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A brief historical overview of Giessen University

University Main Building in LudwigstrasseGiessen University (the “Ludoviciana” or “Ludwigs-Universität,” and since the end of the Second World War “Justus-Liebig-Universität”) is one of the older universities in the German-speaking part of Europe. In the late Renaissance, students from Hesse generally had to go to the universities of Erfurt (founded 1392), Prague (1348), France or Italy to pursue their research and studies. After 1527, in the wake of the second great post-Reformation religious movement, it became possible to study closer to home in Marburg. As a result of religious and philosophical differences at Marburg, which turned Calvinist, the members of staff who remained loyal to the Lutheran faith moved in 1607 to the nearby town of Giessen, where Landgrave Ludwig V of Hessen-Darmstadt had created a new university. The rough-and-tumble of the Thirty Years War soon led, however, to a suspension of teaching at the “Ludoviciana” and re-location to Marburg (1624/1625). In 1650, the Peace of Westphalia rehabilitated Giessen University as a teaching institution.