded in 1903, and the University of Virginia Hospital.

The National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) is in the Charlottesville area. Other large employers include Crutchfield, GE Fanuc Automation, PRA International, PepsiCo and SNL Financial.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.3 square miles (26.7 km2), all of it land.[10]

Charlottesville is 115 miles from Washington, D.C. and 70 miles from Richmond

Attractions and culture

Charlottesville has a large series of attractions and venues for its relatively small size. Visitors come to the area for wine tours, ballooning, hiking, and world-class entertainment that perform at one of the area's four larger venues. The city is both the launching pad and home of the Dave Matthews Band as well as the center of a sizable indie music scene.[11]

The Charlottesville area was the home of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. Monticello, Jefferson's plantation manor, is located just a few miles from downtown.[citation needed] The home of James Monroe, Ash Lawn-Highland, is down the road from Monticello. About 25 miles northeast of Charlottesville lies the home of James and Dolley Madison, Montpelier. During the summer, Ash Lawn-Highland also serves as the home of the Ash Lawn Opera Festival.[citation needed]

The nearby Shenandoah National Park offers recreational activities and beautiful scenery, with rolling mountains and many hiking trails. Skyline Drive is a well-known scenic drive that runs the length of the park, alternately winding through thick forest and emerging upon sweeping scenic overlooks. The Blue Ridge Parkway, a similar scenic drive that extends 469 miles south to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, terminates at the southern entrance of Shenandoah, where it turns into Skyline Drive. This junction of the two scenic drives is only 22 miles west of down-town Charlottesville.[citation needed]

Charlottesville's downtown is a center of business for Albemarle County.[citation needed] It is home to the Downtown Mall, one of the longest outdoor pedestrian malls in the nation, with stores, restaurants, and civic attractions. The renovated Paramount Theater hosts various events, including Broadway shows and concerts. Local theatrics downtown are highlighted by Charlottesville's community theater Live Arts, and a new addition, Play On! Theatre. Outside downtown are New Lyric Theatre and Heritage Repertory Theatre at UVa. Other attractions on the Downtown Mall are the Virginia Discovery Museum and a 3,500 seat outdoor amphitheater, the Charlottesville Pavilion. Court Square, just a few blocks from the Downtown Mall, is the original center of Charlottesville and several of the historic buildings there date back to the city's founding in 1762.[citation needed]

Charlottesville also is home to the University of Virginia (most of which is legally in Albemarle County[12]). During the academic year more than 20,000 students pour into Charlottesville to attend the university. Its main grounds are located on the west side of Charlottesville, with Thomas Jefferson's Academical Village, known as the Lawn, as the centerpiece. The Lawn is a long esplanade crowned by two prominent structures, The Rotunda (designed by Jefferson) and Old Cabell Hall (designed by Stanford White). Along the Lawn and the parallel Range are dormitory rooms reserved for distinguished students. The University Programs Council is a student-run body that programs concerts, comedy shows, speakers, and other events open to the students and the community, such as the annual "Lighting of the Lawn."[13][14] One block from The Rotunda, the University of Virginia Art Museum exhibits work drawn from its collection of more than 10,000 objects and special temporary exhibitions from sources nationwide. It is also home to the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School where all U.S. Army military lawyers, known as "JAGs", take courses specific to military law.

Downtown Mall
Mudhouse Coffeehouse on the Downtown Mall

The Corner is the commercial district abutting the main grounds of UVa, along University Avenue. This area is full of college bars, eateries, and UVa merchandise stores, and is busy with student activity during the school year. Much of the University's Greek life is on nearby Rugby Road. West Main Street, running from the Corner to the Downtown Mall, is a commercial district of restaurants, bars, and other businesses.[15]

Charlottesville is host to the annual Virginia Film Festival in October, the Charlottesville Festival of the Photograph in July, and the Virginia Festival of the Book in March.[citation needed] In addition, the Foxfield Races are steeplechase races held in April and October of each year. A Fourth of July celebration, including a Naturalization Ceremony, is held annually at Monticello, and a First Night celebration has been held on the Downtown Mall since 1982.[citation needed]


Charlottesville has no professional sports teams, but is home to the University of Virginia's athletic teams, the Cavaliers, who have a wide fan base throughout the region. The Cavaliers field teams in sports from soccer to basketball, and have modern facilities that draw spectators throughout the year. Cavalier football season draws the largest crowds during the academic year, with football games played in Scott Stadium. The stadium hosts large musical events, including concerts by the Dave Matthews Band, The Rolling Stones, and U2.

John Paul Jones Arena opened in Fall 2006

John Paul Jones Arena, which opened in 2006, is the home arena of the Cavalier basketball teams, in addition to serving as a site for concerts and other events. The arena seats 16,000 for basketball. In its first season in the new arena concluded in March 2007, the Virginia men's basketball team tied with UNC for 1st in the ACC.

Both men's and women's lacrosse have become a significant part of the Charlottesville sports scene. The Virginia Men's team won their first NCAA Championship in 1972; in 2006, they won their fourth National Championship and became the first NCAA Men's lacrosse team to become undefeated Champions. Virginia's Women's team has three NCAA Championships to its credit, with wins in 1991, 1993, and 2004. The soccer program is also strong; the Men's team shared a national title with Santa Clara in 1989 and won an unprecedented four consecutive NCAA Division I Championships (1991-1994). Their coach during that period was Bruce Arena, who later won two MLS titles at D.C. United and coached the U.S. National Team during the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. The Virginia Men's soccer team won the NCAA Championship again in 2009 under coach George Gelnovatch.

