The University of Georgia Chapel, Athens, Georgia
Located on North Campus, the UGA chapel is one of the university’s oldest and more revered structures.
by Matthew Rathel | May 31, 2010
Among all of the buildings on North Campus of the University of Georgia, the UGA chapel truly sets itself apart. If you are looking for a place to have your wedding in Athens, the chapel serves as an excellent venue where you can have the beauty of historic North Campus as the backdrop of your wedding photographs. For graduates of the univeristy or anyone who simply wants to have their wedding at one of the oldest and most revered chapels in town, there are few options that provide a better setting.
Built in 1832, the structure was intended as a place for the students to receive religious instruction, and at the time the students were even required to attend Protestant services as part of the school’s curriculum. Over the years, however, the building has become an iconic part of student life and now hosts hundreds of events throughout the year ranging from weddings, lectures by state and national politicians, regular meetings by student groups, and even special events like department graduations.
For those who did not attend the University of Georgia, the significance of the chapel’s bell may not be clear, but it has been a part of UGA football tradition for nearly a century. When the structure was constructed, it contained a bell tower which towered above the structure. However, the bell was taken out in 1911 because the structure had rotted, and so it was placed on a separate tower directly behind the building.
Whenever the football team wins a game, the sound of the bell tolling can be heard for miles. The chapel bell is so deeply rooted in the university’s traditions that it has been the target of several acts of vandalism by fans of state rival Georgia Tech, but in 2008 an effort was made to restore the 173-year-old bronze bell back to its original state. Since the rope that rings the bell is accessable to anyone who walks by, the 700-lb bell rings across the city every time the football team wins, a student has something to celebrate, and sometimes for no reason at all.