If you’re a student at the IE University Segovia Campus, you will have heard the term “Aula Magna” many times. And if you’re about to embark on a new educational journey with us, you’ll soon find out that the Aula Magna will be a central part of your experience.

But do you know exactly what it means, or the history behind it? Read on to find out more!

What’s in a name?

The word Aula Magna translates to “great hall.” But despite its Latin name, IE University’s Aula Magna isn’t as old as other parts of the Segovia Campus, such as the Archaeology Room. It was actually built in the 14th century, on top of the original Romanesque church from 1218. 

There’s much more than meets the eye

Before being the great conference hall that it is today, the Aula Magna was a church as well as a burial site. Just by walking around inside, you can catch a glimpse of its history. Look down, and you’ll see that ancient tombstones cover the floor. And if you look at the main doors from outside, you’ll notice a frieze (a decorative, sculpted band) that references the Catholic Monarchs—Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. In fact, Isabella came to visit on a regular basis. She attended mass in the church, and stood on the balcony that you can still see at the front. What’s more, she had a permanent confessor there too, who had a great influence on her in terms of politics. You could say that very important, history-altering decisions were made right in the Aula Magna!

The Aula Magna today

Let’s fast forward to the 21st century, where the Aula Magna still makes history, but for IE University and those who pass through its doors. Our Aula Magna is where both inauguration and graduation ceremonies take place, as well as important conferences, concerts and festivals. It’s an unforgettable place that bookends our students’ academic experience at IE University. 

What’s more, the magnificent building is a key part of Segovia’s Hay Festival, an international event that explores literature, the arts, and thinking. Many of the events take place in the Aula Magna. It’s the perfect venue, not only because it can seat many people, but because it was designed for great acoustics—Dominican friars used to preach there, without microphones!

“I can’t find the words to describe how it feels to step inside the astonishing Aula Magna. The energy of the space leaves you awestruck.”

Ana Corina (Venezuela), Bachelor in Architecture, Class of 2020

It’s rare for a student to soak in almost a millennium of history every time they step onto campus. Especially when they go to a university that’s renowned for its high-tech facilities and innovative nature. But that’s exactly what the IE experience is—a perfect blend of technology and tradition. Come and see for yourself!