Prague Minos Guide

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14. století

Charles University

The oldest university in Central Europe
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This is the leading university in the Czech Republic, which is the oldest one in Central Europe. The Charles University in Prague was founded on April 7th 1348 by the Emperor Charles the Fourth with the consent of the Pope. The consent of the Pope was formulated by the Charter of Klement the Fourth. The university was structurally divided according to the four "nations" conducting activities there and each received one vote regarding the issues of the university. Although the study program had already begun when the university was founded, a significant progress started after the establishment of the college and after the construction of the Karolinum in the second half the 14th century, which resulted in an influx of students from all over Europe.
During the revolutionary changes at the beginning of the 14th century, the Decree of Kutná Hora was issued and granted the voting rights strongly in the favor of Bohemian citizens and therefore directly caused a majority of the students and masters to leave the university. Thus, the university lost a little of its reputation and became somewhat

isolated. The former prosperity slowly returned after 1622, when it was handed over to the Jesuits. In the middle of the 18th century, the university came under the governance of the state after it had been taken away from the Jesuits. In the 19th century, the university was divided into the Bohemian and German section and continued to develop further. During the times of the First Czechoslovak Republic, the university became a symbol of the uninterrupted tradition and a new School of Natural Sciences was founded. After the formation of the Bohemia and Moravia Protectorate in 1939, students unrests arose and the university was closed by the Nazis. Under the Communist regime after 1948, the university was administered by the Communist Party central planning, which enforced many radical reforms.
Following the velvet revolution in 1989, the university attempted to restore its former First-Czechoslovak Republic tradition and immediately founded several schools and the development progressed significantly. Today the university boasts 48,000 students and has regained international prestige.


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