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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 1826, shortly after Jefferson’s death on July 4 of that year. 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 am to 5 pm.
Historical Tours: During the academic year, historical tours are offered free of charge and meet daily at 10 am, 11 am, and 2 pm in the Rotunda's Lower East Oval Room. Tours will resume on Tuesday, August 28th. Until then, we welcome you to explore the building on your own.
Student Study Hours: During fall and spring semesters the Rotunda is open to students for studying from 5-10pm Sunday - Tuesday throughout the semester, and until midnight during exams.
For more information about visiting the Rotunda, please call 434-924-7969.
In the News
"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."