My university has a library with a large round hall/chamber where students can study. On the sides it is supported by the columns. Is there a special word in English for big round rooms covered by a roof?

  • You do mean covered by a dome? – Tim Lymington Jun 12 '15 at 23:05

It's a rotunda.

rotunda [noun]

A round building or room, especially one with a dome.


But you should have heard the comments when I explained to some tourists that the Radcliffe Camera was 'the rotunda you can see in the distance' rather than 'the round building ...'.

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    And if you want a rather splendid example of one, take a look at the Sheldonian Theatre Oxford, opened in 1669, after a design by Sir Christopher Wren. – WS2 Jun 12 '15 at 23:08
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    +1, also see the Rotunda at the University of Virginia. – user98990 Jun 12 '15 at 23:17
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    Or for one with a dome go to the old reading room of the British Museum, which is where Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital. – WS2 Jun 12 '15 at 23:17
  • @WS2 - Quite a "room"! Even I could write with inspiration there! – user98990 Jun 12 '15 at 23:20
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    @LittleEva Ever tried reading Das Kapital? Your comment brings to mind the adage about 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration. – WS2 Jun 12 '15 at 23:22

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