Have you seen a campus which is drop-dead gorgeous but daunting at the same time? That’s exactly how I feel with campuses with imposing entrances or structures like the United States Military Academy (which is more popularly known as West Point) and the University of Notre Dame.

When you look at pictures of West Point, you know right away that the members of the faculty there and the students who enter it mean serious business. It’s obvious that it’s not a campus you can enter for fun, and it doesn’t look like a school you can cruise your way through. West Point is located in New York and the campus has a view of the historic Hudson River. The buildings at West Point have been described as Neo-Gothic or along the lines of Gothic revival architecture. The seriousness of the university is evident in its architecture, with the colors of the buildings done in only the somber shades of gray and black. The granite buildings definitely complement the school and its purpose. One of the standout structures on the campus is the West Point Cadet Chapel. This ornate chapel has that medieval feel similar to that used in Oxford and Cambridge. I tried to find a tour of the campus online, but the link was no longer working. I think that the online tour may have been removed by the military school for obvious security reasons.

The University of Notre Dame, like West Point, has a very intimidating aura. Even the name itself gives me the impression that it is a very serious university deeply rooted in tradition and history. The frequent mention of the university in the movie ‘Something Borrowed’ as their dream university also piqued my interest. Basically, I’ve heard so much about the university that when I found it on the list of the most beautiful universities in the United States, I wasn’t surprised. This university definitely seems like one of those holistic universities which has a mix of everything - a beautiful campus, a great history and an impressive school program. Although widely known as a Catholic university, the school prides itself for its respect for all faiths. However, it is clear that its Catholic roots has greatly influenced its beautiful campus. The Basilica of Sacred Heart is a beautiful church with paintings of angels and saints on the ceiling. Exquisite paintings of Jesus line the walls of the immense church. The university’s Grotto of Our Lady Lourdes is also one of the most revered areas in the university and the university’s website discloses that an actual stone from the famed original grotto in France can actually be found here in the Notre Dame grotto. The university has painstakingly uploaded pictures and videos of its various halls on its website so visitors can have a quick tour of the vast university from the comforts of their own home. Judging just by the pictures and the videos, it is clear that the University of Notre Dame is definitely one of the most impressive campuses in the country.