University of Würzburg
The University of Würzburg is a university in Würzburg
Würzburg is a city in the region of Franconia which lies in the northern tip of Bavaria, Germany. Located at the Main River, it is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk Lower Franconia. The regional dialect is Franconian....

, Germany, founded in 1402. The university is a member of the distinguished Coimbra Group
Coimbra Group
The Coimbra Group is a network of 40 European universities, some among the oldest and most prestigious in Europe. It was founded in 1985 and formally constituted by charter in 1987....



The University’s official name is Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg which translates to Julius-Maximilian's University of Würzburg but it is commonly referred to as the University of Würzburg. This name is taken from Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn
Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn
Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn was a Prince-Bishop of Würzburg, Echter was born in Mespelbrunn Castle, Spessart and died in Würzburg....

, Prince-Bishop of Würzburg, who reestablished the University 426 years ago, and Prince Elector Maximilian Joseph, the prince under whom secularization occurred at the start of the 19th century. The University’s central administration, foreign student office, and several research institutes are located within the allied area of the old town, while the new liberal arts campus, with its modern library, overlooks the city from the east. The University today enrolls approximately 22,000 students, out of which more than 1,000 come from other countries.


Although the University was first founded in 1402, it was short-lived. The original university was destined to flounder. This was attributed to the lack of financial security and the instability of the age. Johannes Trithemius
Johannes Trithemius
Johannes Trithemius , born Johann Heidenberg, was a German abbot, lexicographer, historian, cryptographer, polymath and occultist who had an influence on later occultism. The name by which he is more commonly known is derived from his native town of Trittenheim on the Mosel in Germany.-Life:He...

, well-known humanist and learned abbot of the Scottish monastery of St. Jacob, held the then dissolute student lifestyle responsible for the premature decline of the city's first university. In the 'Annales Hirsaugiensis Chronologia Mystica' of 1506 he cites bathing, love, brawling, gambling, inebriation, squabbling and general pandemonium as 'greatly impeding the academic achievement in Würzburg'. Confirmation of this point of view is found in the fatal stabbing of the university's first chancellor, Johann Zantfurt, in 1423 by a scholar's unruly assistant, or 'famulus', evidently the result of these very influences. Despite Egloffstein's thwarted first attempt at founding a university, the city still boasts one of the oldest universities in the German-speaking world, on a par with Vienna (1365), Heidelberg (1386), Cologne (1388) and Erfurt (1392).


The initial inauguration of a university in Würzburg would ultimately not be resumed until a hundred and fifty years later. A 'second founding' by Prince Bishop Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn
Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn
Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn was a Prince-Bishop of Würzburg, Echter was born in Mespelbrunn Castle, Spessart and died in Würzburg....

 (1545–1617) in 1582 was to augur well for a 'new' university whose autonomous self-government was guaranteed. Politically speaking, the university was fiercely Roman Catholic and initially considered 'a bastion of Catholicism in the face of Protestantism', words also used in the university charter which prevented all non-Catholics from graduating from or receiving tenure at the 'Alma Julia'.

Over a century would pass before the university would deign to open its doors to non-Catholics, in keeping with the spirit of Enlightenment encouraged by Prince Bishop Friedrich Carl von Schönborn's newly formulated students' charter of 1734. The resultant increase in religious tolerance even enabled the summoning and subsequent appointment of the famous physician, Carl Caspar von Siebold, under Schönborn's successor, Adam Friedrich von Seinsheim. Shortly after his arrival in 1769, Protestant medical students were permitted to study for their doctorates at the university.

Würzburg's increasing secularisation as a bishopric and its eventual surrender to Bavarian rule at the beginning of the nineteenth century resulted in the inevitable loss of the university's Roman Catholic character. The end of the city's status as a Grand Duchy under Ferdinand of Toscana in 1814 heralded the 'Alma Julia's' ideological transition to the non-denominational establishment which endures to this day. This new inclusiveness towards professors and students alike was instrumental in the resultant unexpected upturn in all areas of research and education in the nineteenth century. Since then, the university has borne the name of its second and most influential founder, officially known as the Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Bavaria.

The many medical accomplishments associated with the university from the mid- to late nineteenth century were inextricably linked with achievements in the affiliated field of natural science, notably by Schwab, the eminent botanist, Semper, the zoologist, Wislicenus, the celebrated chemist and Boveri, the biologist. Their progress culminated in the discovery of x-rays by physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, first winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics, in 1895. Röntgen's discovery, which he dubbed 'a new kind of ray', is regarded as the university's greatest intellectual achievement, and, simultaneously, a scientific development of huge global import. Röntgen's successors, namely Wilhelm Wien, Johannes Stark and the chemists Emil Fischer and Eduard Buchner, also number among the succession of Nobel Prize winners to lecture at the university, a tradition which endures in the present-day example of Klaus von Klitzing.


After the Second World War, the free state of Bavaria invested many millions of German marks in the rebuilding and renovation of the severely damaged university buildings. Restoration of Echter's 'Old University', current home to the faculty of law, continues today. The eventual rebuilding of the Neubaukirche ('Neubau Church'), also affiliated to the legal faculty and almost razed to the ground in 1945, marked the end of the city's extensive reconstruction process. In 1970 it was decided that the church, one of the most important examples of sixteenth century vaulted architecture in Southern Germany, should fulfil a dual function as a place of worship and as the university banquet, assembly and concert hall. Nevertheless, the dignity of Echter's original Renaissance church has been successfully maintained, and thus it is fitting that his heart, removed for safe-keeping during the war, has once again found its place in the church he designed, fulfilling a request made during his lifetime.


