University Hall and John Harvard Statue, Boston

University Hall and John Harvard Statue, Boston

University Hall is a real showstopper, a building that's determined to stand out in the crowd. Its neoclassical design is the architectural equivalent of a grand entrance – large, imposing, and so symmetrical that it's almost showing off. This beauty was built between 1813 and 1815 from white granite, a real rebel compared to its red brick buddies, Massachusetts Hall and Harvard Hall. And if you need more proof of its superstar status, it's been designated a National Historical Landmark.

Now, let's talk about the other superstar in the yard – the John Harvard Statue. This is the spot where every hopeful Harvard student makes a pilgrimage for that classic photo op. They'll strike a pose next to good ol' John, the guy who's always good for a bit of luck. Legend has it that rubbing his shiny shoe brings you good fortune, and who wouldn't want a piece of that?

The statue, designed by Daniel Chester French, proudly flaunts an inscription that reads, 'John Harvard, Founder of Harvard College, 1638'. Except, here's the twist – none of that is actually true! First of all, the statue doesn't depict John Harvard because nobody really knows what he looked like; it's just some random student who's been hitting the books a little too hard. Second, John Harvard wasn't the founder of the college; he was more like the first generous donor who chipped in back in 1638. And if you want to split hairs, the college was actually founded two years earlier in 1636. So, in essence, the statue is known for telling three big lies.

It's almost as if the Harvard symbol is out here playing a prank on everyone, giving a cheeky wink to the university's motto, 'Veritas', which means 'truth.' But hey, who needs the truth when you've got a shiny shoe to rub for good luck?

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Boston. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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University Hall and John Harvard Statue on Map

Sight Name: University Hall and John Harvard Statue
Sight Location: Boston, USA (See walking tours in Boston)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Boston, Massachusetts

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Create Your Own Walk in Boston

Creating your own self-guided walk in Boston is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Harvard University Walking Tour

Harvard University Walking Tour

The United States’ oldest institution of higher education (and, of course, among the most prestigious), Harvard was established in 1636. Reverend John Harvard, who bequeathed his entire library and half of his estate, is the University’s namesake. Presidents, billionaires and Rhodes Scholars are only some of the illustrious graduates; in fact, Harvard has more Nobel Prize-winning alumni,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Boston Introduction Walking Tour

Boston Introduction Walking Tour

The capital of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and it had played a key role in the country's struggle for independence. Founded in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England, it witnessed many events of the American Revolution, including the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Beacon Hill Historic Houses Tour

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Boston’s historic neighborhood of Beacon Hill is quite a charm! One can spend hours here, admiring the elegant uniformity and restraint of the architecture; at times, perhaps, imagining people from the past in their horse-drawn carriages. Federal-style and Victorian row houses, narrow streets lit by antique gas lanterns, brick sidewalks and lavender-hued windows adorn the area, which is...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Historical Churches Walking Tour

Historical Churches Walking Tour

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Starting with the Old North Church, which towers in the city’s North End, this journey surely feels like taking a step back in time. Legend was made there, in the very place that Paul Revere waited for...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Bunker Hill Walking Tour

Bunker Hill Walking Tour

Bunker Hill, sitting on the bank of the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts, is a historic site that holds great significance in American history. At its heart stands the Bunker Hill Monument, a towering obelisk commemorating the Battle of Bunker Hill, a pivotal event in the American Revolutionary War.

The battle took place on June 17, 1775, when American patriots faced off against British...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
North End Walking Tour

North End Walking Tour

The North End was the city's first neighborhood, and one that has been key to its fortunes, having become a hub of commercial, social and intellectual activity by the 1750s. Later known as Boston's Little Italy, it has been home to Italian immigrants through much of the 20th century, and still retains a certain Mediterranean flavor in its many restaurants, cafés, and specialty shops. In...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles

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