- Round buildings usually stand out from the surrounding architecture, and the Sheldonian is no exception. Visitors can't help but wonder what goes on inside, not least because the 'Emperors' heads' on the wall on Broad Street give the place such an imposing air. Primarily, the Sheldonian is a university building, used for major meetings and ceremonies. At other times, it is used as a concert venue. The theatre is an excellent setting, particularly for classical recitals, although the tiered seating can be slightly uncomfortable. This is a historically important building as it was the first major one to be designed by Sir Christopher Wren, who at the time was only 31 and a professor of astronomy. The design is based on the Marcellus Theatre in Rome and the theatre is named after Archbishop Sheldon (University Chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury) who paid for its construction. Opening hours are irregular, depending on ceremonies, concerts and rehearsals.
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