The Rotunda, University of Virginia--page 1 of 3 pages

Thomas Jefferson

The Lawn from the far south with the Rotunda at the closed north end

This central building of Jefferson's "Academical village" is positioned at the north end of the Lawn. A secular temple of knowledge, housing the library, it was influenced by the Pantheon in Rome, even though Jefferson had never seen that ancient temple and knew it only from books by Palladio and others. He decreased the front row of columns from eight to six and reduced the scale so as not to overpower the rows of five Pavilions on each side. In the front he also added windows and steps.

Left: The Rotunda with pavilions I and III to the left and pavilions II and IV to the right; center: the Rotunda; right: the Rotunda and pavilion II

The dome room which occupies the entire third floor served as the library for more than 100 years. The first two levels are divided into oval rooms used for classrooms and meeting rooms for groups larger than could be accommodated in the pavilions. See interior.

The entablature

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© 2002 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

Page created by Mary Ann Sullivan