University of Warsaw - old campus

Today's premises of the University of Warsaw, located at the Krakowskie Przedmieście street (the name translates literally as “Cracow’s Outskirt”, named after the previous capital of Poland) - a road leading to the Royal Castle, part of the so-called Royal Way – have been serving educational purposes since 1766. It was then that Poland’s last king, Stanislaus August Poniatowski, transformed a former royal residence (Pałac Kazimierzowski) into a college for noble youth, called The Knights' School or The Noble Academy of the Cadet Corps. Tadeusz Kościuszko,whose outstanding military feats are remembered not only in Poland, but also in the United States, was among the school’s famous graduates. The school was forced to close down after the Poland lost its sovereignty in 1795. After the Napoleonic wars, in 1815, the Duchy of Warsaw, founded by Napoleon, was transformed into the Polish Kingdom, with the Russian emperor as king. In 1816, the emperor Alexander I established the Royal University of Warsaw, which was made up of five faculties: Law and Administration, Medicine, Philosophy, Theology, Science and the Arts, with around 800 students and 50 professors. Polish was the official instruction language.

The Royal University kept functioning until the collapse of the 1831 November Uprising against the Russian rule. It partially re-opened in 1857 as the so called Main College, and it functioned until the fall of another uprising in 1864. In 1870, the Russian Emperor founded the Imperial University of Warsaw, where classes were taught exclusively in Russian, and all references to Polish culture were suppressed. However, the University's financial situation improved considerably, and the university buildings and collections significantly expanded. The Russian University was evacuated to Rostov - never to return - when German troops entered Warsaw in 1915. Shortly before the reestablishment of the independent Polish state after World War I, the University resumed its activity in 1915 as a Polish academic institution.The years 1920 -- 1939 were the golden years for mathematics; among professors and graduates were Wacław Sierpiński, Kazimierz Kuratowski, Zygmunt Janiszewski, Alfred Tarski, Karol Borsuk and Samuel Eilenberg.

The University was closed down yet again in Fall 1939 by the Nazi occupiers during World War II; most buildings were seriously damaged and many collections stolen or destroyed by occupants. Some courses, however, were still taught secretly in private apartments.

The University re-opened again in 1945 and its buildings were gradually rebuilt, however many professors lost their lifes during the war or emigrated from Poland.   Today, at the several University campuses located in various parts of Warsaw, there are over 60.000 students and over 3.000 teachers.

Participant of the conference will receive a booklet   "Tourist attractions of the University of Warsaw" which will help them to visit the most interesting sites in vicinity of the conference venue.