Charlottesville area high school sports have been prominent throughout the state. Charlottesville is a hotbed for lacrosse in the country, with teams such as St. Anne's-Belfield School, The Covenant School, Tandem Friends School, Charlottesville Catholic School, Charlottesville High School, Western Albemarle High School and Albemarle High School. Charlottesville High School won the Group AA soccer championship in 2004. St. Anne's-Belfield School won its fourth state championship in ten years in football in 2006. The Covenant School won the state title for boys cross country in 2007-8 school year, the second win in as many years, and that year the girls cross country team won the state title. Monticello High School won the Group AA state football title in 2007. Albemarle High School's boys 4x800 track team currently holds the world record.


Charlottesville is served by Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, the Charlottesville Amtrak Station, and a Greyhound Lines intercity bus terminal. Direct bus service to New York City is also provided by the Starlight Express. The Charlottesville Transit Service provides area bus service, augmented by JAUNT, a regional paratransit van service. University Transit Service provides mass transit for students and residents in the vicinity of the University of Virginia. The highways passing through Charlottesville are I-64, its older parallel east-west route US 250, and the north-south US 29. Also Virginia State Route 20 passes north-south through downtown. US 29 and US 250 by-pass the city. Charlottesville has four exits on I-64.


Rail transportation

Amtrak, the national passenger rail service, provides service to Charlottesville with three routes: The Cardinal (service between Chicago and New York City via central Virginia and Washington, D.C.), select Northeast Regional trains (service between Boston and Lynchburg) and the Crescent (service between New York City and New Orleans). The Cardinal operates three times a week, the Crescent daily in both directions, and the Regional twice per day.

Charlottesville was once a major rail hub, served by both the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O) and the Southern Railway. The first train service to Charlottesville was by the Louisa Railroad Company, which became the Virginia Central Railroad, before becoming the C&O. The Southern Railway started service to Charlottesville around the mid-1860s with a north-south route crossing the C&O east-west tracks. The new depot which sprang up at the crossing of the two tracks was called Union Station. In addition to the new rail line, Southern located a major repair shop which produced competition between the two rail companies and bolstered the local economy. The Queen Charlotte hotel went up on West Main street along with restaurants for the many new railroad workers.

The former C&O station on East Water Street was turned into offices in the mid 1990s. Union Station, still a functional depot for Amtrak, is located on West Main street between 7th & 9th streets where the tracks of the former C&O Railway (leased by C&O successor CSX to Buckingham Branch Railroad) and Southern (now Norfolk Southern Railway) lines cross. Amtrak and the city of Charlottesville finished refurbishing the station just after 2000, upgrading the depot and adding a full-service restaurant. The Amtrak Crescent travels on Norfolk Southern's dual north-south tracks. The Amtrak Cardinal runs on the Buckingham Branch east-west single track, which follows U.S. Route 250 from Staunton to a point east of Charlottesville near Cismont. The eastbound Cardinal joins the northbound Norfolk Southern line at Orange, on its way to Washington, D.C.

There are proposals to extend Virginia Railway Express, the commuter rail line connecting Northern Virginia to Washington, DC, to Charlottesville.[16]


Charlottesville has a main daily newspaper: The Daily Progress. Weekly publications include C-Ville Weekly and The Hook along with the monthly magazines Blue Ridge Outdoors, AlbemarleFamily Living and Albemarle Magazine. A daily newspaper, The Cavalier Daily, is published by an independent student group at UVa. Additionally, the alternative newsmagazine of UVa, The Declaration, is printed every other week with new online content every week. The monthly newspaper Echo covers holistic health and related topics.

Charlottesville is served by most of the major national networks: WVIR 29 (NBC/CW on DT2), WHTJ 41 (PBS), WCAV 19 (CBS), WAHU 27 (FOX), and WVAW 16 (ABC). News radio in Charlottesville can be heard on RadioIQ 89.7, WINA 1070, WCHV 1260, and WVAX 1450. FM stations include WWWV (classic rock) 97.5, WCYK (country) 99.7, WHTE (CHR) 101.9, WZGN (Generations) 102.3, and WWTJ (Tom) 107.5. There are also several community radio stations operated out of Charlottesville, including WNRN and WTJU.

Charlottesville Blogs aggregates many area blogs. Notable blogs are Cvillenews, The Hook News Blog,RealCentralVA CAARBlogand cVillain. Charlottesville Tomorrow and the Free Enterprise Forum Blog cover growth and development issues.


The no. 1 ranked public university on the eastern seaboard according to US News & World Report, the University of Virginia, is located in Charlottesville.

Charlottesville is served by the Charlottesville City Public Schools. The school system operates six elementary schools, Buford Middle School and Charlottesville High School. It operated Lane High School jointly with Albemarle County from 1940-1974, when it was replaced by Charlottesville High School.

Charlottesville also has the following private schools, some attended by students from Albemarle county and surrounding areas:

City children also attend several private schools in the surrounding county.


City Hall

As of the census of 2000, there were 45,049 people, 16,851 households, and 7,633 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,389.7 people per square mile (1,695.3/km²). There were 17,591 housing units at an average density of 1,714.1/sq mi (662.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.56% White, 22.22% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 4.93% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 2.13% from two or more races. 2.45% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.[17]

There were 16,851 households out of which 20.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.2% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 54.7% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.85.[17]

The age distribution was 15.2% under the age of 18, 33.8% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 15.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 87.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.[17] The city's low median age and the "bulge" in the 18-to-24 age group are both due to the presence of the University of Virginia.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,007, and the median income for a family was $45,110. Males had a median income of $31,197 versus $26,458 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,973. About 12.0% of families and 25.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.8% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.[17]

Federally, Charlottesville is part of Virginia's 5th congressional district, represented by Democrat Tom Perriello, elected in 2008.

