Gothic sculptures at the entrance of the main chapel at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

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Duke University

The Triangle

Although it can trace its history back to 1838, Duke University became a university, and took its current name, in 1926, thanks to a major endowment from the Duke cigarette family. Spreading across the Georgian-style East Campus and the neo-Gothic West Campus, 1 and 2 miles respectively west of downtown, it has just over 15,000 students.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Triangle attractions

1. Duke Chapel

0.06 MILES

The major landmark on Duke University’s west campus, and the epitome of its neo-Gothic style, is the 210ft tower of Duke Chapel. Erected in the 1930s, the…

2. Sarah P Duke Gardens

0.31 MILES

These heavenly gardens on the Duke University campus include 55 acres of koi ponds, terraced rose gardens and magnolia groves. On warm afternoons, they…

3. Nasher Museum of Art

0.55 MILES

Set amid the Duke University campus woods, this impressive futuristic cube displays art from around the world and across the ages. Only a small portion of…

4. Duke Lemur Center

1.33 MILES

The secret is out – Durham’s coolest attraction has to be this research and conservation center, home to the largest collection of lemurs outside their…

5. American Tobacco Campus

1.95 MILES

The massive former American Tobacco factory has been transformed into a million-square-foot cavalcade of restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. Still…

6. Duke Homestead

2.59 MILES

After the Civil War, Confederate veteran Washington Duke returned to his farm and built an astonishing fortune, astonishingly fast. Tobacco manufacturing…

7. Museum of Life & Science

2.95 MILES

There’s something to appeal to every child at Durham’s Museum of Life & Science, 3 miles north of downtown. Its main building, stuffed with everything…

8. University of North Carolina

8.69 MILES

The imposing antebellum buildings of America’s oldest public university center on a quad lined with flowering pear trees. Pick up a map either at the…