Sheldonian Theatre

The Sheldonian Theatre is a facility building of the University of Oxford. It was opened in 1669 and is named after its founder Gilbert Sheldon, the then Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of the University, named.


The Sheldonian Theatre was the first major project of the architect Christopher Wren. As a template for the classical building Wren served the ancient Theatre of Marcellus in Rome. The illusion of an open sky tent conveys the ceiling painting by Robert Streter that represents the triumph of science over ignorance.


The building is used for concerts, lectures and university ceremonies such as matriculation and graduation parties.

When Encaenia which takes place in June each year most festive ceremony of the university, pull the dignitaries of the university in a procession to the Sheldonian Theatre, in which the actual event takes place with the awarding of honorary doctorates to celebrities.

The first performance of Handel's oratorio Athalia was held in the Sheldonian Theatre on July 10, 1733.