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.
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