Things To Do: 12 Iconic Landmarks in Notre Dame University You Shouldn’t Miss



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Things to do in Notre Dame Area Indiana

Notre Dame Area Indiana

Go Fighting Irish!!!

You probably have been to Notre Dame stadium and watch some of their football games or watch it live via tv channels. But there is more to explore in Notre Dame than attending the football game events.

Notre Dame (ND) is considered as one of the top universities in the United States. If you’re a student of this school, consider yourself lucky. You are not only getting top and quality education but you are also surrounded with arts, picturesque architecture and iconic landmarks. Get ready to be amazed once you step foot in this stunning campus. If you’re planning to visit Notre Dame, these places should never missed your list.

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12 Iconic Landmarks in Notre Dame University Area - South Bend, Indiana

1. Eck Visitor Center
This center serves as a meeting and resting place for visitors. Compared to the main building, this maybe small but still stunning. This should be your first stop should you need a map or if you have any questions regarding your tour. If you’d like to see a glimpse of the campus’s history, the auditorium offers a 12-minute DVD movie presentation of ND’s history and tradition.

If you’re planning to visit ND by group, say 10 people, it is advised to arrange for a private tour. Tours are fee but note that they are not offered on certain holidays and breaks..


2. The Snite Museum of Art
With nearly 30,000 collection of permanent art pieces, treat your eyes with art that span cultures, eras and media. With this number, no wonder Snite Museum of Art is considered as one of the leading art museum in United States. 

The art pieces includes Rembrandt etchings, medieval pieces, three centuries worth of European artwork and a collection of African art. Currently, there are five galleries with changing exhibits and ten permanent collection galleries that are open throughout the year.

Indeed, this museum is a must-see place for an art lover.


3 .Golden Dome
The main building not only holds the administrative offices of the university but also housed the most recognizable and quintessential landmark of the campus, the Golden Dome. The Golden Dome is covered with actual gold leaf. 

But the most recognizable structure is not the dome but the statue of Mary our Lady that sits at the top. The statue is a 19-foot-tall, 4,000-pound which is visible for miles on a clear day. 

Walk inside the building and you’ll see the painted interiors of the dome. Portraits of the president of the University are displayed on the halls. Also, Columbus murals, and other art pieces are displayed such as the large group of paintings by Italian painter and ND professor Luigi Gregori.

This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which means it is deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance or "great artistic value".


4. Hesburgh Library / Touchdown Jesus
The Hesburgh Library is home to 14 floors of research materials, study spaces and books. It is one of the largest undergraduate libraries in the world. It was originally called the Memorial Library and  was renamed Hesburgh Library in 1987, in honor of Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C.

The facade of the library house the artwork titled “Word of Life,” which is 41 m  (134 fee) tall and 21 m (68 feet). The artwork depicts a procession of saints, thinkers, teachers and writers with the resurrected Jesus at the center. In the art, it depicts Jesus as the great teacher and master and the fountain of knowledge contain in the library.

The mural is visible from the ND’s football stadium. From afar, the central figure of the resurrected Jesus with arms raised was likened to a referee signifying touchdown, hence the nickname “Touchdown Jesus.”


5. First Down Moses
Turn to your left from Hesburgh Library and you’ll see a statue of Moses pointing upwards the sky. Because it’s near the Touchdown Jesus mural and Notre Dame stadium, it gained the nickname “First Down Moses.” Moses' position is like signifying a first down hence the nickname.


6. Notre Dame Stadium 
Built under the guidance of Knute Rockne in 1930, this football stadium gained the nickname “The House that Rockne Built.” It is considered as one of the oldest, iconic and most recognizable venues in college football. This is the home field of the Fighting Irish football team.

Make sure to take a picture of this historic field and don’t forget to tap the yellow sign with blue letters that spells “Play like a Champion Today” for good luck. It is placed in a stairwell between the locker room of the home team and the tunnel to the field.


7. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart serves as the University Church for the University of Notre Dame. It also serves as a mother church of the Congregation of Holy Cross in the United States. 

This neo-gothic church is breathtaking both inside and out. It has 44 large stained glass window and it took 17 years for the Vatican painter Luigi Gregori to complete the murals. 

With 70m (230 feet) high bell tower, the basilica holds the title as the tallest University chapel in United States. 


8. The Grotto Of Our Lady Of Lourdes
If you’d like to spend a few quite moments, the grotto is the perfect place for you to go. Considered as the most serene places in the campus, this is the right place for you to utter a prayer, say the rosary or reflect on your faith and life. You can also light a candle for your loved one here. 

The Rosary is prayed here everyday rain or shine at exactly 6:45pm. Also, the masses are held regularly.

The inspiration of The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is the famed French shrine where the Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Bernadette on 18 occasions in the year 1858. It’s size is equal to one seventh of the said French shrine. A small piece of the stone from the original grotto is located on the right-hand side of the shrine directly below the statue of Mary. 

Not only does this place hold masses and prayers, hundreds of students have also proposed marriage here. 


9. God Quad
Known as the Main Quad or popularly termed as the God Quad, this is the central part of the campus. This is undoubtedly the best quad where you can see the most recognizable feature of Notre Dame, the Golden Dome.

Also, erected in the heart of God Quad is the Sacred Heart of Jesus with the words on the base of the statue that says “VENITE AD ME OMNES” which means “Come to me, everyone!” 

There’s also the statue of the founder Edward F. Sorin, an eight foot tall statue made of bronze.

This area in the perfect place to take in and appreciate Notre Dame’s natural beauty. Just don’t step on the grass. If you’re a student, there’s a myth that if you step on the grass you will fail your theology class.


10. Clarke Memorial Fountain
The Clarke Memorial Fountain is popularly known as “Stonehenge” due to its design. This is a large public fountain on the campus whis is built in honor of the 500 Notre Dame alumni and veterans who died in World War II, The Korean War and the Vietnam War. 

It was originally known as the War Memorial but was officially named Clarke Memorial Fountain after the alumnus and benefactor, Maude Clarke.

This monument is consists of four limestone arches. In the three columns, the name of the war that they commemorate were inscribed. On the fourth arch, an inscription that reads "Pro Patria et Pace", which means "For Country and Peace" was written.


11. South Dining Hall
There are two dining halls in Notre Dame, North and South Dining Hall , the latter being the oldest. It has a gothic design and resembles the medieval Guild Hall.


12. Hammes Bookstore
Don’t leave ND without stopping by the Hammes Bookstore. Pick up a snack or a cup of coffee from Einstein’s Bagel’s or go to the second and choose some of the merchandise as a remembrance. From Leprechaun beanies to ND jerseys, Hammes got you covered.


The Notre Dame campus is a must-visit place should you want to take a glimpse of the past. This campus is filled with arts and architecture that evokes history and tradition worth discovering. 

Map of the Notre Dame Area

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