Rotunda peeking through flowers




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: Historical Tours of the University of Virginia are offered daily when courses are in session, with the exception of home football game days. These tours cover the original University and Lawn area, and they begin in the Lower East Oval Room of the Rotunda, Sunday - Friday at 11 a.m., and Saturday at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.  Additionally, a History of African Americans tour will be offered each Sunday at 3 p.m. Tours are free of charge. No reservation necessary.

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

The Great Rotumpkin

Dancing skeletons, spooky pumpkins, bubbling cauldrons and a haunted house will all make appearances on the exterior of UVA’s Rotunda this weekend in celebration of Halloween this year!!
Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday, October 28-31 • 7-11pm 
UVA's Rotunda • Open to the Public


March 27, 2023
3:30 p.m.
UVA Rotunda, Dome Room

Join this discussion/speaking event on the future of big tech.

Biography: Mehran Sahami is the James and Ellenor Chesebrough Professor and Tencent Chair of the Computer Science department at

April 1 - 22, 2023
The Lawn

We can't wait to see you for Days on the Lawn! We've designed these days just for you, so we hope you'll treat UVA as your home, feel welcome to ask questions, and enjoy meeting the people that make

April 13, 2023
West Lawn of Monticello

Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, April 13, has been celebrated at the University of Virginia since the University’s first academic session. Locally, the celebration is known as Founder’s Day. 

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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