Notre Dame Stadium
Home of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Experience the Park Notre Dame Stadium Fan Guide
See it Shine
Maybe the most recognizable college building in America and the inspiration for the helmets worn by the Fighting Irish football team, the Golden Dome adorns the Main Building in the center of campus. The Dome, as it’s simply referred to by students, rises nearly 200 feet and is topped by a statue of the Virgin Mary that stands 16 feet tall and weighs 4,400 pounds. Our Lady helps visitors navigate their way around campus after they learn she faces due south.
Constructed in 1879 with the Dome finished three years later, the Main Building has been used for everything from boarding for 19th century elementary school students to a cafeteria for Notre Dame students. It now houses offices for the university administration, including the president. The Dome is the central landmark on the Notre Dame campus, and while students pass it every day, they are barred by tradition from climbing the front steps until graduating.
And it truly is a ‘Golden’ Dome. The Dome is covered with a thin layer of 23-karat gold leaf. The famous football helmets, too, are painted with a mixture that includes gold dust. Student managers apply a new coat before every game.