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About: The Rotunda (University of Virginia)

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The Rotunda is a building located on The Lawn on the original grounds of the University of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson designed it to represent the "authority of nature and power of reason" and modeled it after the Pantheon in Rome. Construction began in 1822 and was completed shortly after Jefferson's death in 1826. The campus of the new university was unique in that its buildings surrounded a library (the principal function of the Rotunda) rather than a church, as was common at other universities in the English-speaking world. To many, the Rotunda symbolizes Jefferson's belief in the separation of church and education, and represents his lifelong dedication to education and architecture. The Rotunda was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966, and is part of the University of Virg

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