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Prague: University Town

Prague: University Town

Petráň, Josef Petráňová, Lydia

subjects: Prague, architecture and urban studies
series: Prague Series

paperback, 216 pp., 1. edition
translation: Stone, Ian Finlay
published: october 2018
ISBN: 978-80-246-4053-2
recommended price: 450 czk

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summary

Prague has been a centre of university education for almost seven centuries. It was 7 April 1348 when Charles IV, king of Bohemia and future Roman emperor, founded the first place of higher learning north of the Alps and east of the Rhine in the city where he had established his court. Charles University lost its exclusive standing in central Europe after the foundation of universities in neighbouring countries and, from the second half of the 16th century, it had competition in Prague in the form of the Jesuit Academy at Klementinum – until the two institutions were merged in 1654. The need for education in technical and agricultural disciplines led to the foundation of an engineering school in 1718, which later became a polytechnic and finally the Czech Technical University. At the very end of the 18th century the foundations of the Academy of Fine Arts were laid in Prague and later this was supplemented by the University of Decorative Arts. The other public universities in Prague were founded after World War Two: the Academy of Performing Arts (AMU) 1945, the Czech University of Life Sciences 1952, the University of Chemistry and Technology 1952 and the University of Economics 1953. In 1993 the Police Academy increased the number of universities in Prague to a total of nine. Our guides to the history and architecture of Prague's universities are historians Josef Petráň and Lydia Petráňová, who also enlighten us about academic life and the integral role played by the universities in the social and cultural life of the Czech capital city.

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