The University of Paris
' Sorbonne is generally regarded as the French Oxbridge
. It is situated at the heart of the Latin Quarter
' Left Bank
. Today, the Sorbonne is in fact made up of eight inter-linked departments, four of which are individual universities.
It was founded in 1257 by Robert de Sorbon as a school for Paris' poor, and was, according to some sources, the first university to be founded in France. Originally, it was intended that the institution would educate no more than twenty scholars, and only then in theology.
Since then, The Sorbonne has been a symbol of French scholarship and learning with no real rival. The buildings of the university are varied and beautiful, in particular the 16th century chapel.
Famous scholars include Marie Curie and Louis Pasteur.
On the afternoon of 3rd May 1968, the student riots which were to spread throughout the country began at the Sorbonne. From 13th May to 16th June of that year, the university was taken under student control. Jean-Paul Sartre and Georges Lapassade visited and gave their support.
Since the reorganisation, the Sorbonne has, in effect, been made up of four autonomous universities. However, the name La Sorbonne is still associated with learning, and in particular the intelligent young citizens of France.