The splendid Main Ceremonial Chamber is the central room of Vienna University. With a floor area of nearly 470m2 and an impressive height of 19m, over 200 doctorate and graduation ceremonies are held here each year, along with numerous scientific congresses, academic honour and scientific award ceremonies.
The Main Ceremonial Chamber has two storeys - and so a very high ceiling - and features an accessible columned ambulatory which supports a gallery. The fresco ornamentation in this room gives an idea of the rich paintwork Heinrich von Ferstel originally planned for the ambulatory in the arcaded courtyard and the main staircases.
The walls of the chamber are made from polished stucco marble, the side walls display six portraits of university rectors from the 17th and 18th centuries. At the front stands the impressive pulpit and to its left, the larger-than-life statue of Duke Rudolf IV, founder of the University of Vienna. He is holding a sceptre, a symbol of his sovereignty, along with the foundation deed. On the right, the statue of Maria Theresa keeps watch. She is responsible for the construction of the Aula, which was opened in 1756 and has housed the Austrian Academy of Science since 1857. Above all she is seen as a reformer, of medical studies at Vienna University especially. Since 2004 this success story has continued at the independent Medical University of Vienna.