The University of Copenhagen - 1479

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The University of Copenhagen
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The University of Copenhagen
Founded in 1479 - by King Christian I
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The University of Copenhagen from 1836 is centrally located in the old Latin quarter of Copenhagen.
The University of Copenhagen
The University of Copenhagen is the first university in Denmark and founded in 1479 by King Christian I (1426-1481 - ruled Denmark, Norway and Sweden from 1448-1481) after the approval of its establishment by Pope Sixtus IV was granted. The University was a centre of Roman Catholic theological learning - but also had faculties of Law - Medicine and Philosophy. With its more than 525 years - the University of Copenhagen is one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe.

See: Copenhagen's History
The Founder - King Christian I
The founder of the University of Copenhagen King Christian I, during the inauguration ceremony of the University in 1479 at Copenhagen's Cathedral. The painting was created by Wilhelm Marstrand in 1870.
The University - 1860
The new University buildings in 1860 that was inaugurated in 1836 under the reign of King Frederik VI, with his name "Fredericus Sextus" carved on the entrance. See top photo.
Radical changes in Governance
As other medieval universities, the University of Copenhagen was a part of the universal Roman Catholic Church until the reformation in 1536. The University was re-established by King Christian III (1609-1670 - ruled Denmark and Norway 1648-1670) in 1537 - where the position and role of the University in Danish society meant a radical change. In 1771 the university lost its own jurisdiction and in the middle of the 20th Century the so called "professorial power" was finally abolished during 1960s.

From the inauguration in 1479 until 2004 - the university was led by a Rector and a Consistory - but governance of the University changed radically during 2004 - where the Consistory was replaced by a Board of Governors.

The University five busts
In front of the University five busts on stands are placed of former scholars from different faculties of the University, of which one is The Danish Nobel Prize award winner in Physics 1922, Niels Bohr.
The Round Tower - 1642
Regensen is the collegium for students at the University of Copenhagen and is situated beside the Round Tower from 1642. The dormitory from 1623 was rebuilt after the heavy fires in 1728.
Fredericus Sextus
During the bombardment of Copenhagen in 1801 the university's buildings was ruined. The construction of new buildings started in 1831 and inaugurated in 1836 - in the old Latin quarter of Copenhagen during the reign of King Frederik VI (1768-1839 - ruled from 1808-1839). The entrance is carved with his name - Fredericus Sextus.

The Copenhagen University Library
The library of the University was established in 1482 - and was placed closed up to the main buildings. In 1653 the entire library was move to the attic of the Trinitatis Church beside the Round Tower. During the fires of Copenhagen in 1728 - nearly all the 30,000 books were destroyed. The library was slowly re-established and in 1861 the library moved into new premises at Fiolstræde. Today the library of the University is a part of the Royal Library.

See:The Royal Danish Library

The University library from 1861
The Library of the University from 1861 is located right beside the premises of the campus.
The Royal Library and The University Library
The University Library from 1861 is a part of the Royal Library - located beside the Danish Parliament.
Prominent and world famous Danes & Scholars
Educated at The University of Copenhagen

Søren A. Kierkegaard (SAK - 1813-1855)

Søren A. Kierkegaard Danish philosopher and defender of religious faith - was born in Copenhagen - where he also spent all his days. In 1830 - 17 years old - Kierkegaard entered the University of Copenhagen - where he studied theology - philosophy - and literature. He matriculated in theology in 1840 - and in 1841 - he also earned a Master’s degree - which corresponded then to a doctoral degree.
Søren A. Kierkegaard is interpreted as a momentous and leading figure in contemporary thought as well as a modern existentialist - humanist and individualist.

At The Museum of Copenhagen one can find the Søren A. Kierkegaard Collection - which is a permanent exhibition of the philosopher.

Søren Kierkegaard died at the age of 42 - and his funeral was held at The Cathedral of Our Lady with the following burial at Assistens Cemetery.

In 1994 the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre was founded - with the entire Kierkegaard library.

See: Søren Aabye Kierkegaard


Søren A. Kierkegaard - 1840
Søren A. Kierkegaard's final resting place at Assistens Cemetery.

N. F. S. Grundtvig

The Danish Priest and Philosopher Nicolai Frederik Severin (N. F. S.) Grundtvig - is a person of great magnitude and influence in newer Danish history. He was a pastor at The Church of Our Saviour for four years 1822-1826. Grundtvig entered the University in 1800 - 17 years old - where he studied theology and literature. He matriculated in theology in 1803 - 20 years old.

Grundtvig was besides being a teacher - author - poet - philosopher - historian - pastor - hymn writer and even politician - he also reformed Christianity within the Danish Lutheran Church - and developed The Folk High School movement - and the Grundtvigian movement.

Last but not least - Grundtvig put a clear fingerprint on developing Denmark into a free and democratic country - and was a warm supporter of women's rights. During his time at Our Saviour Church he was given life censorship - on behalf of his many written theological works - and as a protest he resigned from all of his duties in 1826. (This Portal will later portrait N.S.F. Grundtvig in a more comprehensive and deserving manner). Grundtvig is buried at Claras Kirkegaard (Claras Church Cemetery) at estate Gammel Kjøgegaard - 20 km south of Copenhagen.

