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University Archives

Principals since 1402

On December 10, 1402, the university was founded as the "Hohe Schule zu Würzburg" with the granting of papal privileges under Prince-Bishop Johann von Egloffstein. The university was conceived as a comprehensive university.

Whereas in the University of Bologna, cited as a model in the papal privilege, the rector was elected by students from the student body, in mixed constitutions, such as in the other large, formative university of Prague, it was common for students and magisters to elect a representative together. For Würzburg, the known names of the rectors prove that not students but clergymen, either members of the cathedral chapter or professors of theology, were elected.

These principals are known by name:

Albrecht von Heßberg
Günther von der Kere
Paul von der Kere
Peter von Treysa
Johannes Zantfurt

The last known rector is also the only one mentioned in the authoritative history of the city by the chronicler Lorenz Fries, as well as his inglorious murder in 1413 for unknown reasons by a servant in his official residence in the Hof zum Großen Löwen (today Dominikanergasse 6).

With Egloffstein's death in 1411, the decline of the university began due to the lack of support and the inadequate endowment of funds, property and positions. The last appointment of a professor can be traced to 1427, and in the years thereafter teaching probably had to be greatly reduced and finally discontinued. The university continued to exist only legally.