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The 650th Anniversary of the Founding of Charles University

Celebrations of the 650th Anniversary of the Founding of CU will represent one of the most important academic and social projects of 1988. On the 7th of April 1988 precisely 650 years will have gone by since the King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV founded the university which still bears his name and continues to identify itself with the task for which the wise founder intended it - to be a place that opens up the way to learning, knowledge and wisdom... As the CU Rector Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly emphasises, we wish to use the Jubilee celebrations to recall the history of Charles University and to reflect on its place in the world of contemporary education and culture. The celebrations will start in November 1997 and end in April 1999, as one of the oldest European universities embarks on its 651th year of its existence. Naturally, the main themes of the anniversary celebrations will be science, culture and education. A series of conferences and seminars are planned, and these will be complemented by many interesting cultural and social events. The current celebration schedule involves both university-wide and faculty projects, more than 100 conferences and seminars and 50 accompanying events. Many important figures have accepted membership of the honorary committee for the celebrations, including President Vaclav Havel, Chairman of Parliament Milos Zeman, Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus, and figures from political life, science and culture abroad, such as Richard von Weizsacker and others. The whole exceptional project will take place with the strong support of partners in the Media: Czech Television, Czech Radio, the Ringier CR publishing group and MaFra, a.s. (publisher of the daily MF DNES). Among the crowning events of the anniversary we should mention the following: an act of remembrance of the founder of the university at the Cathedral of St. Vitus, Wenceslas and Adalbert; a conference on the role of universities at the threshold of the 21st century; a meeting of rectors of European universities; a reception by the President of a CU delegation; a celebratory concert in the Rudolfinum with a performance by the Czech Philharmonia conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy. In the course of the celebrations, commemorative and jubilee CU medals will be awarded to selected figures of international standing. Many national institutions will be joining in the celebrations, including the Czech National Bank, which will issue commemorative coins, and the Czech Post Office, which will issue a stamp with the university logo. A series of cultural institutions will be arranging exhibitions and conferences on related themes in honour of the anniversary. In the Carolinum there will be not only exhibitions on university history but also an exhibition of work by Czech artists who have dedicated their works to the university for the jubilee. These gifts will enrich the precious art collection accumulated by the university over centuries, with the first-rate work of modern Czech artists. The year 1998 will see the publication of the last, fourth, volume of the History of Charles University, which for the first time provides comprehensive documentation and interpretation of the whole development and life of this important institution.

CU Department of External Relations
PhDr. Michaela Zindelova
Mgr. Martin Bartunek
Tel: (+ 420 2) 24491248, 24491618, 24491638
Fax: (+ 420 2) 24491309
Up-to-date information on the celebrations of the anniversary of the founding of CU is to be found at:

12.7.1997, 18:49