Utrecht University

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The Academiegebouw (academy building) was donated to the university by the city of Utrecht in 1896. It still serves as the university’s ceremonial centre, where major academic functions are held. The portraits in the medallions underneath the cornice represent the famous university professors from before 1896. The style of the building is neo-Renaissance, which contrast with the Gothic style of the Dom Church complex. The Pandhof (cloisters) and the Great Chapter House, now called the Auditorium, were given in use to the university by the City in 1636, the year in which the university was founded. The first lectures at the university were held in the Auditorium. The Union of Utrecht was formed in the Great Chapter House in 1579. In this treaty, several Dutch provinces joined forces against Spanish oppression. This marked the beginning of the republic of the United Provinces, the predecessor of the present-day Kingdom of the Netherlands. The university’s coat of arms is a radiant sun with the City of Utrecht’s coat of arms in its centre. The circumscription reads Sol Iustatiea Illustra Nos (May the Sun of Justice Shine upon Us).

Utrecht University

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