University of Helmstedt

University of Helmstedt

Image 1. Juleum Novum, the principal building of the University of Helmstedt, founded in 1576 and built in 1592. Photo by Times, 13 July 2007. Source: Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 2.5). 

Description:  The Universität Helmstedt, also known as Academia Julia, was founded in 1576 by Herzog Julius of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel as the prime institution of higher learning in his principality. IAlthough the duke's own dominions were relatively modest in size, Helmstedt was the first Lutheran university founded in a vast area of north-western Germany and rapidly grew to become one of the largest and most prominent of Lutheran universities, after the two bohemoths of Leipzig and Wittenberg. Like many once flourishing universities in central Europe, it was closed in the Napoleonic reforms of the early nineteenth century -- in this case in 1810 by King Jérôme Bonaparte of Westphalia, the satellite state created under French occupation.

The Juleum, also referred to as Juleum Novum, is the main building of the university which contained the Auditorium maximum (Aula, main auditorium) and the library. It was designed by Paul Francke (c.1537-1615), the duke's court architect, in the style of the Weser Renaissance and constructed 1592-1612.

Image 2Frontispiece of the Juleum, University of Helmstedt, 1592. Photo by zug55, 17 August 2014.  Source: flick (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 

Description: In view is the entrance to the Auditorium maximum (Aula), the main auditorium. The five figures above the portal represent five of the seven liberal arts (artes liberales) taught here: Astronomy (top), Arithmetic (top right), Geometry (bottom right), Grammar (top left), and Music (bottom left). Only Rhetoric and Logic are missing.