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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
Please see banner at top of page for most up-to-date information.
The Rotunda is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
Historical Tours: Historical tours are scheduled to begin October 1. Regular historical tours are offered at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, and 2:00 pm every day during the academic year (except home football game days) and leave from the Rotunda's Lower East Oval Room. Tours are offered free of charge.
Student Study Hours: During fall and spring semesters the Rotunda is open to students for studying from 5-10 p.m. 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."