Whether you are visiting Notre Dame as a potential school or if you are a student, there are 5 must visit locations that you should go visit before you leave! Some are well known, but some are hidden and truly gems on campus that not many students know about. While they might be off to the side, it’s definitely worth seeing and even roaming around for a while at!

1) Basilica

Whether or not you are Catholic, the Basilica is renowned to be one of the most beautiful sites in Indiana. Many families from various faiths come out to share a morning or evening Mass with the local community. With beautifully painted ceilings that took around forty years to paint and finish and stained glass windows depicting various biblical scenes all around the body, the Basilica is a must-go for any visitor. If you are just interested in even the history of the Catholic Church or even art work, then stop by during the off hours for a chance to roam around.

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2) ACE Building

The Alliance for Catholic Education building is located on the left side behind the Main Building and to the right of the Basilica if you are looking at both buildings head on. While it is tucked away, the ACE Building is one of the most historic and peaceful buildings on campus. For students, there is the Wellness Room that has aromas for you to make and try out, lotions meant to sooth and relax, and a bunch of snacks. This Wellness Room is a new initiative that the student body has made to help students cope with the stresses of school work and relationships on campus. Not only that, but the chapel in the basement of the ACE Building is worth a visit as well for it’s cozy and homey interior.

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3) Grotto

The Grotto at Notre Dame is a perfect replica of the one in France. Just at the entrance, you can even pray on a stone that was taken from the original in France and planted onto the side by the entrance gates to the Grotto. Understanding that there are many tribulations in life, Notre Dame has candles you can light to pray for yourself or those dear to you no matter the time of day or year. The Grotto is a sacred space if you want a reprieve away from other students and just time to think. Surrounding the Grotto are also benches for you to sit on and contemplate whatever it is that is on your mind.

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4) CoMo

While many students know about the existence of CoMo, not many students use the space to study or work in after Freshmen year. However, if you walk the first floor by the northern entrance, you will see a side room where Campus Ministry administrators work. Pop on in because there are free snacks, drinks, and coffee. What’s more, take a left and there is a bean bag room for you to take a break with some of your friends or even talk to some of the administrators working there. Walk to the other end of the first floor and you will also find the CoMo chapel, which is another quiet and nice place to pray or just sit.

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5) Riley Hall

Riley Hall is mainly for studio art students, however, there are three floors that are open to anyone– just use the Newly entrance to get in if you are not a current student taking an art class. There are many empty room at night that are perfect for studying, especially because the lighting is great. However, the real treat of Riley Hall is all the artwork and art pieces surrounding you as you work. There are many rooms where you are likely to be inspired or just relaxed from seeing all the great pieces being presented.

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Whether you are looking to site see or work, there are buildings and spaces where you are able to do both on campus. For working, while you can work in the standard buildings like the Duncan Student Center and DeBartolo Hall, take more of a creative approach and step outside your comfort zone to be immersed in art and new spaces. For peace and spiritual relief, definitely visit the Basilica and the Grotto because those are namesakes of Notre Dame!


Grace Chow


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