Friday Fun: Beautiful University Campuses

My older son has just finished his first year at university and will be coming home for the summer. So I am in the mood to check out some university campuses around the world: while architecture and functionality are both important, I am always more impressed by beautiful locations and gardens.

Of course I will start with my favourite place and alma mater, Cambridge. The sun setting on the mellow stone of the colleges along the backs will always make my heart sing.
But I’m not biased just by universities I attended: for example, this one is Heidelberg, which is slightly more beautiful than Marburg, I admit. From Schiller University site.
American universities often try to copy European models, rather than embracing the new, but this small Berry College in Georgia looks charming.
What a library in the baroque University of Coimbra in Portugal!
The oldest university in Europe (or so they claim) is Bologna, and, this being Italy, the decor is outstanding. From Visiting Italy magazine.
But I quite like the bold, brash new universities in Asia, such as Xiamen University in China, in such a glorious location. From Study in China website.
The University of Tasmania has a rather blocky modern warehousey architecture, but who cares when you can go up Mount Wellington and see this view?

27 thoughts on “Friday Fun: Beautiful University Campuses”

  1. This is fun, and colourful, and I really like the one in Tasmania! Enjoy your sons this summer!

  2. A great tour. When we visited Vancouver, we rather hoped our daughter might choose the University of British Columbia for further studies. Not for its academic programmes, but for its setting and views. Didn’t happen.

    1. So inconsiderate of our children, don’t you think? I have to admit my older son might take after me, as he tended to favour the ‘prettier’ universities, like Durham, Nottingham, Cambridge…

      1. Ah yes, one of mine chose Durham. A good place to visit, compared with Manchester, which was also my Alma Mater, and Leicester, the unloveliest of the lot (though great South Indian restaurants!)

  3. I’m sure I’ve seen that mountain-top building used as a setting in a film where a beardy tech guru type has gone for a retreat, to be disturbed under no circumstances, but… It’s very frustrating that I can’t think what it was in.

  4. Oh, Marina Sofia, university campuses are some of my top places to visit. They are so often absolutely beautiful. They nourish the soul (well, mine, anyway). I won’t clutter up your comments section by listing the ones I’ve visited and loved, but they’re all great. Of those you’ve got here, I’d choose Cambridge, but it wasn’t easy. Spoilt for choice here!

  5. I had no idea Heidelberg was so gorgeous! My son is headed to university in the fall and I loved the beauty of the old buildings on campus when we toured. I do feel surroundings make a huge difference!

    1. That’s why I did take my older son around to visit some universities before he chose one, and will do the same with the younger one now. No matter how prestigious the university or how fine your course, it does make a difference to be happy with your surroundings (at least, it does for me!)

  6. Great, most of them make me feel like I wish I were university-age again! Heidelberg is fantastic, Berry College never heard of but will look up (for the heck of it!), and the Chinese and Tasmania ones look tempting too! Thanks!

    1. I would love to be an eternal student! Especially in such locations. I think part of the reason why I wanted to be in academia was to have beautiful surroundings – although of course not all of them are beautiful.

    1. Wow, thank you for that insider look at the library! It seems to be a gorgeous university – although I know that old buildings can be tricky. Our department in Cambridge had formerly been a physics lab (where Maxwell conducted his experiments), so they kept coming and measuring us for radioactivity…

    1. Oh no, you really shouldn’t! You seem to know more about pretty much everything than most people I met at university. But yes, having that time to read, think, meet people and discuss things passionately in beautiful surroundings – I am very grateful for having had that (well, more or less).

  7. Beautiful pictures.
    It’s good when they’re back for the summer, isn’t it? Enjoy your time with him.
    I’m looking forward to visiting my daughter’s campus in August.

  8. Thanks for re-awakening my memories of a trip to Heidelberg more than 30 years ago. A wonderfully atmospheric location.
    I have a hankering to visit the university at Padua where I believe they have a stunning theatre

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