The state's senior member of the United States Senate is Democrat Jim Webb, elected in 2006. The state's junior member of the United States Senate is Democrat Mark Warner, elected in 2008. The Governor of Virginia is Republican Bob McDonnell, elected in 2009.


The city of Charlottesville has an overall crime rate higher than the national average, which tends to be a typical pattern for urban areas of the Southern United States.[18][19] The total crime index for Charlottesville was 487.9 crimes committed per 100,000 citizens for the year of 2006, the national average for the United States was 320.9 crimes committed per 100,000 citizens.[20] For the year of 2006, Charlottesville ranked higher on all violent crimes except for robbery, the city ranked lower in all categories of property crimes except for larceny theft.[21] As of 2008, there was a total of 202 reported violent crimes, and 1,976 property crimes.[22]

Notable residents

Since the city's early formation, it has been home to numerous notable individuals, from historic figures Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, to literary giants Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner. In the present day, Charlottesville is home to, or has been the home of movie stars Sissy Spacek, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and Sam Shepherd, novelist John Grisham, the poet Rita Dove, NFL Hall of Fame member Howie Long, the rock band Dave Matthews Band, the rock band Silver Jews and its leader David Berman, the rock band Bella Morte, the pop band Parachute, and reality TV star Colin Steers, from the Bravo TV show Make Me a Supermodel[23]. Charlottesville was also the home of Anna Anderson, who claimed to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia and to have survived the massacre of the Russian Imperial Family.

Sister cities

Charlottesville has four sister cities:[24]

In November 2009, Charlottesville, Virginia's City Council voted to add Winneba as a sister city[25].

See also


  1. ^ [1] The Hook FAQ
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Accepted Challenges to Vintage 2004 Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "About the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and Monticello". The Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  7. ^ Moore, John Hammond (1976). Albemarle: Jefferson's County, 1727 - 1976. Charlottesville: Albemarle County Historical Society & University Press of Virginia. ISBN 0813906458. 
  8. ^ "A Brief History of First Baptist Church". Transformation Ministries. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  9. ^ Rediscovering Jewish Infrastructure: Update on United States Nineteenth Century Synagogues, Mark W. Gordon, American Jewish History 84.1 (1996) 11-27 [2]
  10. ^ "Land Area and Population Density: 1990" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  11. ^ Carey Sargent, "Local Musicians Building Global Audiences." Information, Communication and Society, 12 (4); "Interview with Carey Sargent," Feb. 4, 2008.
  12. ^ UVa's main grounds lie on the border of the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Although maps may include this area within the city boundaries, most of it legally is in the county. Exceptions include the University Hospital, built in 1989 on land which remains part of the city. Detailed PDF maps (which may run slowly as they use quite a bit of memory) are available at: "Space and Real Estate Management: GIS Mapping". University of Virginia. Retrieved 2008-04-25.  See also: Loper, George (July 2001). "Geographical Jurisdiction". Signs of the Times. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  13. ^ University of Virginia (2007-12-06). "The University of Virginia's Historic Lawn Lights Up". Press release. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  14. ^ Kuhlman, Jay (2006-12-06). "UVA illumination draws thousands". The Hook. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  15. ^ McNair, Dave (2008-01-17). "West Main Street: Then and Now". The Hook. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  16. ^ "CvilleRail". Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  17. ^ a b c d "DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2006-06-02. 
  18. ^
  19. ^;col1
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Online Directory: Virginia, USA". Sister Cities International. Retrieved 2006-06-02. 
  25. ^ Tasha Kates. "Residents chime in on city clock designs". The Daily Progress. 

External links

Coordinates: 38°01′48″N 78°28′44″W / 38.02990°N 78.4790°W / 38.02990; -78.4790

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Charlottesville [1], in central Virginia, is ranked the number one place to live in the United States of America by Frommers. Charlottesville is a lovely university town of about 40,000 with lots to offer.


Charlottesville is a town steeped in history and culture. Of the eight U.S. presidents who came from Virginia, two — Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe — were from Charlottesville, and two more came from neighboring counties. Central Virginia was a major battlefield during the Civil and Revolutionary Wars. Jefferson, whom locals affectionately call "Mr. Jefferson," continues to cast a long shadow, particularly over local architecture. Many of Charlottesville's public buildings are made of brick and built in a Jeffersonian style, and many private homes are colonial.

The culture of Charlottesville revolves around two points: the University of Virginia and the Historic Downtown Mall. Charlottesville is a major cultural center for central Virginia, and features more fine dining, shopping, and entertainment than one might expect for a town of its size. Ensconced in beautiful Albemarle County, Charlottesville is also surrounded by vineyards and horse country - the best of all worlds. can help you to find the best of everything whether you are visiting Charlottesville or making it your home.

Get in

By plane

Charlottesville Albemarle Airport, (IATA: CHO). The closest airport to Charlottesville. This airport is approximately 10 miles from downtown, so a rental car (Avis, Hertz, or National), taxi, or hotel courtesy shuttle is required. It is often more economical to fly into Washington Dulles (IATA: IAD) or Richmond (IATA: RIC). Richmond is 80 miles away and Dulles is over 100 miles away. Rental cars are available at each and the drive to Charlottesville is straightforward.

