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La Sorbonne facts. Paris university facts.

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Paris University La Sorbonne

La Sorbonne University was since the 12th century the University of Paris, one of the best in Europe. As the number of students skyrocketed, it was split into 13 separate universities in 1971. Some of them kept Sorbonne in their name. Many typically French Grandes Ecoles coexist with the universities. Some of them are very prestigious. There is an ongoing plan to merge universities and Grandes Ecoles in order to create world level universities such as Paris-Saclay. Paris facts.

Paris University history

Founded in the 12th century, La Sorbonne is one of the oldest and best universities in Europe. In 1971, in the aftermath of the May 68 Sorbonne riots, it was split into 13 universities, numbered from 1 to 13. A number of these universities retained the word Sorbonne as part of their name.

Paris 1, Paris 4 occupy the original building of Sorbonne University in Quartier Latin near Le Panthéon. Sorbonne plan. 350 000 students study today at these universities. Most of these universities merged into bigger multidisciplinary universities including a few Grandes Ecoles. Two of them, Paris Sorbonne University and Université Sorbonne Paris Cité are already prominent French universities.

The Institut Catholique de Paris is a catholic university with premises near Luxembourg Gardens. Web site.

Today, the universities coexist with the typically French Grandes Ecoles, dominant in the fields of engineering (Ecole Polytechnique, Centrale Supélec, Mines) and business administration (HEC, Essec, ESCP).

Paris University
Richelieu amphitheater in Sorbonne University

La Sorbonne history

During the Middle Ages, La Sorbonne was very famous. It attracted students and professors of law, theology, medicine and philosophy from all over Europe. A few of the Colleges where they stayed are still existing with new functions close to Panthéon and Luxembourg Gardens.

Collège des Bernardins, 18, rue de Poissy (map). Web site.
Hotel de Cluny, 6, Place Paul Painlevé (map). Web site.
Collège Sainte-Barbe, 4, rue Valette (map). Web site.
Collège d'Harcourt, 44, Boulevard Saint-Michel (map).
Web site.
Cordeliers, 21, Rue Ecole de Médecine (map). Web site.

Collège des Bernardins
Collège des Bernardins, now a cultural center

Sorbonne detailed history

The Sorbonne University, first called Collège de la Sorbonne, owes its name to the modest canon of Cambrai, then of Paris, Robert de Sorbon. This man came from from Rethel in the Ardennes. He became the chaplain and confessor of Saint Louis, the famous King of France of the 13th century, who built the Sainte Chapelle. The king gave him land on rue Coupe-Gueule (now rue de la Sorbonne) plus two houses in 1253 to found the college there. Poor students would now find board and lodging and receive theology lessons, without paying a penny.

From the time of its creation, the college accommodated a hundred schoolchildren. Its fame then spread throughout Europe. After the troubles of the Hundred Years War, where the college took the side of the Burgundians, therefore, the English, the prior Guillaume Fichet had the first Parisian printing works installed at the Sorbonne with the help of 3 German typographers, Gering, Crantz and Friburger. In 1472, they already had printed 30 books. Until the Revolution, the Sorbonne was the seat of the Faculty of Theology and the University of Paris.

Richelieu, prior and principal of the college, had Jacques Le Mercier rebuild the old buildings entirely in 1626: he added 4 pavilions flanked by slate roofs around a vast courtyard. From 1885, the university started to run out of space. Other buildings were built by Nénot alongside the old Sorbonne. The only monument that remains of the Sorbonne of Richelieu is the chapel, the foundation stone of which he himself laid in 1635. His marble tomb, made by Girardon (1694) on plans by Le Brun can be seen in the chapel.

Paris history

Universities in downtown

The first 7 Universities, numbered 1 to 7, have campuses in downtown. The remaining 8 to 13 universities have campuses around the city. The downtown faculties cover all possible subjects at the highest level. Admission is done per University. Refer to their web site.

Paris 1 is called Panthéon Sorbonne.
Paris 2 is called Panthéon Assas.
Paris 3 is called Sorbonne Nouvelle.
Paris 4, called Paris Sorbonne, is now part of Sorbonne Université.
Paris 5 is called Université Paris Descartes. It has merged in 2019 into Université de Paris.
Paris 6, called UPMC, is now part of Sorbonne Université.
Paris 7 is called Paris Diderot, It has merged in 2019 into Université de Paris.

The most famous student residence in downtown is Cité Universitaire, a magnificent series of independent country pavilions set in a beautiful park. Cité Universitaire facts. Crous manages 6750 student rooms and apartments in downtown.

