Skip to main content
Guests homeMobile Tour home
Tour Detail
God, Country, Notre Dame

God, Country, Notre Dame

This segment of the tour begins outside the east door of the Basilica, which has the “God, Country, Notre Dame” inscription above it. Begin playing audio when you are facing this door.

Narration by Fr. Nate Wills, C.S.C.

This side door to the Basilica honors the 56 men from Notre Dame who gave their lives in World War I. Their names are inscribed on the bronze plates next to the door, and the figures of St. Joan of Arc and St. Michael the Archangel both stand watch above. The inscription above the door, “God, Country, Notre Dame,” has served as a memorable phrase in the Notre Dame lexicon, and captures the spirit of civic service that permeates the University. The Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy all have reserve officer training programs at Notre Dame.

The next segment of the tour will take you to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, one of the most sacred places on campus. To get to the Grotto, turn to the right and walk between the Main Building and the Basilica. Continue walking downhill on the wide pathway bearing left. Partway down the hill, take the stairway on the left that leads to the Grotto. To avoid the stairs, continue to the bottom of the hill and turn to the left—a level sidewalk leads to the Grotto from that direction. The map might help you navigate.

You may have noticed the color of the bricks of the Main Building and Basilica, as well as many of the other buildings in the core of campus. Much like many of the other buildings in the core of campus they’re yellow because they were made from the mud from the two lakes. In the early years, the University was self-sustaining, farming its own food. Holy Cross brothers were in charge of most of the labor, from baking bread to carpentry. They also built kilns and fired bricks made from the mud. Holy Cross brothers and priests are indispensable to Notre Dame’s mission—we like to say that their blood is in the bricks of this place.

Two lakes rest on the north end of campus, and they will come into view in a moment. St. Joseph lake will be on your right and St. Mary’s lake will be on your left. The two mile path that winds around these lakes is a popular jogging or walking route for students.

Begin the next segment when you are standing in the gathering area in front of the Grotto.