Start At The Beginning – The Tours

Usually when we (our family) go to a new city on vacation we take the city tour; not always, but usually.

I know it sounds to touristy, but its good to get, as Sean Astin said in the movie Rudy, “…a lay of the land.” icon wink Start At The Beginning   The Tours when one is new in an area.

In searching on the Internet I came across this site:

It is a page on the University of Notre Dame Alumni Association page.

Tours are offered by both the Eck Visitors Center as well as the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (the latter for prospective or new students). Harvey and I will be tourists so we will likely go for the one through the Eck Visitors Center.

In the fal they are offered in the late morning and mid-afternoon Monday through Friday, taking per the web site about an hour and a quarter. No reservations are needed for the public tour.

Now, the tour covers the traditional ‘buildings’ that I am already aware of as most subway alums would be, namely:

  • Basilica of the Sacred Heart
    • Per the above site, containing the largest collection of 19-th century French stained glass, it was designated a basilica in 1992 by Pope John Pall II. With daily masses, I hope to make it there at least once during a service
  • The Grotto
    • The 1/7th sized replica of the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in Lourdes, France (I can see me lighting a few candles for some relatives, both living and deceased)
  • The Main Building
    • The one with the 23-karat gold leaf covered golden dome (hence the nickname in some circles the ‘Golden Domers’) with the statue of Mary, Our Lady (in French, the term Our Lady is, yes, Notre Dame))
  • Hesburgh Library
    • The 14 story library whose south facade appears The Word of Life 10 story high mosaic depicting Christ, the teacher (affectionately known as Touchdown Jesus)

Here is another link to the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page  related to the tours:.

Notice that the football stadium is not on the tour.  There are many, many other buildings of course that I want to see. We will see how we can, if we can, receive access to those buildings.

I also want to see, and learn what the University is doing to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources and thus its ‘carbon footprint’. They are doing a lot as I have come to learn. However, since our site deals with home energy conservation topics, I want to see for myself and learn a thing or two. Here’s the link to the Office of Sustainability at the University of Notre Dame:

It’s a site that I will take a look at over the coming weeks ahead.

I found another web site here  which offers tours of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and museum. There are daily self guided tours as well as with a tour guide.  On the web site there was a tip to ask the tour guide to open the old trunk belonging to the Basilica’s painter, Luigi Gregori, from around 1874 to see what is inside; intriguing.

Another tour Harvey and I might do is the South Bend Chocolate Factory (what the heck, we are there for a full week). They have tours Monday through Saturday. Here is their web site: . It looks like one has to book an appointment directly here: 1-800-310-4961. Yes, they even have ND chocolate bars and NC labled chocolate packages. But, what’s the deal with, gulp, Michigan Wolverine chocolates too????

Finally, a non-university associated web site information how the Office of Undergraduate Admissions can provide a ‘day host’ to attend classes (yes, it would be interesting to attend a class on education, since I have an M. Ed., or a class on energy conservation if one is offered), eat on campus and tour a residence. it provide a phone number to call and make a reservation (574-631-7505). I’m thinking that one is for prospective students, but one never knows.

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