University Hall (Uppsala University)

Last updated
University Hall
Universitas Regia Upsaliensis.jpg
University Hall (Uppsala University)
General information
Coordinates 59°51′27″N17°37′46″E / 59.857558°N 17.629444°E / 59.857558; 17.629444 Coordinates: 59°51′27″N17°37′46″E / 59.857558°N 17.629444°E / 59.857558; 17.629444
Design and construction
Architect Herman Teodor Holmgren

University Hall or the University Main Building (Swedish: Universitetshuset) is the main building of Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden. The building is situated in University Park close to Uppsala Cathedral. It was designed in Italian renaissance Beaux-Arts style by architect Herman Teodor Holmgren (1842-1914) and completed in 1887.


The building should not be confused with Carolina Rediviva, which is the Uppsala University Library building, or Gustavianum, the previous main building, which today is a museum.


Before the completion of the present building, the main lecture hall of the university had been housed in the nearby Gustavianum, while the administration was housed in the Consistory House (Konsistoriehuset) and the academic ceremonies took place in the Carolina Rediviva university library building. The chosen site for the new building was previously occupied by a riding exercise court belonging to the university. [1] Planning and construction took place during a 10-year period, with the winning proposal designed by Herman Teodor Holmgren, a student of Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander. Holmgren had studied Beaux-Arts architecture in France, Italy and Germany and the University building became the largest of his works and the most well-known, counting among the foremost examples of this architectural style in Sweden and Scandinavia. [2] The building contract was awarded to the C H Hallström building company.

During the excavations for the building and the University Park, remnants of the foundations for the 14th-century Archbishop's Castle were unearthed, but subsequently buried below the park. Budget problems and the problematic ground conditions, due to the steep incline and castle foundations, caused delays and redesigns during the construction period. [3] The building was finally inaugurated by King Oscar II in May 1887.

The new building brought many advantages to the university, as the previous building Gustavianum only had two unheated lecture rooms. Several of the University Hall lecture rooms are still in use today, notably the Grand Auditorium, which seats 1,800 people. The inscription above the entrance to the main auditorium is an aphorism by the Swedish 18th-century philosopher Thomas Thorild (1759-1808), which famously reads: [1]

Tänka fritt är stort
men tänka rätt är större

("It is a great thing to think freely,
but greater still to think correctly")

Between 1996 and 2001, the building underwent a major renovation during which the paintwork in the entrance hall was restored to the original 19th century colors, which had been painted over during the 1970s. [2]

Present use

Exterior Universitetshuset.jpg

Today, the University Hall is mainly used for lectures, conferences, concerts and ceremonies, as well as formal receptions and consistory meetings. Many of the original administrative and academic functions of the building have been moved to modern buildings since the 19th century as the university has grown, but the University Hall retains its status as the formal main building. The building also houses a significant part of Uppsala University's extensive art collection and the Uppsala University Coin Cabinet.

As the building is still in use by the University, some of the rooms are normally inaccessible to the general public. Formal receptions for guests of the rector magnificus, the Vice-Chancellor, are held in the Chancellor's room upstairs, and the adjoining suite of rooms is used by the four original faculties of Uppsala University, decorated with portraits of past professors and alumni of Uppsala University. It also contains a minor exhibit on the University's Nobel laureates. The Consistory, the governing body of the university, meets in an ornate board room on the entrance level, which is decorated with portraits of previous monarchs of Sweden from the Protestant reformation to the 20th century. [2]

Related Research Articles

Uppsala City in Uppland, Sweden

Uppsala is the county seat of Uppsala County and the fourth-largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö. It had 177,074 inhabitants in 2019.

Uppsala University Research university in Uppsala, Sweden

Uppsala University is a public research university in Uppsala, Sweden. Founded in 1477, it is the oldest university in Sweden and all of the Nordic countries still in operation. It has ranked among the world's 100 best universities in several high-profile international rankings during recent years. The university uses "Gratiae veritas naturae" as its motto and embraces natural sciences.

Uppsala Astronomical Observatory Observatory

The Uppsala Astronomical Observatory (UAO), Astronomiska observatoriet i Uppsala) is the oldest astronomical observatory in Sweden. It was founded in 1741, though there was a professorial chair of astronomy at the University of Uppsala from 1593 and the university archives include lecture notes in astronomy from the 1480s.

<i>Codex Argenteus</i> Gothic bible translation

The Codex Argenteus is a 6th-century illuminated manuscript, originally containing part of the 4th-century translation of the Christian Bible into the Gothic language. Traditionally ascribed to the Arian bishop Wulfila, it is now established that the Gothic translation was performed by several scholars, possibly under Wulfila's supervision. Of the original 336 folios, 188—including the Speyer fragment discovered in 1970—have been preserved, containing the translation of the greater part of the four canonical gospels. A part of it is on permanent display at the Carolina Rediviva building in Uppsala, Sweden.

