La Sorbonne, France's most celebrated and oldest university, is in the heart of Paris' Quartier Latin, an area named by François Rabelais to celebrate the students who spoke Latin in the classroom and on the streets.
Located south of Notre Dame across the River Seine in the Left Bank, the school has been the country's symbol of knowledge and enlightenment for over 700 years.
Established in 1253 as a dormitory for 16 theology students, La Sorbonne was named after Robert de Sorbon, chaplain to Louis IX. In 1469, Louis XI established France's first printing house there. Following the Revolution in 1806, Napoléon Bonaparte revitalized the school as the cornerstone of his new, centralized educational system.
"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood," said Marie Curie, who in 1906 became the first professor to be given a chair in general physics at the Sorbonne. From the years 1968-1971, the university was split into 13 interdisciplinary universities. Today's Sorbonne, the Universite de Paris IV, specializes in the Humanities.
But what a colorful history!
With students such as Dante and Longfellow, the school's nearby cafes were frequented by intellectuals and artists, by John-Paul Sartre, Emile Zola, Albert Camus, Henry Miller, and Ernest Hemingway who said, "There is never ending to Paris, and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that of any other."
Celebrate learning, life's essential fuel.