Rotunda with Magnolia tree on the right




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.


January 8 - July 7, 2024
Upper West Oval Room

Clouds drift in subtly modified patterns in these artworks by Nawurapu Wunuŋmurra and  Bulthirrirri Wunuŋmurra, both Yolŋu artists from Arnhem Land at the top end of Australia’s Northern Territory.

April 13, 2024
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. 

April 19 - 21, 2024

The countdown is on to UVA’s biannual Black Alumni Weekend! Don’t miss this chance to opportunity to reconnect with old friends, make new connections, and provide support for future generations.

In the News

Unveiling Ceremony Recalls, Honors Legacy of John Emmet’s Chemical Hearth

The University of Virginia’s chemical hearth has stepped into history.

The American Chemical Society officially designated the hearth, designed by University founder Thomas Jefferson and John Emmet, his first professor of natural sciences, as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. Built

The Bigger Picture: The Great Rotumpkin

"In the dark shadow of the grove, on the margin of the brook, he beheld something huge, misshapen, black and towering. It stirred not, but gathered up in the gloom like some gigantic monster ready to spring upon the traveler.”

UVA Architecture: Thomas Jefferson's Architectural Masterpiece – The Lawn at UVA

Each year, thousands of students and faculty members flock to the University of Virginia to learn and educate amongst this historic community.

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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