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A little history of the Sorbonne

Sorbonne, rue des Ecoles | FLLL / CC-BY-SA
Enseignement Sorbonne

The famous school was named after a modest canon of Cambrai then of Paris, Robert de Sorbon: this man from Rethel in Ardennes was in king Louis XI’s good books, he even became his confessor!

King gave him a land on rue Coupe-Gueule (current rue de la Sorbonne) and two houses in 1253, in order to found the collège of Sorbon. Poor students came, found room and board and started to study theology... without spending a dime!

The school, at that time, welcomed about 100 students: but it soon became very famous, in Europe! After Hundred Years War (our school supported the English), prior Guillaume Fichet raised the first library in Paris, here, in Sorbonne, with the help of three German typographers, Gering, Crantz and Friburger.

In 1472, they printed 30 books! Until the Revolution, the Sorbonne was the seat of the Theology Faculty and Paris University.

Then cardinal Richelieu, prior and head teacher of the collège, completely restored the old buildings, in 1626: architect Jacques Le Mercier added 4 detached houses flanked by slate roofs.

In 1885, buildings were too small! They raised other buildings, next to the old Sorbonne.

The only buildings remaining from Richelieu’s Sorbonne is the chapel: he laid the first stone down in 1635 and was buried in it. We can see his marble tomb made by Girardon (1694).

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!