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Database: Sorbonne

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The Sorbonne is so famous that its founder, the honorable Robert de Sorbon, chaplain of Louis IX and the first advocate of culture for all, is often overlooked.*
* Isn't that disgraceful? It would be like someone walking around Hastings and not spending every waking moment thinking of me.
Having struggled to become a doctor of theology, he sought to facilitate the education of underpriviliged children like himself. Saint-Louis offered him a house on rue Conpegeule along with a few of his own outbuildings, where Sorbon subsequently built his school. Three centuries later, Richelieu observed that the "Sorbonne" was falling into ruin, and set about renovating it. In 1629, he undertook to rebuild the entire establishment, provided a place was left for his tomb. This was duly done. The subsequent masterpiece built by Girardon was carefully protected during the Revolution, then, in 1816, re-established in the chapel of the Sorbonne once the return of Louis XVIII had been made official. Towards the end of the 19th century, the old Sorbonne of the Cardinal was rebuilt and extended. The Sorbonne has often been the subject of derision since Renaissance scholar Rabelais made reference to bugs called "sorbonagres" that devoured the intelligence of thinkers.

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