university of virginia

Last October, I visited DC. One of the things I did while I was there was to accompany a friend of mine to the University of Virginia (UVA). I’ve heard of Charlottesville and UVA (I knew they have Rare Book School there), so I was very interested in going. Plus, I was keen on leaf-peeping, and this would take us to the area.

UVA is a beautiful campus. Founded and designed by Thomas Jefferson, it embodies Jefferson’s concept of an “academical village” of residences and classrooms around a large lawn. It, together with Jefferson’s home, Monticello, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

UVA is built on land that was once owned by Jefferson’s good friend, James Monroe.

The lawn and the surrounding buildings was and continue to be the locus of campus. At the head of the lawn is the rotunda, which is patterned after the Pantheon in Rome. The rotunda used to house the library and was meant to be the focal point. This is unlike other universities of the time where the church or chapel was the center of campus. Here are three shots of the building: taken from the front (actually I’m not sure which side is the front, but this is the side that is not on the lawn side) with a statue of Jefferson in front, from the side, and the pillars overlooking the lawn.

For some reason, I don’t have a picture of the rotunda taken from the lawn, but here are pictures taken from the rotunda, looking out at the lawn.

Here are other views of the campus, including the chapel and the amphitheater.

You can already see some of the wonderful fall foliage in the previous pictures, but here are some close-ups. Too bad it was cloudy and drizzly–imagine the shots I could have gotten.

UVA is a great campus. I didn’t realize that it’s a top university–currently ranked #2 public university (second only to my alma mater, UC Berkeley), though sometimes ranked #1. If only it wasn’t in such an out-of-the-way location (meaning, not near a big city), I might consider going to school there. (But what am I talking about? I went to school in Newfoundland of all places!)

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