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University of Innsbruck [1]
Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck
Established 1669 (as a university)
Type Public
Rector Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Töchterle
Faculty 2007: 162 professors, 1145 academics
Students 21,001
Location Innsbruck, Austria
One of the main buildings

University of Innsbruck (German: Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck) has been a university in Austria since 1669.

It is currently the largest education facility in the Austrian Bundesland of Tirol and second largest in Austria according to student population, behind Vienna University.



In 1562 a Jesuit grammar school was established in Innsbruck, today the "Akademisches Gymnasium Innsbruck". It was financed by the salt mines in Hall in Tirol and was founded as a university in 1669 by Leopold I with four faculties. In time this was reduced to a lyceum, but was re-established as the University of Innsbruck in 1826 by Emperor Franz I. The university is therefore named after both of its founding fathers with the official title of: "Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck" (Universitas Leopoldino-Franciscea).

In 2005 copies of letters written by the emperors Frederick II and Conrad IV were found in the university's library. They arrived in Innsbruck in the 18th century, having left the charterhouse Allerengelberg in Schnals due to its abolishment.

The faculties

The new plan of organisation (having become effective on October 1, 2004) installed the following 15 faculties to replace the previously existing six faculties:

As of 1 January 2004 the Faculty of Medicine was sectioned off from the main university to become a university in its own right. This is now called the Innsbruck Medical University (Medizinische Universität Innsbruck).


The university buildings are spread across the city and there is no university campus as such. The most important locations are:

  • Theology faculty was opened 1562 as a Jesuit School in 1766 and the University used buildings from the Jesuit church in the Leopoldsaal (the original university).
  • In 1924 main building of the university library opened.
  • 1969 the scientific faculty and the construction faculty in Hötting west was opened.
  • 1976 construction began on “Geiwi tower” for the former Paranormal Science faculty, an addition to the main building.
  • 1997 The Social Science faculty (built in the former Fenner barracks) was opened.
  • Several university clinics of the medical university in the area became Tyrolian national hospitals.

Points of interest

Nobel laureates

  • Hans Fischer, Chemist (b. 1881 Höchst a. M., d. 1945 Munich)

He was widely respected for his research on hemoglobin and chlorophyll, and on the synthesis of haemin. He also succeeded in explaining the constitution of chlorophyll. Fischer held chairs in Innsbruck (1916-18), Vienna (1918-21) and Munich (1921-45). He won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1930.

After studying in Graz he worked under Franz Exner at the Department of Physics in Vienna, becoming a Dozent in 1910 and an assistant at the new Institute of Radium Research. The discovery of cosmic radiation is particularly associated with him. Hess was appoined to Graz in 1920 and in 1931 to Innsbruck. In 1937 he returned to Graz but was forced to emigrate in 1938. He obtained a professorship at Fordham University in New York. He won the Nobel prize for Physics in 1936.

  • Fritz Pregl, Physician and Chemist (b. 1869 Laibach (Ljubljana), d. 1930 Graz)

He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1923 for making important contributions to quantitative organic microanalysis, one of which was the improvement of the combustion train technique for elemental analysis. From 1913 on he was professor of Medical Chemistry in Innsbruck for three years.

He won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1928 for his work on sterols and their relation to vitamins. He was at the University of Innsbruck from 1916 till 1918 at the Institute of Medical Chemistry.

Victims of political persecution and terror

  • Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J. (Portugalete, Biscay, Spain, 9 November 1930 – San Salvador, 16 November 1989) was a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, philosopher, and theologian. Ignacio Ellacuría was a close friend and colleague of the scholars Ignacio Martín-Baró and Segundo Montes, all of whom were assassinated with Ellacuría by the Salvadoran army, along with three colleagues and two employees. He earned his master's degree at Innsbruck University.
  • Segundo Montes, S.J. (Valladolid, Spain, 15 May 1933 - San Salvador, El Salvador, 16 November 1989) was a scholar, philosopher, educator, sociologist and Jesuit priest. Segundo Montes was a close friend and colleague of the scholars Ignacio Martín-Baró and Ignacio Ellacuría, all of whom were murdered with Montes by the Salvadoran army, along with three other colleagues and two other employees. He earned his master's degree at Innsbruck University.

External links

Coordinates: 47°15′47″N 11°23′02″E / 47.26306°N 11.38389°E / 47.26306; 11.38389



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