By train

Amtrak [2]. Charlottesville is on the Cardinal and Crescent routes. Three southbound trains and two northbound trains stop in Charlottesville each day. The station is on West Main Street, about halfway between the Downtown Mall and the University (3/4 mile to each), but within walking distance of several resturants. Plan to call for taxi service or take the CTS bus or trolley if you are not walking.

By car

The major highways leading into Charlottesville are US-29 and I-64. I-64 is a four-lane interstate leading to Charlottesville from east and west. There is rarely traffic on I-64 near Charlottesville, and the only major hill is crossing Afton Mountain, about 30 minutes west of town. US-29 is an extremely variable road. To the south, it is a four-lane road with frequent curves and at-grade crossings, but few traffic lights. To the north, the road alternates between being a four-lane commercial center with frequent traffic lights and buisnesses and being more similar to US-29 south of town. Traffic on US-29 north of town can be slow or dense at rush hour and around special events in Charlottesville, but speeds below 25mph are rare.

Travel times from nearby cities are:

By bus

Greyhound, [3]. The bus station is on West Main Street, about two blocks east of the Amtrak station. If you are traveling to or from Washington, DC, the train is generally faster, cleaner, and more comfortable than the bus.

Get around

University of Virginia

Getting around the University of Virginia is easy using the free University Transit System (UTS) buses. The Central Grounds area is very walkable, but some areas of campus (called "Grounds" by students) can be over a mile away. From the University to the downtown mall is a walk of 20-30 minutes and there is a free trolley bus that runs in a loop from the University to the Downtown Mall approximately every 20 minutes. It is not easy to find parking around the University area, including the Corner and between 14th Street and Rugby Road. There is a parking garage at the University Bookstore, on Emmet Street, that only fills up during certain University events (e.g., Days on the Lawn).

City of Charlottesville

The city is reasonably well connected by city buses, the Charlottesville Transit System (CTS). Parking in nearly all areas of the city is free and easy to find. Parking at the Downtown Mall will often require paying a modest rate at a lot or parking garage.

Surrounding Area

Transportation outside of the city is best accomplished by car, although taxi or certain buses may be available for some locations. Main roads are well signed and in good repair, but can be hilly and curvy. If traveling to a unusual location or taking a shortcut through smaller country roads, be prepared for unpaved roads, limited signs, and frequent curves.


With the possible exceptions of the airport and the Downtown Mall, you must call for taxi service in Charlottesville. There are several taxi companies in the city.

A & W Taxi Service, William Walker: (434) 882-1822 ABA Taxi: (434) 981-6800 A&A Taxi: (434) 842-4851 A&W Taxi: (434) 882-1822 Accent Taxi: (434) 981-1913 Access: (434) 974-5522 Ariana Transport: (434) 987-6910 [4] Arrow Taxi, James Collier, Jr.: (434) 760-2035 Charlottesville Cab Co: (540) 223-3752 [5] Doni Taxi: (434) 227-2321 Herring Shuttle: (434) 953-6025 Midnight Special: (434) 760-0916 Monticello Cab: (434) 760-0055 New York City: (434) 825-1669 Peter's Shuttle: (434) 760-5740 Ride Rite Airport Service: (434) 327-3815 [6] Shuttle & Safari Taxi: (434) 227-6825 Skyline Cab: (434) 981-0473 Tommy’s Taxi: (434) 242-8959 Star Taxi: (434) 227-2324 Wahoo Taxi: (434) 981-0585 Yellow Cab: (434) 295-4131

  • The University of Virginia [7]. AKA "Mr. Jefferson's University." Quite possibly THE most beautiful college campus on this side of the Atlantic. Walk around the university and visit the Lawn and the Rotunda.
  • Monticello [8], the residence of Thomas Jefferson. The grounds include the house itself, the gardens, servant quarters, and Thomas Jefferson's grave. Open daily, $14 for adults.
  • Ash Lawn-Highland [9], the residence of James Monroe. Open daily, $9 for adults.
  • Michie Tavern [10], an inn dating to 1784, now a museum and restaurant. Open daily.
  • The Downtown Mall. Several blocks in downtown Charlottesville have been closed off to traffic, creating a pedestrian-friendly area full of shops and resturants. The old brick buildings, ecclectic stores, and people make this a great place to walk around. Just north of the Downtown Mall on Park Street is the town hall and some of the oldest buildings in town.
  • The Virginia Discovery Museum [11], on the Downtown Mall, has a variety of child- and family-oriented exhibits. Closed Monday, open until 5PM other days. Admission is $4 for all ages.
  • Dazzling fall colors. For the best sights in the Fall, drive into the hills south of town, or out US-250 West toward Afton Mountain. Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway, west of town off US-250 or I-64, offer some of the best views.
  • Horse and Wine Country. Drive west of town to see farms, fences, and vinyards to make you feel as if you've stepped back into the 18th century. Garth Road is a particularly nice drive.

See Monticello, Ash Lawn-Highland, and Michie Tavern for $26 total with a President's Pass combination ticket.

  • Sterling Taxi (Andy Sterling), 1330 Gristmill Drive (Charlottesville), 434-989-1492, [12]. daytime. An independent taxi cap operator in the Charlottesville and Albemarle area. meter.  edit
  • Hot air balloon rides through Boars Head Country Club.
  • Ice skate year round at the Charlottesville Ice Park.
  • Social/Ballroom: Charlottesville's newest and hottest dance studio is The Dance Oasis located in the Woodbrook Shopping Center behind Kohr Bros. Ice Cream. [13]

USA Dance [14] holds monthly ballroom dances, generally the first Saturday of the month; Zabor Dance [15] has a variety of social dance lessons; Terry Dean's Dance Studio [16] teaches ballroom lessons every weekday; the Charlottesville Swing Dance Society[17] holds monthly dances and free weekly practices (Thursdays); the Swing Club at UVA[18] hosts the Blue Ridge Lindy Exchange swing event (April 18-20 in 2008); the Charlottesville Salsa Club[19] holds a weekly salsa dance on Sundays.

