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12 Famous University and College Campuses

19 July 2011 No Comment

Universities and colleges are places where students enroll with the wish for a bright career. All it takes is a few years of intense study, and you can graduate in medicine, law or even marketing! However, the purpose of these prestigious places is not only “studying”, but they are also built with the recreational purpose in mind.

A campus should be inviting with the landscape fascinating, as this is a place where students will spend a good few years of their youth. This compendium of campuses are unique not only through their beauty, but also the long standing tradition and the proud history that they bear.

1. Oxford University – England

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The name Oxford University certainly has got tradition- the great minds have started teaching here as early as the 11th century, fact which renders it as the second oldest “surviving” university in the entire World.

One of the most stunning buildings on campus, is the Radcliffe Camera (Radcliffe Science Library today), which is now a place for students to retreat and read in a nice and extremely old atmosphere (the building was constructed in the 1750s).

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The entire campus is filled with beautiful archways and quad labyrinths which give the campus a sophisticated and elegant look. No matter where you turn your head, you are going to be embraced by beautiful, traditional atmosphere.

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2. Princeton University – New Jersey, US

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Princeton is one of the prestigious 8 Ivy League Universities and it was founded in 1746 (one of the few colleges founded before the American Revolution!). Princeton follows the same collegiate Gothic style just as the University of Yale. Wherever you look you can see beautiful old stone structures covered with ivy.

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The entire campus gives the sense of a huge opened up space, filled with beautiful archways, benches, footpaths or plazas that “invite” students to a nice walk in the nature or for an academic debate!

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3. Yale University – New Haven Connecticut

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Yale is yet another extremely impressive and with huge resonance as one of the most famous universities in the world. This is a private Ivy League University which was founded in 1701.

It is a collegiate Gothic Campus, with many buildings constructed in the Gothic style, but the campus also prides itself on having several modern buildings, such as the Yale Art Gallery. There are many decorative friezes on the walls and sculptures that picture athletes, writers, or even students relaxing with a cigarette and mug of beer in their hands.

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Main architect James Gamble Rogers has actually recreated the atmosphere of the Middle Ages architecture by deliberately breaking leaded glass windows and then repairing them, or leaving some of them as “open” spaces to give the impression of robbed places over the centuries.

4. Stanford University – Palo Alto, California, US

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The campus of the university is spread along 8150 acres of land, and it lies in between San Jose and San Francisco, in the Santa Clara Valley. On the campus there predominates a very traditional, yet extremely elegant architectural style- the California Mission Revival architecture.

However, along the years new additional buildings have been erected, in the modern style, yet they manage to blend in very harmoniously with the rest of the buildings.

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Some of the best known landmarks on campus include the Main Quad and the Memorial Church, the Stanford Mausoleum, the Angel of Grief sculpture, or the radio telescope at the foothills of Stanford known as “the Dish”.

5. Harvard University- Cambridge, Massachusetts, US

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This is yet another private Ivy League university, which has been established as early as 1636. It is basically the oldest higher learning institution in the US. The main campus is comprised of 85 ha of land (210 acres), and the space is filled with traditional elegant buildings.

One of Le Corbusier’s works can also be found here, namely the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts. There are several natural attractions filling out the space on campus, and one of the most attractive ones is that a river runs through it…the Charles River.

The university has hosted many well known political figures of both the past and the present- such as Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, but also current president of the United States, Barack Obama who graduated in 1991 from the Harvard Law School.

6. Tsinghua University- Beijing, China

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This University can be found in Beijing and it was established in 1911. The university is basically built upon what once was private royal gardens of the Quing Dynasty of China.

There are several clearly Chinese traditional buildings, but lately there has been the addition of several Western style architecture buildings.

This university is known as having one of the most beautiful campuses of all the universities in China. Throughout the campus there can be found several little ponds filled with lotus blossoms, and several stone benches are also placed alongside these ponds.

7. The University of Bologna – Italy

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The exact date of the founding of this university is uncertain, however many trace it back to as early as 1088. This is why the University of Bologna is rendered as the oldest University in the World where there has been continuous teaching since its founding (in continuous operation ever since).

Some of the buildings on campus are extremely old, which make up for the entire beauty of the atmosphere: stone buildings with genuine red tile roofs, archways and wonderful loggias (ground level corridors) so symbolic for older Italian architectural style. The campus of the University of Bologna is mostly symbolically used, since many of the headquarters of the University are scattered throughout the city.

8. Sewanee College- Sewanee, Tennessee, US

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Sewanee’s has many unique customs, none perhaps is more distinctive than the wearing of the gown by students. Gowns were originally authorized to be worn by all students in 1871.

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The campus of this beautiful establishment is nicknamed “The Mountain” or “The Domain” and it comprises of almost 10,000 acres of land. This scenic mountain top property can be found on Cumberland Plateau (S-E Tennessee).

Most of the buildings on campus follow the Gothic architectural style, and the open space around the campus offers a diverse palette of recreational activity opportunities for the students. Although most of the buildings are erected in the traditional style, on the campus there can be also found an Eco House which is basically representing the symbol for Environmental sustainability on campus (several eco themed competitions are being held each year here).

9. Kenyon College in Gambier Ohio

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Kenyon College has been funded as early as 1824, and it is basically the oldest college in the state of Ohio. The college prides with a stunning architecture all around the campus and scenic landscapes. Kenyon is a liberal arts college and it attracts students from all over the US in a huge number every year.

The college has an idyllic, pastoral and somewhat secluded tone, and those who visit it for the first time fall in love with this atmosphere in an instant. One can see Gothic architecture all around, and the most attractive point of the campus is the so called “Middle Path” which is a footpath (10 feet wide) which resembles a trail among the lush green forest, and which leads to the main buildings.

10. Scripps College – Claremont, California US

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This is one of the most famous women’s colleges for liberal arts nationwide. The campus of the college spreads over 120,000m2 (30 acres), and the main architectural style is Spanish Revival (by main architect of the campus, Gordon Kaufmann).

The University, besides being famous as an academic establishment, is also extremely famous for the beauty that resides on the main campus. There are many huge rose bushes scattered all over, and several fruit trees such as oranges, pomegranate, grapefruit, and even olive trees. Wisteria and orange scents blend together in the spring creating a dreamlike atmosphere for all your senses.

11. Sweet Briar College – Sweet Briar, Virginia, US

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The college is built upon what once has been a traditional plantation in Virginia, and it was established in 1901. The campus is comprised on 3,250 acres of land right at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Main architect who designed almost all of the 21 historical buildings that can be found on campus is Ralph Adams Cram, who also contributed on the design of other famous campuses such as Princeton University one and West Point college. There have been discovered many slave artifacts buried within the ground, and there are more than 60 burial grounds of former slaves of the plantation that was once situated here.

12. University of Virginia- Charlottesville, Virginia US

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Thomas Jefferson himself acknowledged that his most important and ambitious achievement was the creation of this campus back in 1819. Today, the university is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (the only university in the US to receive this honor!).

The campus is filled with Jeffersonian architectural buildings, and the most important trademarks of the campus include The Lawn- a huge terraced space of greenery surrounded by main academic buildings; the Range- buildings basically face away from the Lawn, each of them being separated through wonderful gardens; and the Rotunda which is the center piece of the grand design inspired by the Parthenon in Rome, and which according to Thomas Jefferson stands to symbolize “ the authority of nature and the power of reason”.

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