Guided tours through the Main Building of the University of Vienna

*** Attention: There will be no guided tour on September 22nd, 2022 ***

Coming from the Ringstraße, the first thing that catches your attention is the facade with its open arcades right above the main entrance. The gable bears the inscription "Universitas Litterarum Vindobonensis" and shows “the birth of Minerva”. In a niche on the left side of the Aula (assembly hall), the names of all rectors of the University of Vienna are engraved on red marble slabs, beginning with Albertus Rigennstorff, the first rector.

The adjacent Arcade Court was created by the architect Heinrich Ferstel following the example of an Italian Campo Santo. It was designed to commemorate famous scientists and academics as well as to provide recreation to students. In the middle of the Arcade Court is the Kastalia fountain. Via the fountain, air is drawn into the heating system and the lecture halls of the University.

Through the hallway to the right, a magnificent staircase leads up to the ceremonial halls of the University and the reading room of the University Library. The Main Ceremonial Hall provides the venue for graduations and bestowals of honours and awards. To the left and right of the rector’s podium we find the larger-than-life statues of Rudolph IV and Maria Theresia. The ceiling paintings were done by Franz Matsch after the original designs by Gustav Klimt.

Public guided tours of the Main Building

The guided tours are designed to introduce tourists and interested people in general to the historic building on the Ringstraße. The one-hour tour of the Main Building provides an overview of the history of the University of Vienna. Starting in the Aula, the tour includes the Arcade Court, the main reading room of the University Library and the Main Ceremonial Hall (if available) with the copies of the original ceiling paintings by Gustav Klimt.

Detailed information

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When and where
Registration and costs
Tours for Groups at the Main Building