  • Fridays After Five weekly summer time music (downtown) at the newly redone Charlottesville Pavilion.
  • Virginia Festival of the Book in March (March 26-30 in 2008) [20]
  • Charlottesville Dogwood Festival in the spring (April 10-26 in 2008) [21]
  • The Ash Lawn Opera Festival in the summer (July 4 - August 10 in 2008) [22]
  • The Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival in September [23]
  • Virginia Film Festival in late fall [24]
  • The Jeffersonian Thanksgiving Festival in late November [25]
  • The Downtown Mall, Main Street between McIntire Rd. and Avon St., is Charlottesville's best and most eclectic shopping district. The street is open to pedestrians only, is paved entirely with brick, and features fountains, public art, flowering trees, and many benches. Both sides of the street are lined with local boutiques, outdoor cafes and other fine restaurants, three theaters, an ice rink, and the Virginia Discovery Museum [26].
  • Barracks Road Shopping Center, Barracks Road and Emmett Street, [27]. This outdoor shopping center contains higher end stores, as well as mid-level clothing outlets and a variety of inexpensive restaurants. Conveniently located near the University North Grounds.
  • Seminole Square Shopping Center, Over fifty fine shops located on Route 29 just north of Hydraulic Road in Charlottesville. ATA Leadership Martial Arts, Asian Fusion Buffet, Ace Shoe Repair, Andrew Minton Jewelers, Big Lots, Bike Factory of Charlottesville, Bill May Realty Company, Boathouse Row Restaurant, Boy Scout Shop, Burger King, C-ville Oriental, Ci Ci’s Pizza, CosmoProf, Crystal Cleaners, Dover Saddlery, Downtown Athletic, Ebony Images, Edible Arrangements, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Expo Nails, F Stop Photo, Family Christian Stores, Fashion Bug, FastFrame, Giant Food, Hair World, Hobbytown, It's a Stitch, MacGregor Antiques, Maharaja Restaurant, Marshalls, Office Depot, Performance Bicycle Shop, Pete's Pet Forum, Premier Rental Purchase, Professional Optical Service, Race Jewelers, Seminole Carpet & Floors, Seminole Total Health, The Crystal Connection, The Party Starts Here, Tiffany’s Seafood, Tobacconist & Gifts, University Tire and Auto Center, Virginia School of Massage plus many more! Visit our WebSite for maps, store hours and phone numbers, coupons, bus schedules and more! [28] Seminole Square Coupons [29]
  • Pantops Shopping Center, Convenient to Eastern Albemarle and Interstate 64, Pantops Shopping Center is located just east of the Free Bridge in Charlottesville, Aaron Rents, ABC Store, Advance America, Cash Advance, Advance Auto, Alpha Medical Aids, American General Financial Services, Animal Medical Center of Charlottesville, Beauty Nail & Spa, BRIX Terrace Café, Cellular Express, Chic Hair, Dollar Tree, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Food Lion, H & R Block, Insurance Dr. of Charlottesville, Jiffy Lube, Lazy Parrot Grill, Lloyd’s Hallmark Cards, Mid-Atlantic Fasteners, Mountain Kim Martial Arts, Pack N Mail, Pantops Pet Salon, Purrin @ Pantops (SPCA - kittens), RadioShack, Rivanna Gear & Apparel, Roses, Rudy’s Cleaners, Shanghai Chinese Restaurant, Subway, The Party Starts Here, Tuesday Morning. Visit our WebSite for map, store hours and phone numbers, coupons, bus schedules and more. [30] Pantops Coupons[31]
  • Fashion Square Mall, on 29 North, [32]. The main indoor mall, with the usual variety of chain clothing stores, bookstores, department stores, and restaurants.


There are a ton of great restaurants in Charlottesville, offering a variety of cuisines at reasonable prices. Main hubs of restaurants include 'The Corner,' an area of student-friendly shops in a traditional student area right next to the University, and around the downtown mall. From spring through fall, the outside seating on the pedestrian-only outdoor mall is highly recommended.

