The University Aula


The Aula is an annex of Domus Media, the centre building of the University of Oslo campus on Karl Johans gate. The buildings are from the 1850s, but the ceremonial hall, the Aula, was built for the University’s centenary in 1911.

This middle building was designed for artistic decoration with its huge wall surfaces and skylight. But when the new ceremonial hall was officially opened in September 1911, the walls were clad in yellow silk wallpaper. The decoration of the hall was a contentious process, later be known as the “Aula clash”. Munch commenced work on the decoration in 1909 when he delivered his first proposal for the competition. The decoration was not completed until September 1916. Munch’s 11 paintings cover a total of 223 m2Edvard Munch’s Aula paintings are a major work within Norwegian monumental painting. The main paintings are The Sun, History and Alma Mater. The central painting is The Sun at the end of the hall. The sun as the source of life is metaphorically an image of illumination, of learning and knowledge. In History the old man passes on his experience and narratives to an attentive boy and Alma Mater gives nourishment to a new generation. “She provides the milk of science” as Munch described the woman. Both are placed in recognizable Norwegian landscapes. Eight smaller paintings adorn the walls. Some of the motifs can be interpreted as pictures of distinct sciences. All of them pay homage to light/enlightenment and the vital force of life. Edvard Munch said about the Aula decorations: “My intention has been to make the decorations form a complete and independent world of ideas, and its visual expression is to be intrinsically Norwegian as well as universally human”.

02. June

13. Oct.


Opening Hours
2 June - 13 October
Friday - Sunday: 13:00-17:00

2 July - 2 August 
Tuesday - Thursday: 10:00-14:00
Friday - Sunday: 13:00-17:00

Due to special events auditorium will be closed on the following dates

Saturday  8 June
Friday 28 June
Saturday 29 June
Sunday 30 June
Friday 9 August
Friday 16 August
Saturday 7 September 
Saturday 5 October

Free admission


Universitetets Aula
Karl Johans gate 47
0162 Oslo