The Assas Campus
The Assas Campus

Sorbonne Université

Sorbonne Université (Sorbonne University in English) is the merger on January 1st 2018 of Paris 6 UPMC and Paris 4 Sorbonne. Sorbonne Université is one of the most complete and most important universities in France and in the world, in the field of Arts, Languages, Letters, Humanities and Social Sciences. 21,000 students in initial training and 2,615 in continuing education, 2,059 staff including 1,237 teachers, research professors and researchers and 822 support staff, 92 degrees offered, 18 training and research units, 2 schools: Celsa and Espé, 16 sites in the region, 7 doctoral schools.

The main campus of Sorbonne Université is Jussieu on the Seine river banks, the former and modern campus of UMPC.

1, rue Victor Cousin
Paris 75005 France

Atrium of Jussieu campus
Atrium of Jussieu campus

Université de Paris

Université de Paris is the merger in January 2020 of Paris 5 Paris Descartes and Paris 7 Paris Diderot. With 58,000 students, 7,500 staff members and 142 laboratories, the Université de Paris embodies Paris as a modern city that is open to the world, youth and knowledge. Staff: 4,500 teacher-researchers; 3,000 administrative and technical staff; 20 percent of staff from INSERM (French national institute for health and medical research). Students: 58,000 students; 22 graduate schools; 8 percent of doctorate degrees earned in France. Scientific staff: 142 research laboratories; Leading French university in terms of citation rate per article; 53rd place in the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities (forecast); 10 percent of scientific articles published in France. Patrimony: 500,000 square metres of real estate property; 35 university buildings.

100-104, avenue de France
Paris 75013 France

Sorbonne Paris Cité Tolbiac campus
Sorbonne Paris Cité Tolbiac campus


Top hotel near La Sorbonne

Hotel Delavigne is 250 m from Odéon Metro station and 500 m from La Sorbonne. It offers soundproofed accommodation with free Wi-Fi. Each room mixes contemporary decor with antique furniture and has a flat-screen TV. The rooms on the upper floors offer views over the rooftops of central Paris. Left bank hotels.

1, rue Casimir Delavigne
Paris 750060 France
Hotel Delavigne
Hotel Delavigne near Luxembourg Gardens


Cité Universitaire de Paris

It is not very easy to find student housing in Paris. The Crous centralizes all available rooms. A notable exception is the Cité Internationale Universitaire. It is located in a 34 hectares park south of Paris, 10 minutes by metro from the left Bank and Notre Dame Cathedral. The Cité Universitaire offers up to 6,000 seats and welcomes approximately 12,000 students each year from over 130 different nationalities. The students are housed in 37 pavilions built between 1925 and 1969 and managed independently from the University of Paris. Many of them are architectural treasures.

The Cité Universitaire is really a good place to live in Paris. There are many applicants, but you can apply to different houses. An intense sportive and social life, encounters with young people from all over the world will be the reward.

17, boulevard Jourdan
Paris 75014 France

Cité Universitaire de Paris
Cité Universitaire de Paris

Paris Saclay university, number one worldwide for mathematics

As early as the 1940s, the two physicists Frédéric and Irène Joliot-Curie had already considered decentralizing the Sorbonne to the southern suburbs of the city. In 1942, Irène Joliot-Curie even informed the rector of the University of the existence of a potential site on the Saclay plateau. In the 1950s, higher education establishments were established on the immediate outskirts of the Saclay plateau. In 1955, the University of Paris established itself in the region with the purchase of fifty hectares of land in the municipalities of Orsay and Bures-sur-Yvette. The following year, laboratories from the Paris Faculty of Sciences, which became Paris-Sud University in 1971, were brought together on the Orsay campus. Paris-Sud University became the nucleus of Paris-Saclay, created on November 6, 2019. Paris-Saclay succeeds Paris-Sud University, abolished on January 1, 2020. It includes the prestigious École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay, AgroParisTech, CentraleSupélec and the Institute of Optics, as well as the Institute of Advanced Scientific Studies (IHES) as component institutions. Its long-term perspective is to merge with its two “associate-member” universities, the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and the University of Évry-Val-d'Essonne in 2025. The 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) has placed Paris-Saclay University first in the world for mathematics. The University’s position as a research-intensive university of international standing was further cemented by being ranked 9th in the world for Physics (1st in Europe), as well as a top 25 place for medicine and agriculture.

Route de l'Orme aux Merisiers
Saint-Aubin 91190 France