  • Al Dente. High end Italian, wonderful atmosphere.
  • Bang, 213 Second St. SW. Higher end Asian inspired Tapas.
  • Bashir's Taverna, [33]. Mediterranean cuisine.
  • Bizou. Moderately priced French-influenced comfort food.
  • Blue Light Grill. Fresh seafood and bar.
  • Bluegrass Grill, 313 Second St. Specializing in breakfast.
  • Cafe Cubano. Particularly good for breakfast. Also has Panini.
  • Chaps. Locally made ice cream in an old-style diner. Also burgers etc.
  • Christian's. Gourmet pizza by the slice.
  • C&O, 515 E. Water St. High end Virginia cuisine in a cozy environment. Excellent casual bar downstairs.
  • Downtown Grille. Higher-end grill, surf and turf.
  • Downtown Thai. Cheap-moderate priced Thai cuisine.
  • Escafe. Comfort food with a twist... and a late night crowd.
  • Fellini's #9, 201 W. Market St. Popular gathering place for live music and creative southern Italian food.
  • Five Guys Burgers & Fries. New Downtown Mall location.
  • The Flat: Takeaway Creperie, 111 E. Water St., +1 434-978-3528. Sweet & Savory Crepes, European Style, Delightful Patio, Affordable!
  • Fleurie, on Third St. High end French cuisine.
  • Hamilton's, [34]. Higher-end misc.
  • Himalayan Fusion, +1 434-293-3120. Brings Indian, Nepalese and Tibetan Food to the Downtown Mall. Lunch Buffet.
  • Marco and Luca's. Noodles and dumplings. Super cheap and very popular.
  • Mas, 501 Monticello Rd. (in the Belmont), [35]. Spanish tapas.
  • Miller's. This pub is an institution but is known for its music, not its food. Dave Matthews tended bar here back in the day and met his future bandmates here.
  • Mono Loco, 200 W. Water St. Cuban cuisine.
  • Monsoon, 113 W. Market St. Southeastern Asian cuisine.
  • Mudhouse, [36]. Cozy couches and outside seating make this a popular coffee shop. Baked goods abound.
  • Nicola's Veggies. Organic, raw food. Fresh Salads, Wraps, Juice, Smoothies.
  • The Nook. Great breakfast, burgers, and sandwiches. High Quality products all around.
  • Petit Pois. Classic, casual French bistro.
  • Rapture, +1 434-293-9526. American food, billiards, bar and dance club.
  • Revolutionary Soup, 108 Second St. SW. M-Sa 11AM-8PM. Hearty soups, inspired sandwiches, fresh salads, fancy sodas, local and organic ingredients. Soups are about $5.
  • The Shebeen, 247 Ridge/McIntire Rd. South African restaurant and pub.
  • South Street Brewery, 106 W. South St. This is a brew-pub where they serve what they make on the premises. South St. also serves guest beers, cider, wine and has a full bar. Mix of cheap-moderate food.
  • Ten. High-end sushi and cocktails
  • West Main, 333 W. Main St., 'Virginian' restaurant with several levels with bars etc.
  • Splendoras, +1 434-296-8555, [37].
  • Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. Large selection of gourmet teas, with vegetarian food and hookah.
  • Vita Nova. Gourmet pizza by the slice.
  • Zocalo. Higher end Latin inspired cuisine.
  • Arch's. Located at the lower end of the Corner, closer to the hospital, this small frozen yogurt and salad bar is a Charlottesville favorite! $3-$10.
  • Bodo's Bagels, near Bank of America and Elliewood Avenue. This Charlottesville Bagel Bakery has fast service and yummy food; serving breakfast most of the day. $2-$6.
  • Cafe Europa. Mediterranean food and inventive sandwiches. Vegetarian friendly. The tomato basil soup is highly recommended. Lunch and dinner are $5-$7.
  • College Inn, [38]. Mostly Greek and Italian food. They deliver.
  • Coupe de Ville's. Small restaurant/bar with a varied menu tucked away on Elliewood Ave. Popular bar among undergrads.
  • Fox Park. Independently owned coffee shop behind Baja Bean Co. on Main St. delicious coffee, extensive selection of flavor shots, and free wifi.
  • Lee's International Grill. This small international grill has excellent food--from hamburgers, burritos, soup, and Chinese food. $5-$7.
  • Lemongrass. Good Vietnamese and Thai cuisine with a little twist. Offers a student discount for lunch.
  • Littlejohn's. Open 24 hours. Depending on the hour, serves either breakfast or sandwiches and subs.
  • Mellow Mushroom, +1 434-972-9366. Pizza & Subs. Good pizza, dozens of beers on tap. $2 pints during their happy hour.
  • Michael's Bistro. This establishment, perched above Littlejohn's, offers a wide range of beers and an eclectic menu.
  • Q'doba. Similar to Chipotle, this burrito bar restaurant is also equipped with a comfy back area with a large TV for watching sports.
  • Sakura, near the corner of University Ave and 14th St., +1 434-923-0238. Japanese, including sushi. Delicious food in a calm, mature, relaxing atmosphere (unusual on The Corner).
  • St. Maarten Cafe, [39]. 1400 Wertland St. Island themed bar food.
  • The Sweet Spot, next to the locally famous "White Spot". Sweets (ice cream, milk shakes, etc.) "spot".
  • Take It Away Sandwich Shop, 115 Elliewood Ave. Serves a wide variety of sandwiches on fresh baked bread. Carries a large amount of Potato-chip varieties and drink selections. Limited seating. Popular with UVa students and people who work in the area.
  • The Virginian. Charlottesville's oldest diner is a cozy bar/restaurant featuring burgers, steaks and linguini. Various drink specials throughout the week.
  • The White Spot, on University Ave near the railroad overpass. Lunch-counter style establishment that is another Corner landmark. Locally famous for its Gus Burger, a cheeseburger topped with a fried egg.
