"They were standing at one end of a very long and splendid hall with a highly polished, dark wood floor. The peacock-blue ceiling was inlaid with gleaming golden symbols that were continually moving and changing like some enormous heavenly notice board. The walls on each side were panelled in shiny dark wood and had many gilded fireplaces set into them. Every few seconds a witch or wizard would emerge from one of the left-hand fireplaces with a soft whoosh; on the right-hand side, short queues of wizards were forming before each fireplace, waiting to depart."
—Description of the Atrium of the Ministry[src]

The Atrium was a large, splendid area that served as the primary point of entry and exit for traffic in and out of the Ministry Headquarters in London, as well as functioning as a reception area for visitors.[1]


During Fudge's reign

Banner of Fudge that used to hang in the Atrium

During Fudge's time in office, the Atrium's layout did not change until the later part of his last year in office, when he was using all his power and influence to discredit Dumbledore and Harry. During this time, the Atrium reflected his growing control over the government. To reinforce his position as Minister, Fudge had a large magical portrait banner of himself hanging in the Atrium. The banner depicted him as a strong and steadfast leader. Subliminally, it represented that Fudge's presence was felt everywhere in the Ministry and as a warning against those who might challenge his, and by extension the Ministry's, position that You-Know-Who had not truly returned.[2]

On the 18th June, 1996, the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, fought between five members of the Order of the Phoenix and a group of Death Eaters, culminated in a duel between Albus Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort. The two master wizards cast at each other spells of such a powerful and destructive calibre,[3] that many parts of the Atrium, including the banner of Fudge, were destroyed.[2]

During Voldemort's reign

"The great Atrium seemed darker than Harry remembered it. Previously a golden fountain had filled the centre of the hall, casting shimmering spots of light over the polished wooden floor and walls. Now a gigantic statue of black stone dominated the scene. It was rather frightening, this vast sculpture of a witch and wizard sitting on ornately carved thrones, looking down at the Ministry workers toppling out of fireplaces below them. Engraved in foot-high letters at the base of the statue were the words MAGIC IS MIGHT."
—The Atrium under Voldemort[src]

The Atrium during Voldemort's regime

The layout of the Atrium during Voldemort's reign was still generally the same, except that it was somewhat darker than before and instead of the Fountain of Magical Brethren, there was a black stone statue of a witch and wizard sitting on thrones, which was made from the bodies of contorted Muggle men, women, and children, all with stupid-looking faces. The inscription on this statue read "Magic is Might", signifying wizarding dominance over non-magical people.[4]


The ceiling was peacock blue with golden symbols moving over it; the floor, polished dark wood. Halfway into the Atrium was the Fountain of Magical Brethren. The fountain featured golden statues of a wizard, a witch, a centaur, a goblin, and a house-elf, all which spouted water from various locales into the pool of water below, and each of the last three of which was shown in some manner basking in the generosity, wisdom and apparent superiority of wizardkind.[1]

The hallway leading into the Atrium

To enter the lifts allowing access to the rest of the Ministry (tenth floor excepted), visitors passed through a set of golden gates, beside which was a security stand. The guard at the stand registered visitors' wands. When Harry Potter first visited the Ministry, the watch-wizard stationed there was Eric Munch.[1]

Methods of entry

Before the Death Eaters' reign, visitors to the Ministry could choose to use the external entrance (an unused telephone booth), or might arrive via the Floo Network, utilising a series of gilded fireplaces lining the left-hand side of the long hallway leading into the Atrium proper. Visitors departed through a series of fireplaces lining the right-hand side of the hall.[1]

During the reign of Voldemort and the Death Eaters, however, only senior employees, such as Dolores Umbridge as Head of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission, were allowed to use the Floo Network from their homes straight to the Ministry. All other employees used coins which activated doorways into bathroom stalls. While standing inside the toilet, one would pull the lever and be shot down a chute into the Ministry.[4]

Component areas

Behind the scenes

"When we get to see the Ministry for the first time, there are various political elements that suggest the world of Big Brother."
—Producer David Barron.[src]
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the banner of Fudge depicts the Minister in the style of 1930s posters from the former Soviet Union.
  • Much of the Atrium set design was based on the designs of the London Underground. The Victorian façade of a Burger King restaurant was also an influence.[5]
  • The tiles in the Atrium (and throughout the Ministry of Magic) were made out of thick cardboard, as actual ceramic tiles would have been very expensive to produce. Each "tile" underwent a lengthy painting process to give them the look of real ceramic tile.[6] Over 30,000 individually placed tiles were used.[7]
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the statues in the atrium are different from the book. In the book, BOTH the wizard and witch are posing together on a pedestal with the other magic creatures looking up at them. Whereas in the movie, for some strange reason only the wizard is standing on a huge pedestal, while the witch is standing far away on another pedestal with the other creatures at her level. She is also much smaller in size than the wizard.


Notes and references

The Atrium
Level 8, Ministry of Magic
Fountain of magical brethren.jpg
Lobby and Reception Area · Fountain of Magical Brethren · Magic is Might monument · Ministry Munchies · Security Desk · Lifts · Magical Maintenance Office
Eric Munch

Ministry of Magic Departments
Department of International Magical Cooperation.jpg Ministry of Magic Latin Logo.jpg Department of Magical Education logo.jpg Department of Magical Law Enforcement logo.png MinistryOfMagicLogo - Cursed Child.svg DMAC clear.png MBRC clear.png Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures logo.png DMT clear.png
Level 1 Level 2
Minister for Magic and Support Staff Department of Magical Law Enforcement
Office of the Minister for Magic · Office of the Advisor to the Minister for Magic · Office of the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic · Office of the Junior Assistant to the Minister for Magic Auror Office · Department of Intoxicating Substances · Improper Use of Magic Office · Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office · Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects · Wizengamot Administration Services
Level 3 Level 4
Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures
Accidental Magic Reversal Squad · Invisibility Task Force · Muggle Liaison Office · Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee · Obliviator Headquarters Beast Division · Being Division · Centaur Liaison Office · Goblin Liaison Office · Office for House-Elf Relocation · Office of Misinformation · Pest Advisory Board · Spirit Division
Level 5 Level 6
Department of International Magical Cooperation Department of Magical Transportation
International Confederation of Wizards, British Seats · International Magical Office of Law · International Magical Trading Standards Body Apparition Test Centre · Broom Regulatory Control · Floo Network Authority · Portkey Office
Level 7 Level 8
Department of Magical Games and Sports The Atrium
British and Irish Quidditch League Headquarters · Official Gobstones Club · Ludicrous Patents Office Lobby and Reception Area · Fountain of Magical Brethren · Magic is Might monument · Ministry Munchies · Security Desk · Lifts · Magical Maintenance Office
Level 9 Level 10
Department of Mysteries Wizengamot Courtrooms
Hall of Prophecy · Death Chamber · Brain Room · Time Chamber · Space Chamber · Love Chamber Courtroom Ten
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