Designed and established by Thomas Jefferson as a retirement project, the University of Virginia in Charlottesville is one of the architectural highlights on the East Coast of the United States.
Always bustling with students coming from and going to classes, UVA—as it is also called—is a lively place.
Together with Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, it has been designated World Heritage by UNESCO. It is one of only three man-made World Heritage Sites in the eastern United States. Knowing that the other two are the Statue of Liberty in New York City and Independence Hall in Philadelphia, you have a pretty good idea about how significant this university actually is.
Jefferson founded it in 1819 according to his principles of “useful science”, making it one of the world’s first non-sectarian (read: non-religious) universities. The star attraction at the University of Virginia is the so-called Academical Village. It has the striking Rotunda as its centerpiece while iconic column-lined student rooms and ten architecturally different pavilions line the lawn.
The University of Virginia is enormous, but visitors should just focus on the Academical Village. You can walk around this impressive area in about two hours and get a pretty good overview of the architecture at, the history of and the groundbreaking ideas behind this iconic American university.
Living in Charlottesville myself, a 30-minute walk from the University of Virginia, I’ve spent many an afternoon and evening strolling and photographing the university’s grounds. In this post, I’d like to give you an impression of what this UNESCO World Heritage-listed university looks like and share with you guys my favorite University of Virginia photos.
20 Beautiful University of Virginia Photos
Several of these University of Virginia photos are available for purchase in my photography portfolio. There are also a bunch of other Virginia photos in that particular gallery. So, make sure to pay a visit if you’re interested.