A Stroll Around the University of Virginia

Thomas Jefferson himself founded the University of Virginia, situated in the small, but amazing city of Charlottesville, in 1819. With a central focus on the library instead of the churches or other religious buildings that were common at the time, his new educational concept was quite revolutionary.

Known as the Rotunda, that library is the focal point of the Lawn, a large grassy area surrounded by white colonnades, pavilions and small student rooms. All combined, the Rotunda and the Lawn make up Jefferson’s “Academical Village”, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (together with Monticello, Jefferson’s old residence).

Visiting Virginia University: The Rotunda
The Rotunda

It already was prestigious when it was founded and the University of Virginia remains one of the country’s best schools.

Visiting Virginia University

It’s entirely possible to spend one or two days exploring the University of Virginia, but, on the other hand, you can also see most of the major attractions in an hour or two. Historical tours are offered to visitors multiple times during the day, but those who want to explore on their own can, of course, do so as well.

Visiting Virginia University: Serpentine walls, gardens
Serpentine walls around the Gardens

The Academical Village is what visiting Virginia University is all about, a relatively small area around which visitors can stroll at their leisure—it makes for a convenient loop walk, on the way taking in the Rotunda, the pavilions, the prestigious colonnaded student rooms, the serpentine gardens, the range with the former room of Edgar Allen Poe, and the Lawn itself.

Visiting Virginia University: Pavilions

Each of the ten pavilions is designed in a particular architectural style and serves as lodging and educational space for students and faculty members. All pavilions are connected by a colonnaded walkway, home to 54 student rooms where the best students live.

Visiting Virginia University: Pavilions and Lawn Rooms at the University of Virginia
Pavilions and Lawn Rooms

Visiting Virginia University is a strongly recommended thing to do for anyone visiting Virginia or, by extension, the American South. The fact that it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site shows how significant a place it actually is.

Additionally, when in Charlottesville, make sure not to skip Monticello and the Historic Downtown Mall. You can also drive to Shenandoah National Park and the Skyline Drive, as well as a beautiful winery-dotted rolling countryside.

About Bram

Website: http://www.travel-experience-live.com

Bram is a Belgian guy who's currently living in the USA. For over four years now, he has been wandering the globe, with jobs here and there in between. So far, his travels have taken him to four continents and twenty-two countries. Bram likes to try different styles of travelling: from backpacker and adventurer to tourist and local, he has been all those stereotypes and probably will be many more in the future. You can follow his adventures on his travel blog, on Twitter and on Facebook.

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