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Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

Categories: Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites, Tours, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.4/5 based on 300+ reviews on the web
The Sheldonian Theatre, located in Oxford, England, was built from 1664 to 1669 after a design by Christopher Wren for the University of Oxford. The building is named after Gilbert Sheldon, chancellor of the University at the time and the project's main financial backer. It is used for music concerts, lectures and University ceremonies, but not for drama until 2015 when the Christ Church Dramatic Society staged a production of The Crucible.HistoryWhat came to be known as the Sheldonian Theatre was Wren's second work and was commissioned by Gilbert Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury. With the triumph of the Restoration and with it the Church of England, Dean Fell, Vice-Chancellor of the University, sought to revive a project proposed in the 1630s by the late William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury: a separate building whose sole use would be graduation and degree ceremonies.In the past these increasingly rowdy occasions had taken place in the university's church of St. Mary-the-Virgin-on-High. "The notion that 'sacrifice is made equally to God and Apollo', in the same place where homage was due to God and God alone, was as repugnant to Fell and his colleagues as it had been to Laud"; with this in mind they approached the Archbishop of Canterbury Gilbert Sheldon, for his blessing, his assistance, and a donation.
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  • Beautiful building - it would be interesting to see a performance here. Ah, well. Maybe next time! Seating on the upper-level was vertigo-inducing though! You would not be able to stand up mid-perform...  read more »
  • then it has that ceiling to boot - something about chasing ignorance out of the university the stairs are inside the building so those queasy about heightd don't have to deal with going outside 
  • Beautiful historic theatre, used for graduation, concerts and special lectures. Well worth the visit, but what is not as well known is that you can climb up to the top tower which provides a lovely vi...  read more »
  • Another magnificent building off Oxford’s Broad Street is the Sheldonian Theatre, which is where many graduation ceremonies of the University of Oxford take place. It's is surrounded by a stone wall railings with the heads of Roman Emperors circling the theatre courtyard. The architect of this beautiful theatre is none other than Christopher Wren before he went on to become one of the greatest designer in English history, credited with rebuilding the City of London after the Great Fire and St Paul’s Cathedral. At the courtyard behind, I chance upon art students sketching. I wonder what’s inspiring their thoughts.
  • Absolutely stunning location. I was lucky enough to attend a graduation ceremony here and I could not take my eyes off every little detail and artwork which surrounds the inside of this building. If you can get a tour of it while visiting Oxford, do so, you will not regret it.
  • Magnificent! The student seating is not comfortable, but it's cheap.
  • Beautiful building part of Oxford's unique heritage go see Univeristy orchestra and revel in the experience.
  • A must-see in Oxford. It's a quick must-see since it's basically one room. It's a really cool venue for matriculation and graduation.
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