Grundtvig's Church

Painting of N.S.F Grundtvig from 1843.
Grundtvig's final resting place at Claras Kirkegaard (Claras Church Cemetery) at estate Gammel Kjøgegaard - 20 km south of Copenhagen.

Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein in 1925.
Niels Bohr's burial plot at Assistens Cemetery.

Niels Bohr
(1885 1962)

The Nobel Prize award winner in Physics 1922 - Niels Bohr entered the University of Copenhagen 1903 - where he took his Master's degree in Physics in 1909 - and his Doctor degree in 1911. In 1916 he was appointed Professor of Theoretical Physics at Copenhagen University - and since 1920 (until his death in 1962) he was the head of the Institute for Theoretical Physics - established for him at that university and called
The Niels Bohr Institute

The Niels Bohr Institute

The Niels Bohr Institute is the unification of the four earlier institutes for the physical sciences at Copenhagen University: The Astronomic Observatory - The Ørsted Laboratory - The Geophysical Institute and The Niels Bohr Institute. The Institute house 10 research groups and 12 science centers - of which the five conduct fundamental research. Scientific research is conducted in collaboration with many leading international research groups.

Study and Education
The Niels Bohr Institute educates the students in the subjects of Physics and Astronomy and among the areas in the physics study is geophysics - particle physics - quantum physics - biophysics and nanotechnology. The Institute offers students a 3-year bachelor degree followed by a 2-year graduate degree and a 3-year PhD study.

Final resting Place
Niels Bohr died in 1962 and buried at a family plot at Assistens Cemetery.


Other historical & legendary Scholars
Educated at The University of Copenhagen
Tycho Brahe
Tycho Brahe (1546-1601)
Built his observatory Uraniborg on the island of Hven.

See: Round Tower of Copenhagen
Ole Rømer

Ole Rømer (1644–1710)

Danish astronomer - discovred the first quantitative measurements of the speed of light.

Ludvig Holberg
Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754)
Metaphysics - rhetoric and history
Ludvig Holberg is considered the founder of modern Danish and Norwegian literature and comedies.

H.C. Ørsted

H.C. Ørsted (1777-1851)
Ørsted discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields - which was the first connection found between electricity and magnetism.

See: Copenhagen's History

Peter Panum
Peter Ludvig Panum (1820–1885)
Danish physiologist and pathologist -
The Panum Building in Copenhagen is named in his honor.
Georg Brandes

Georg Brandes (1842-1927)
Brandes - a Danish critic and scholar - who greatly influenced Scandinavian and European literature from the 1870s.
Niels Finsen

Niels Finsen (1860-1904)
Physician and scientist
Nobel Laureate in Medicine - 1903 (Denmark’s first Nobel Prize Award)
The Finsen Laboratory at Copenhagen University Hospital is named in his honor.
Johannes Fibiger

Johannes Fibiger (1867-1928)
Nobel Laureate in Medicine - 1926
Fibiger - a Danish physician and professor of anatomical pathology at the University of Copenhagen.
August Krogh
August Krogh (1874-1949)
Nobel Laureate in Medicine - 1920
August Krogh - a Danish professor at the department of zoophysiology at the University of Copenhagen from 1916 to 1945.
Besides his contributions to medicine - Krogh was also one of the founders of the Novo Nordisk - a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care.
The August Krogh Institute at Copenhagen University Hospital is named in his honor
Inge Lehmann

Inge Lehmann (1888-1993) -
Seismologist and geophysicist
Inge Lehmann discovered in 1936 - that the Earth has a solid inner core inside a molten outer core.
Piet Hein

Piet Hein (1905–1996)
Danish mathematician - inventor - designer - author and poet.
Piet Hein advocated the use of the superellipse curve in city planning - furniture making and other realms.
This lists of Scholars educated at The University of Copenhagen will be updated frequently.
The largest educational institution in Denmark
The University of Copenhagen is the largest educational institution in Denmark and offers several degrees of education in a variety of subjects, ending with a bachelor degree or master degree that can be extended with three more years of postgraduate work leading to a Ph.D. degree. In 1788 the University had a teaching staff of around 20 permanent teachers and about 1,000 students. At the beginning of the 21st Century - the University of Copenhagen had 35,000 students and more than 7,000 scientific - technical and administrative employees.

The University has several campuses located in and around Copenhagen - with the oldest located in central Copenhagen.


The University is located in the old Latin Quarters beside Copenhagen’s Cathedral - Sct. Petri Church and a few blocks from the Pedestrian Street "Strøget".

See: Copenhagen’s Cathedral

See: Sct. Petri Church

See: Pedestrian Street "Strøget"


The University of Copenhagen


University of Copenhagen
Nørregade 10
1017 Copenhagen K

Trains - Metro and S-train from Nørreport

See: University of Copenhagen

University of Copenhagen
The University Site will be updated frequently!I
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