History of Uppsala

The city of Uppsala is one of the oldest in Sweden. It has played a dominant role in the political, intellectual and historical development of the country. The two main institutions in the history of Uppsala are the Archdiocese which is located in the city, and Uppsala University, founded in the city in 1477. These have long been established on the western banks of the Fyris river with a bourgeois trading town on the other side of the river.

Carolina Rediviva Main building of the Uppsala University Library

Carolina Rediviva is the main building of the Uppsala University Library in Uppsala, Sweden. The building was begun in 1820 and completed in 1841. The original architect was Carl Fredrik Sundvall. Later additions to the building have been designed by Axel Johan Anderberg and Peter Celsing. The name, literally "Carolina Revived", was given in remembrance of the old Academia Carolina building, which had functioned as the university library for most of the 18th century. Carolina Rediviva is the oldest and largest university library building in the country. It is also the site where the Codex Argenteus and the Cancionero de Upsala are kept.

Uppsala University Library

The Uppsala University Library at Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden, consists of 11 subject libraries, one of which is housed in the old main library building, Carolina Rediviva. The library holds books and periodicals, manuscripts, musical scores, pictures and maps.

Peter Celsing Swedish architect

Peter Elof Herman Torsten Folke von Celsing was a Swedish modernist architect.


Gustavianum is the oldest standing building of Uppsala University. It was built between 1622 and 1625, and used as the main building of the university between 1778 and 1887. Since 1997 it is used as the university museum of Uppsala University.

Herman Teodor Holmgren Swedish architect

Herman Teodor Holmgren was a Swedish architect.

Victoria Rooms, Bristol

The Victoria Rooms, also known as the Vic Rooms, houses the University of Bristol's music department in Clifton, Bristol, England, on a prominent site at the junction of Queens Road and Whiteladies Road. The building, originally assembly rooms, was designed by Charles Dyer and was constructed between 1838 and 1842 in Greek revival style, and named in honour of Queen Victoria, who had acceded to the throne in the previous year. An eight column Corinthian portico surmounts the entrance, with a classical relief sculpture designed by Musgrave Watson above. The construction is of dressed stonework, with a slate roof. A bronze statue of Edward VII, was erected in 1912 at the front of the Victoria Rooms, together with a curved pool and several fountains with sculptures in the Art Nouveau style.

Uppsala University Hospital Hospital in Uppsala, Sweden

Uppsala University Hospital in Uppsala, Sweden, is a teaching hospital for the Uppsala University Faculty of Medicine and the Nursing School. Uppsala University Hospital is owned and operated by the Uppsala County Council in cooperation with the university and serves, together with Enköping hospital in Enköping, as the primary hospitals for Uppsala County. It also fills the function of a tertiary referral hospital for the Uppsala/Örebro health care region and, for certain specialities, a tertiary referral hospital for the entire country of Sweden.

Collegium Novum

The Collegium Novum is the Neo-Gothic main building of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, originally built between the year 1363 and 1365 and after its destruction, rebuilt in between 1873-1887. Based on a design by architect Feliks Księżarski to match the oldest building of the University, it was opened for the 500th anniversary of the University's foundation. The Collegium Novum replaced a former academic boarding school called Jeruzalem, consumed by fire in the mid-19th century.

Uppsala University Coin Cabinet

The Uppsala University Coin Cabinet is one of Sweden's most important public coin and medal collections. It is housed in the main building of Uppsala University.

Tina Weedon Smith Memorial Hall United States historic place

Tina Weedon Smith Memorial Hall, located at 805 S. Mathews Avenue in Urbana, Illinois, is an historic building on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Smith Hall is located just off the main quad of campus and is just east of Foellinger Auditorium. The building was constructed in 1917-21 and was designed in the Beaux-Arts style by James M. White and George E. Wright.

University of Uppsala Botanical Garden

The University of Uppsala Botanical Garden, near Uppsala Castle, is the principal botanical garden belonging to Uppsala University. It was created on land donated to the university in 1787 by Sweden's King Gustav III, who also laid the cornerstone of Linneanum, its orangery.


Geijersgården is located in Uppsala, Sweden, north of Carolina Rediviva, the main building of Uppsala University Library.

The following is a timeline of the History of Uppsala.


Fjärdingen is a neighbourhood in the inner city of Uppsala, Sweden, situated on the western banks of the river Fyris. It has been the ecclesiastical centre of Sweden since the 13th century and contains many of the historical sights and landmarks of Uppsala, notably Uppsala Cathedral on the Domberget hill, with the Archbishop's residence and Church of Sweden offices, as well as the historical university district of Sweden's oldest university, Uppsala University. Notable university buildings in the area include University Hall, Gustavianum and Carolina Rediviva, as well as most of the student nation buildings. To the south, Uppsala Castle, the University Hospital and the Stadsträdgården city park form the boundary of the historical inner city.

University Park, Uppsala

University Park, is a public park in central Uppsala in Sweden, situated in the historical Fjärdingen district close to Uppsala Cathedral.