History of LMU

Founded in Ingolstadt in 1472, LMU's history reflects the changing currents that determined the course of European history over the past 550 years.

LMU and its changing times

Over the course of five centuries, LMU has been at the center of religious and political transformations. It was a bulwark of the Counter Reformation. Jesuits, secular reformers and Nobel Laureates all contributed to its fame. But its standing was gravely damaged during the 12 years of Nazi dictatorship, when fanatical adherents of Nazi ideology transformed the venerable institution into a pliant tool of the regime.

During this period, blind hatred and persecution resulted in the loss of a large part of what had established its good name back then, and happily does so again today – its outstanding scholars and scientists, alert and eager students and dedicated support staff. Together, they have all helped to restore and consolidate the excellent international reputation that LMU enjoys today.

History

Founded in 1472, LMU developed over the course of time into one of the best universities in Europe.

  1. Bild der großen Aula im LMU Hauptgebäude mit einigen Mamor Büsten und einem großen Wandornament

1472

Bavaria's first university

Duke Ludwig IX the Wealthy of Bavaria-Landshut founds Bavaria's first university in Ingolstadt. Learn more

© LMU

1492

Konrad Celtis, one of the leading humanists of the day, joins the faculty. Learn more

© Stadtarchiv Ingolstadt

1494

Duke George the Wealthy of Bavaria-Landshut endows the Georgianum to enable less well-off canidates to study Theology. Learn more

1507

Johannes Aventinus lectures on Mathematics, Astronomy and the works of Cicero in Ingolstadt. Learn more

1510

Theologian Johannes Eck, one of Martin Luther’s most implacable opponents, is appointed to a professorship. Learn more

© Stadtarchiv Ingolstadt

1549

In November 1549, Petrus Canisius and two of his fellow-Jesuits arrive at the University. Learn more

1588

Jakob Gretser takes up his teaching duties at the Jesuit College in Munich. Learn more

© Stadtarchiv Ingolstadt

1610

The Jesuit Christoph Scheiner begins to teach Mathematics and Hebrew at Ingolstadt University. Learn more

© Stadtarchiv Ingolstadt

1702

Johann Adam Freiherr von Ickstatt is appointed Director of the University. Learn more

© Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften

1776

The Illuminati, a secret society dedicated to the goals of the radical Enlightenment, is founded in Ingolstadt. Learn more

© Konstantin Dobeleit

1800

The University moves from Ingolstadt to Landshut, and takes up residence in the former Dominican monastery. Learn more

1826

Shortly before its removal to Munich, LMU has 1,000 students.

© Stadtarchiv Landshut

1826

During the reign of King Ludwig I LMU is transferred from Landshut to Munich. Learn more

© anshar73/fotolia

1827

Joseph Görres and Friedrich Schelling join the faculty at LMU. Learn more

© Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München

1830

Founder’s Day is celebrated for the first time to commemorate the founding of LMU and highlight its contributions to research. Learn more

© KOMMUNIKATION & PRESSE LMU MUENCHEN

1830

In response to student protests, King Ludwig I orders the temporary closure of the University.

© LMU

1840

King Ludwig I commissions Friedrich von Gärtner to design a representative new building for the University. Learn more

1847

Max von Pettenkofer is appointed Professor and later sets up the first Institute of Hygiene in Germany at LMU. Learn more

© Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München

1848

The King‘s relationship with Lola Montez triggers rioting and leads to the closure of the University. Learn more

1852

On the recommendation of Max von Pettenkofer, Justus von Liebig receives a Chair at LMU.

1852

The Maximilianeum is set up to prepare gifted students for senior administrative positions.

1900

The first women are admitted to doctoral programs at LMU. The first woman to complete the Habilitation does so in 1918.

© -

1905

The 1905 Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to Adolf von Baeyer, who becomes the second of LMU’s Nobel Laureates. Learn more

1918

The first Students’ Representative Body is founded at LMU. Learn more

1919

Max Weber, one of the few professors in sympathy with the new Republic, joins the LMU faculty. Learn more

1925

Richard Willstätter, renowned chemist and Nobel Laureate, resigns in protest against anti-Semitic agitation. Learn more

1933

LMU-students take part in the burning of books on Königsplatz. Learn more

1942

Members of the White Rose group issue leaflets calling for resistance against the Nazi regime. Learn more

© Jan Greune (LMU)

1944

Munich, including the LMU, suffers severe bombing. Over 70% of the city’s buildings are destroyed. Learn more

1945

Albert Rehm is named Provisional Rector of LMU, following the closure of the University by the American authorities. Learn more

1946

LMU formally reopens on 23 July. It is the last university in the American Zone to do so Learn more

1973

LMU has 28,500 registered students and employs 9,255 people. Learn more

© Thorsten Näser / LMU

1974

The new Higher Education Act (Hochschulgesetz) abolishes the Students’ Unions. Learn more

1995

The ‘Landshuter Freundeskreis’ is formed as an integral part of the Munich University Association. Learn more

2005

Theodor W. Hänsch shares the Nobel Prize for Physics 2005 with two American researchers. Learn more

© imagebroker/imago images

2006

A presidential system of governance is again introduced: Rector Bernd Huber becomes President. Learn more

© LMU

2006

LMU does very well in the first phase of the Excellence Initiative. Learn more

© Tamara Stangl

2012

In the second phase of the Excellence Initiative, LMU emerges as the most successful participant. Learn more

© LMU

2019

LMU funded as University of Excellence Learn more

© LMU

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