Belfast, Ireland; Queen's University

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Northern Ireland's most prestigious university was founded by Queen Victoria in 1845. In 1908 the Queen's College became the Queen's University of Belfast and today its campus spreads across some 250 buildings.

Just inside the main entrance is the Queen's Welcome Centre, with an information desk and souvenir shop. Pick up a free Campus Walkbout booklet that outlines a self-guided tour which highlights the beautiful architectural features of the buildings.

Charles Lanyon built the Queen's College building, a Tudor Revival in red brick and honey-coloured sandstone, in 1849. If it seems to have an Oxbridge air about it, that may be because Lanyon based the design of the central tower on the 15th-century Founder's Tower at Oxford's Magdalen College.

The college was one of three Queen's colleges (the others, still around but no longer called Queen's colleges, are in Cork and Galway), which were created to provide a nondenominational alternative to the Anglican Church's Trinity College in Dublin.