  • Faculty of Catholic Theology
    Christian theology
    - Divisions of Christian theology :There are many methods of categorizing different approaches to Christian theology. For a historical analysis, see the main article on the History of Christian theology.- Sub-disciplines :...

  • Faculty of Law
    Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

  • Faculty of Medicine
    Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

     (Human Medicine
    Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

    , Dentistry
    Dentistry is the branch of medicine that is involved in the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body. Dentistry is widely considered...

     and Biomedicine
    Biomedicine is a branch of medical science that applies biological and other natural-science principles to clinical practice,. Biomedicine, i.e. medical research, involves the study of physiological processes with methods from biology, chemistry and physics. Approaches range from understanding...

  • Faculty of Arts I: History
    History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

    , Modern Languages, Culture
    Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

     and Geography
    Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

  • Faculty of Arts II: Philosophy
    Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

    , Psychology
    Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

    , Education
    Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

    al and Social Sciences
    Social sciences
    Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences...

  • Faculty of Biology
    Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

  • Faculty of Chemistry
    Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

     and Pharmacy
    Pharmacy is the health profession that links the health sciences with the chemical sciences and it is charged with ensuring the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs...

  • Faculty of Mathematics
    Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

     and Computer Science
    Computer science
    Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

  • Faculty of Physics
    Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

     and Astronomy
    Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

  • Faculty of Economics
    Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

For research done at the University

  • 1901 Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen
    Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen
    Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was a German physicist, who, on 8 November 1895, produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range today known as X-rays or Röntgen rays, an achievement that earned him the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901....

  • 1902 Emil Fischer
    Hermann Emil Fischer
    Hermann Emil Fischer, Emil Fischer was a German chemist and 1902 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He discovered the Fischer esterification. He developed the Fischer projection, a symbolic way of drawing asymmetric carbon atoms.-Early years:Fischer was born in Euskirchen, near Cologne,...

  • 1907 Eduard Buchner
    Eduard Buchner
    Eduard Buchner was a German chemist and zymologist, awarded with the 1907 Nobel Prize in Chemistry thanks to his work on fermentation.-Early years:...

  • 1919 Johannes Stark
    Johannes Stark
    Johannes Stark was a German physicist, and Physics Nobel Prize laureate who was closely involved with the Deutsche Physik movement under the Nazi regime.-Early years:...

  • 1922 Wilhelm Wien
    Wilhelm Wien
    Wilhelm Carl Werner Otto Fritz Franz Wien was a German physicist who, in 1893, used theories about heat and electromagnetism to deduce Wien's displacement law, which calculates the emission of a blackbody at any temperature from the emission at any one reference temperature.He also formulated an...

  • 1935 Hans Spemann
    Hans Spemann
    Hans Spemann was a German embryologist who was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1935 for his discovery of the effect now known as embryonic induction, an influence, exercised by various parts of the embryo, that directs the development of groups of cells into particular tissues...

  • 1985 Klaus von Klitzing
    Klaus von Klitzing
    Klaus von Klitzing is a German physicist known for discovery of the integer quantum Hall Effect, for which he was awarded the 1985 Nobel Prize in Physics....

  • 1988 Hartmut Michel
    Hartmut Michel
    Hartmut Michel is a German biochemist and Nobel Laureate.He was born 18 July 1948 in Ludwigsburg. After compulsory military service, he studied biochemistry at the University of Tübingen, working for his final year at Dieter Oesterhelt’s laboratory on ATPase activity of halobacteria.In 1986, he...

  • 2008 Harald zur Hausen
    Harald zur Hausen
    Harald zur Hausen is a German virologist and professor emeritus. He has done research on cancer of the cervix, where he discovered the role of papilloma viruses, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2008.-Biography:Zur Hausen was born in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, went to...


Associated with the University

  • 1903 Svante Arrhenius
    Svante Arrhenius
    Svante August Arrhenius was a Swedish scientist, originally a physicist, but often referred to as a chemist, and one of the founders of the science of physical chemistry...

  • 1909 Ferdinand Braun (Physics)
  • 1914 Max von Laue
    Max von Laue
    Max Theodor Felix von Laue was a German physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1914 for his discovery of the diffraction of X-rays by crystals...

  • 1920 Walther Hermann Nernst (Chemistry)
  • 1930 Karl Landsteiner
    Karl Landsteiner
    Karl Landsteiner , was an Austrian-born American biologist and physician of Jewish origin. He is noted for having first distinguished the main blood groups in 1900, having developed the modern system of classification of blood groups from his identification of the presence of agglutinins in the...


See also

  • Alexander Graham Bell honors and tributes
    Alexander Graham Bell honors and tributes
    thumb|275px|Alexander Graham Bell c.1918–1919Alexander Graham Bell honours and tributes include honours bestowed upon him and awards named for him....

  • Botanischer Garten der Universität Würzburg
    Botanischer Garten der Universität Würzburg
    The Botanischer Garten der Universität Würzburg is a botanical garden maintained by the University of Würzburg. It is located on Mittlerer Dallenbergweg, Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany, and open daily; admission is free....

    , the university's botanical garden
    Botanical garden
    A botanical garden The terms botanic and botanical, and garden or gardens are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word botanic is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is a well-tended area displaying a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names...

  • List of medieval universities
  • Würzburg Universitätsbibliothek Cod. M. p. th. f. 67
    Würzburg Universitätsbibliothek Cod. M. p. th. f. 67
    The Codex M. p. th. f. 67, designated by 11A , is an 8th or 9th century Latin Gospel Book. The text, written on vellum, it was known as a manuscript of Vulgate. The manuscript contains the text of the four Gospels on 192 parchment leaves . It is written in two columns per page, 20 lines per column...

External links

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