  • Boathouse Row Restaurant - Seminole Square, Charlottesville's newest restaurant. Located in Seminole Square Shopping Center next to Cheeseburgers in Paradise. Specializing in seafood, steaks, grills and pasta. Enjoy the lounge. But beware of the large ridiculous boats that hang from the ceiling, they are bound to fall at any time.[40]
  • BRIX Terrace Café - Pantops, a casual eatery with a sophiscated flair, can be found in the Pantops Mountain area in Charlottesville Virginia. Brix Terrace Cafe provides a combination of California cuisine heavily influenced by Mediterranean foods, which does not mean spaghetti ’n’ marinara sauce. Instead, look for antipasti, bruschetta, salad specials and savory, sophisticated fare. In the morning Brix Terrace Cafe serves coffee and pastries, and you can buy bottles of wine too. You will find bruschetta platters, orzo salads and cinnamon rolls. Though lunch will be her focus, the cafe will stay open until 6PM, long enough to catch some after-work to-go customers. The interior of Brix Terrace Cafe will remind you of a Tuscan villa, patio seating, “beautiful real dishes, real napkins, and real silverware.” [41]
  • Lazy Parrot Grill - Pantops, For a family-friendly meal, this is a great place to go. Casual dining experience with 10 TV's for playoff evenings. Lots of good food, with hamburger's, 47 flavors chicken wings and salads galore. NTN Trivia, karaoke, and outdoor seating. Open daily from 11AM-10PM. Under $10 [42]
  • Shanghai Restaurant - Pantops, Full Menu, Exotic Mixed Drinks, Eat In Or Carry Out, Cocktails, Authentic Hunan & Szechuan Chinese Food. Located in Pantops Shopping Center. [43]
  • Tiffany's Seafood Restaurant - Seminole Square, Casual sit-down dining, with full range of seafood dinners, steamed spiced shrimp, crab legs, and oysters and clams on the half shell. Also, steaks and chicken dishes. Lunch and dinner available. M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F & Sat 11:30AM-10:30PM, Sun 5PM-10PM. Range $11-$20. [44]
  • Albemarle Baking Company, in the Main Street Market near the Downtown Mall, +1 434-293-6456, [45]. Charlottesville's artisanal bakery. French-style baguettes, Italian-style ciabatta, rye bread, whole grain, and more - plus they bake pastries, cookies and cakes.
  • Bodo's Bagel Bakery, locations at 1418 N. Emmet St., 404 Preston Ave., and on The Corner.The best bagels south of New York. Really. A Charlottesville institution for nearly 20 years. Located at Great sandwiches, salads, and soup, cheap prices, blindingly fast service, and a trendy atmosphere. For a laugh, ask a local how long it takes Bodo's owner Brian Fox to open each new restaurant. Open until 8PM, 3PM/4PM Sunday. All meals are about $5.
  • The Brick Oven, 1966 Rio Hill Shopping Center, on 29 North. Gourmet pizza, sandwiches, and pasta. Dinner is $8-$10.
  • Crozet Pizza, 5794 Three Notch'd Rd., Crozet (about 15 miles out 250 West), [46]. The best pizza in Albemarle County. Make reservations for parties of 10 or more.
  • CVille Coffee, [47]. Coffee, espresso, sandwiches and noodle bowls. Kid-friendly. Free wireless.
  • Five Guys Burgers (and Fries), in Barracks Road Shopping Center. A popular D.C.-area chain. Its burgers are fresh, filling, and well made. Get a whole meal for under $5.
  • Riverside Lunch, In town location: 1427 Hazel St. Riverside North location: 1770 Timberwood Blvd. A Charlottesville institution. Some consider Riverside to have the best burgers in town.
  • Guadalajara, 29 North, East Market Street (downtown), and Fontaine (near UVA). A local Mexican institution. Entrees are $6-$10. The best in Cville. Try the Pollo con Mole, or Carnitas.
  • L'etoile, on Main Street midway between the Corner and the Downtown Mall, [48]. L'etoile is a fine-dining establishment that serves French-Virginian style food
  • Lime Leaf Cafe, in the Rio Hill center on US 29. This hidden gem serves the most delicious and authentic Thai food in Charlottesville.
  • Maharaja, Seminole Square, 29 North. A full variety of Indian food. Dinner $10-$15.
  • Milan, 1417 Emmet Street, +1 434-984-2828. Wonderful Indian food, spicy and aromatic favorites cooked in authentic tandoori oven. Features a lunchtime buffet. Wide range of favorites, including vegetarian options. $10-$20.
  • Ming Dynasty, 1417 Emmet St., +1 434-979-0909. Traditional Chinese and extensive vegetarian menu.
  • Michie Tavern, down the hill from Monticello. Michie (pronounced Mickey) Tavern is a recreation of a Colonial tavern, where tourists can eat, shop, and tour the buildings.
  • Orzo, also in the Main Street Market, [49]. Wonderful Med style food.
  • Royal Indian Restaurant[50] The best Indian food in the area. Fine dining and friendly, attentive service brought to Charlottesville by owner and head chef Ravi Dahiya. A variety of flavors and sauces with a diverse menu with vegetarian and vegan options using exceptional ingredients including methi (fenugreek) and goat. On Route 29 North near Target - 3450 Seminole Tr.
  • Thai 99. Inexpensive and delicious Thai food. North-end and University-area locations.
  • Vivace, 2244 Ivy Road, +1 434-979-0994, [51]. Italian, with charming indoor or two-tiered patio seating.
  • Wayside Ol' Virginia Fried Chicken, 2203 Jefferson Park Ave., (at the intersection of JPA, Fontaine, and Maury). Just what it says it is. A rare un-yuppified oasis. Pretty good chicken; disappointing dinner rolls, though.
  • Zazu's, 2213 Ivy Rd. Tasty wraps made with fresh ingredients. Wraps are about $5.


