Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo


John I of Egloffstein (1400-1411), Bishop of Wurzburg, obtained from Pope Boniface IX a charter, dated 10 December, 1492, for the university. The university was designed after that of Bologna, and gave special attention to the faculties of theology and canon and civil law. After the death of its founder it began to decay, as the cathedral chapter, which was composed of members of the nobility, withdrew its means of support. More than a century later, Bishop Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn re-established it, and on 28 March, 1575, Pope Gregory XIII issued the Bull granting the charter to the new university, which was to have the privileges of the universities of Paris and Bologna. The buildings were erected during 1582-91, and the university was opened on 2 January, 1582. The Julius Hospital came into close connection with the university, and thus gave the medical faculty a large field for observation and practice. In the eighteenth century the bishops who did most for the encouragement of learning were Frederick Charles Count von Schönborn, Adam Frederick Count von Seinsheim, and Francis Louis von Esthal. At the close of the eighteenth century the university was characterized as "the best Catholic university in the whole of Germany " by Magister F.C. Laukhard, a man who was well known in the universities both of Germany and of foreign countries. In its subsequent development also the university sought to maintain this reputation. The faculties of theology and philosophy were entrusted to the Jesuits until the suppression of the Society ; from that time the Jesuit professors remained as secular priests. In 1803 the ecclesiastical principality of Wurzburg was secularized, and after a short period, during which it was ruled by the Grand Duke of Tuscany (1806-14), it was united with Bavaria. The reputation of the university grew, especially of the medical faculty, which ranked very high. Since the middle of the nineteenth century separate buildings have been built for the departments of medicine and natural sciences ; in 1897 the new academic building was erected. The theological faculty also has included names of note; of those in modern times mention may be made of Cardinal Joseph Hergenröther, Francis Seraph Hettinger, Anton Scholz, and Hermann Schell. The Bishops of Wurzburg during 1840-1898 (von Stahl, von Reissmann, and von Stein) had all been members of the theological faculty of the university. In the summer of 1911 the students numbered 1509.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, December 01, 2015
  • Pope Francis does the unthinkable following emotional tragedy in ...
  • St. Eligius: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, December 01, 2015
  • Prayer For Faith HD Video
  • 'Body lifted from the ground': Young Central American woman dies ...
  • Parents' Prayer For Their Children HD Video
  • Opium, heroin or cocaine: What drug is YOUR country known for?

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 10:9-18
9 that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:18-22
18 As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 30th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew
November 30: Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a ... Read More