CAROLINUM + Charles University

The Czech king and Roman emperor, Charles IV, followed (King Vaclav II. of the dynasty Přemyslovci vision to establish a university in Prague. Although King Vaclav II was unsuccessful in his attempt, King Charles IV managed to establish the studium generale, which is the old customary name for a medieval university. Following the model of the Paris Sorbonne and the University of Bologna, the first university in Prague, which was named after the king, was founded in 1348 and it included four faculties - philosophical, legal, medical and theological. It is the oldest university in central Europe. Students from all surrounding countries, especially Germany, came to study in Prague. The university had gradually gained prestige and reputation throughout Europe and some of the European nation’s elites were formed there.
Because the university did not have a building of their own, King Vacláv IV (son of Charles IV) bought the house of the mint master, Jan Rotlev, for the university in the year 1386. The university campus, today’s Carolinum, had the great hall, the professor’s apartments, a prison and also an armoury, and this was where “student life” took place. The original Gothic college was rebuilt in 18th century into a Baroque style. Today, we can admire the original Gothic oriole building, which was once a part of the college chapel or the cross vault in the corridors of the building. Part of the building is also the Aula Magna, and this is where graduation ceremonies usually took place for students, who were granted with honorary doctorates. The Carolinum is the centre of today’s Charles University, which has seventeen faculties for students from all around Europe.

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