4. The Great Court


Take the elevator to level 2 (Ground floor, entrance level) and  exit through to the side of the building leading to the Great Court.

The Great Court took more than 40 years to complete. It is the heart of St Lucia campus and a popular venue for ceremonies, exhibitions and functions. It's also a great spot for students to relax or study with friends.

The lawns, historic cloister walk and extensive array of carvings (dating back to 1939) are some of the reasons why the Great Court is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register and the Register of the National Trust of Queensland.

It played a key role in World War II when it housed the Advanced Land Headquarters of the Allied Land Forces in the Pacific, headed by General Sir Thomas Blamey. A 1945 bronze plaque commemorating this period can be found in the Forgan Smith clock tower.

Take a wander through the cloisters, admire the distinctive sandstone buildings and try to find the University coat of arms, which consists of an open book mounted on a shield with the motto ‘Scientia ac labore’, which translates to 'By means of knowledge and hard work'.

See if you can also spot the grotesques. These are caricature-like carvings of people, often of a comical nature. Many are of significant people who have contributed to UQ. They give the Great Court some of its distinctive character.

 Share your photos of your favourite grotesques on Instagram with #uqtours.

The Great Court is also home to the Great Court Race – one of UQ's proudest traditions and a must-see spectacle!

 Watch for more information: 30 Years of the Great Court Race.

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