Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg:
Salzburg University

The main building of Salzburg University in the city center, right behind the cathedral.

The Paris Lodron University in Salzburg was originally founded by Prince Archbishop Paris Lodron in 1622. It was an addition to a "Gymnasium", a secondary school that had been founded in 1617.

wikipedia, GFDLThe University was initially set up and maintained by a federation of Benedictine abbeys from Salzburg, Switzerland, Bavaria and Austria. In the early years, the courses taught were theology and divinity, philosophy as well as law and medicine.

As a result of the Napoleonic Wars, Salzburg was secularised in the early 19th century. Prince Ferdinand, a brother of Emperor Franz I. of Austria, established the first Faculty of Medicine.

The origins of the University of Salzburg

After Salzburg was annexed by Bavaria in 1810, the University was closed and dissolved on the 24th of December (Merry Christmas!). To replace the institution, a so-called "Lyzeum" was founded, which probably relates to a proper University like a polytechnic one these days. The Lyzeum had a section for divinity, one for philosophy and one for medicine and surgery. A few years later in 1816, Salzburg finally became part of the Austrian Empire.

The Lyzeum was closed in 1850, when Austria lifted the divinity section of it to a University Faculty. The re-awakening local pride of Salzburg and recovering economy leads to several attempts to re-establish a full University. These attempts fail for 150 years.

In 1962, the University of Salzburg is re-founded with a Faculty of Catholic Theology and one for Philosophy. Classes start in 1964, the year that is generally considered to be the year of the foundation. One year later, a Faculty of Law is added to the proliferating University.

Uni Salzburg: 40 years or 400?

In 1975, a new law regulates the organisation of universities in Austria. This causes Salzburg University to create five faculties as divisions: the Faculty of Catholic Theology, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine. The latter one is never founded.

In 1995, the organisation of Austria′s universities is re-structured again, this time granting a lot of autonomy and freedom to them. The new law is gradually incorporated into practice over the course of several years until 2004. With the new structure, the University of Salzburg turns down the idea of founding a Faculty of Medicine. However, in the meantime a private University for Medicine was founded.

The other four Faculties remain. They are sub-divided into 31 "Fachbereiche" or departments. The Paris Lodron University has approximately 14,000 students and a staff of 1,600. It is the biggest educational institution in Salzburg.

No campus for the University

Salzburg University is no campus university. It occupies several buildings in the Altstadt, such as former parts of the Residenz Palace, the Toskanatrakt and in the Kapitelgasse. The University library is between the Kollegienkirche (the University church) and the Festival Halls, attached to it you will find the "Große Aula", or ceremonial hall.

wikipedia, GFDLThe Faculty of Humanities is by the Rudolfskai, only 100 metres from Mozartplatz Square and Papagenoplatz, although the modern language departments are located in the Akademiestraße by the Hellbrunnerallee. The Faculty of Sciences, the second-biggest building of Salzburg after the Hohensalzburg Fortress, can be found only a bit further South next to Schloss Freisaal Castle and the Frohnburg Castle.

Smaller offices and institutes are scattered all over Salzburg and arts and music are taught separately at the Mozarteum Art University. There is also a polytechnic University in Salzburg and the private Medical University that was mentioned above.

Salzburg University, official website - opens in new window
German Wikipedia on Salzburg University - opens in new window

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