Fall view of the rotunda from the lawn

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Welcome

The Rotunda at the University of Virginia was designed by Thomas Jefferson as the architectural and academic heart of the University’s community of scholars. He named the University’s original buildings the “Academical Village.” As the phrase suggests, the Academical Village is based on the Jeffersonian principle that learning is a lifelong process, and that interaction between faculty and students is vital to the pursuit of knowledge.

Jefferson modeled the Rotunda after the Pantheon, a second-century temple in Rome. Construction began in 1822 and was completed in 1828, two years after Jefferson’s death on July 4, 1826. Built at a cost of almost $60,000, it was the last structure to be finished on the Lawn. Together with Monticello, the Academical Village is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Hours of Operation

The Rotunda is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Historical Tours: Regular historical tours are offered at 11 a.m. every day during the academic year (except home football game days) and leave from the Rotunda's Lower East Oval Room. Tours are free of charge.

Student Study Hours: During fall and spring semesters the Rotunda is open to students for studying from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday - Tuesday, and until midnight during exams.

For more information about visiting the Rotunda, please call 434-924-7969.

In the News

Lighting of the Lawn 2022

This year’s theme for Lighting of the Lawn is Full Power. The past few years have presented us with many challenges at UVA, yet through it all our community has remained strong. This year, UVA is back to its full potential and there is a renewed energy of excitement that we can

The Bigger Picture: Starry Night in the Rotunda

The Rotunda Dome over the weekend became the planetarium that University of Virginia founder Thomas Jefferson envisioned in his early plans, but never realized. It took modern digital technology to create the centuries-old night sky that visitors viewed in a special open house, while they

Ph.D. Students Transform Rotunda Into Planetarium, Realizing Jefferson’s Vision

The night sky is being recreated in the Rotunda’s Dome Room for a limited time, thanks to a trio of University of Virginia Ph.D. candidates – not from astronomy or computer science, but from the English department. 

Events

December 6, 2022
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4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
University of Virginia Rotunda - Dome Room

Join the UVA Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy program for this Ambassador Series event with His Excellency Juan Gabriel Valdés, Ambassador of Chile to the United States.

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This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.
Thomas Jefferson, 1820