College is an exciting time for most people, but there’s a wonderful added perk if your university happens to be architecturally and visually striking as well. Did you know that South Africa is home to some of the most aesthetically pleasing colleges, where you can take a tour to learn about the history within the walls? We can’t promise that after reading this you won’t find yourself debating that maybe it’s time to go back to college. Here are South Africa’s most beautiful college campuses.
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Jacarandas and red brick sure look good together. The University of KwaZulu-Natal has several campuses in Pietermartizburg and Durban, and was established in 1910. Despite many of its buildings going up in the 60s, the university maintains a historic look with brick buildings and manicured gardens. Visitors delight taking a scenic stroll through the campus with many secluded garden spots to read a book.
University of Cape Town
Originally operated as a prestigious high school for boys, the campus graduated into a bona-fide university for both men and women. At the University of Cape Town (which already is situated in a gorgeous area with mountains in the backdrop), visitors can either go on a guided tour or walk freely around campus to admire the architecture. The campus was built in 1829 and is the oldest known university in South Africa. When walking around campus, you’ll notice many of the buildings are covered in red and green ivy leaves on the side of its exterior walls, much like you’d find on ancient cathedrals in Europe.
University of Witwatersrand
In Johannesburg, a striking college has been standing tall (and pretty) since 1896. The University of Witswatersrand (Wits) is comprised of several bold buildings with multiple pillars that makes the main and original site visit-worthy. While walking around the campus, be sure to stop by some of its secluded gardens where students like to take their retreat to read a book and relax in-between courses.
University of Pretoria
Pretoria is proud of their own visually pleasing university as well. The University of Pretoria was built in 1908 and has elements of Cape Dutch and Neo-Romanesque architectural methods. The campus is quite massive and is home to more than 50,000 students. When visiting the campus, visit some of its onsite museums including the Old Arts museum that’s home to some artwork by world-famous painters like Marc Chagall, Rambrand van Rijn, Max Liebermann and more. Another museum worth visiting at the campus is the Mapungubwe Museum (pictured) that exhibits an impressive display of ancient artifacts and other archaeological finds.
University of Stellenbosch
Another real gem of a college is University of Stellenbosch right outside of Cape Town. In the midst of mountains and wineries, the university is an idyllic place of learning for its students with Victorian and Cape Dutch architecture. During your stroll around campus, stop by the famous Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden that’s home to a diverse collection of plants and flowers. The town of Stellenbosch originated in the 1600s, so the campus builders wanted to preserve the atmosphere by creating a university that blended in with the other ancient buildings.
University of the Free State
Since 1904, University of the Free State has been a staple institution in Bloemfontein with hilly terrain in the backdrop and has a mixture of old and modern buildings to keep the campus interesting. Today, visitors can tote along a book and walk aimlessly around campus to find a nice secluded spot to enjoy the scenery. Stop in at the arts department to browse through walls of artwork done by the university’s art students. Or plan ahead and reserve to watch a play in its theater, that way you can catch a fascinating performance while checking out the beautiful campus.
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