Like the eating options, the main hubs are either at 'The Corner', which has a predominantly student crowd, or downtown. Many options at both.

  • Beer Run [52], close to downtown and Belmont, has hundreds of craft beer bottles for sale, 14 rotating draughts, growlers to go, a full restaurant and lively atmosphere with patio seating. Frequent beer tastings and a focus on all natural, organic, local foods.
  • Michael's Bistro on The Corner has one of the best and widest selection of beers in town, and specializes in Belgian and European beers. South Street Brewery (downtown) is a good micro-brewery and restaurant.
  • Mellow Mushroom on The Corner has the most beers on tap of any restaurant in Charlottesville.
  • For wine, both the C&O Restaurant [53] (downtown) and Zocalo [54] (downtown) have excellent selections. enoteca [55] (downtown) is an Italian wine and panini bar, with a very large selection of wines. Fellini's #9 (downtown) also has many Italian wines. Mas Tapas Bar (Belmont) has a good selection of Spanish wines.
  • For beer and wine to go, visit Market Street Wine Shop [56] just off the Downtown Mall and they have an uptown location in Shoppers World near Whole Foods Market.
  • To experience a world of teas in Charlottesville, head over to the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar [57] on the Downtown Mall. Also available is a fine selection of wines, beers and sake. The evenings frequently bring music and cultural activities.
  • Nightclub: R2, a dance club located inside Rapture restaurant; Club 216, a gay and lesbian dance club (that also welcomes straight people) downtown
  • Maya, 633 West Main St (across from the Amtrak station), 1-434-979-6292, [58]. 5-11. Southern comfort food done right. 15-31.  edit
  • Virginian, Corner. open late. Oldest bar at the UVA Corner. A classic, weeknights and weekends, for UVA students aged 18-24.  edit


Full range of options. Hotels fill up early for UVa football and basketball games and for graduation.

The Charlottesville/Albemarle Convention and Visitor's Bureau [59] has a search engine to help you find lodging.

  • Arcady Vineyard Bed & Breakfast, 1376 Sutlers Road (2 miles past Monticello off 732), 434-872-9475, [60]. checkin: 4PM - 7PM; checkout: 11AM. Arcady Vineyard is a wine country B&B designed with the wine lover in mind. Junior suites with king bed, private bath, wine fridge with bottle of sparkling wine, wine & cheese check in, port & chocolate turn down. Full served country-fresh breakfast with room rate. Views of vineyard out back. Transportation (schedule permitting) included the 6.5 miles to downtown for dinner. Wine tour packages available. $220 - $275.  edit
  • Comfort Inn Monticello, 2097 Inn Drive, 1-434-977-3300, [61]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am. Offers guests free deluxe continental breakfast and free wireless high-speed Internet access. 3 miles from Monticello. $80-$200.  edit
  • Courtyard Charlottesville - University Medical Center, 1201 West Main Street, 1-434-977-1700, [62]. Next to UVA and the UVA hospital system/medical center   edit
  • Marriott Courtyard Charlottesville North, 638 Hillsdale Drive, Charlottesville, Virginia 22901, 434-973-7100, [63].  edit
  • Residence Inn by Marriott Charlottesville, 1111 Millmont Street , Charlottesville, Virginia 22903, 434-923-0300, [64]. All suites offer full kitchens, living rooms with pullout sofa beds and work desks with high speed Internet access. Complimentary full breakfast daily, grocery shopping service, on-site laundry and nightly social hours midweek.  edit
  • Mason Lane Cottage, 1618 Mason Ln, 1(720)519-3463, [65]. 2 bedroom cottage for up to 4 people, private yard, full kitchen, and on street parking. No pets/No smokers. $200/night with two night minimum.  edit
  • Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive - Beautiful drives along the Appalachians, with many hiking trails, some of which connect to the Appalachian Trail.
  • Montpelier [66], the home of James Madison, is half an hour north on Route 20.
  • Hike at the Ivy Creek or Ragged Mountain Natural Areas
  • Tube the James River in Scottsville
  • Ski at Wintergreen Resort
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CHARLOTTESVILLE, a city and the county-seat of Albemarle county, Virginia, U.S.A., picturesquely situated on the Rivanna river, 96 m. (by rail) N.W. of Richmond in the beautiful Piedmont region. Pop. (1890) 5591; (1900) 6449 of whom 2613 were negroes. The city is served by the Chesapeake & Ohio, and the Southern railways, and is best known as the seat of the University of Virginia, which was founded by Thomas Jefferson. Here are also the Rawlings Institute for girls, founded as the Albemarle Female Institute in 1857, and a University school. Monticello, Jefferson's home, is still standing about 2 m. south-east of the city on a fine hill, called Little Mountain until Jefferson Italianised the name. The south pavilion of the present house is the original brick building, one and a half storeys high, first occupied by Jefferson in 1770. He was buried near the house, which was sold by his daughter some years after his death. George Rogers Clark was born near Monticello. Charlottesville is a trade centre for the surrounding country; among its manufactures are woollen goods, overalls, agricultural implements and cigars and tobacco. The city owns its water-supply system and owns and operates its gas plant; an electric plant, privately owned, lights the streets and many houses. The site of the city was a part of the Castle Hill estate of Thomas Walker (1715-1794), an intimate friend of George Washington. The act establishing the town of Charlottesville was passed by the Assembly of Virginia in November 1762, when the name Charlottesville (in honour of Queen Charlotte, wife of George III.) first appeared. In 1779-1780 about 4000 of Burgoyne's troops, surrendered under the "Convention" of Saratoga, were quartered here; in October 1780 part of them were sent to Lancaster, Pa., and later the rest were sent north. In June 1781 Tarleton raided Charlottesville and the vicinity, nearly captured Thomas Jefferson, and destroyed the public records and some arms and ammunition. In 1888 Charlottesville was chartered as a city administratively independent of the county.

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