History - Public web - Czech technical university in Prague

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Christian Josef Willenberg, an expert on fortifications, asked the Emperor of Austria to allow him to “educate six persons from the gentry, four from the knightly families and two from burgher families in the engineering arts”.


On January 18th, Emperor Josef I. sent a rescript to the Czech parliamentary commissioners, in which he consented to Willenberg’s proposal, and instructed them to take action.


Since the Czech Estates had not reacted to the rescript, Willenberg resubmitted his application in October 1716, both to the emperor (Karel VI.) and to the Czech Estates.


By a decree of the Czech Estates of November 9th, a professor’s position was set up, and Willenberg was appointed the school’s first professor. Apart from fortification arts, civilian topics were taught, such as surveying, mapping, drainage, constructing mechanisms for lifting heavy loads, etc.

1726 - 1767

Jan František Schor, who took over from Willenberg, introduced optics, perspective, drawing and geography into the syllabus.

The third professor of the school of engineering was Antonín Linhart Herget. During his period in office, the professorship in structural engineering was changed, in 1787, into a professorship at the philosphical faculty of the Prague University.


After a review of public schooling, František Josef Gerstner, a university professor of mathematics and a member of the court commission, submitted a proposal to establish a technical university, where, based on the model of the École Polytechnique in Paris, engineering sciences were to be closely linked with the study of mathematics and the exact sciences, in accordance with the requirements emanating from the industrialization of the Czech lands.


In March 1803, emperor František I signed a decree on establishing a Polytechnic Institute of the Czech Estates. Classes at the new polytechnic began on November 10th, 1806. F. J. Gerstner was appointed director of the institute.


From September 8th, the Polytechnic Institute became a part of the university, and was given the status of an independent school.

1863 - 1869

November 23rd, 1863, when emperor František Josef I. approved the Organic Statute of the Polytechnic Institute, marked the beginning of the short-lived bilingual Prague Polytechnic. After six years (April 18th, 1869) the sovereign closed down the Utraquist school, and at the same time gave his consent to the opening of two new schools: the Czech and German Polytechnic Institutes of the Czech Kingdom.


The Czech and German polytechnics (until then provincial institutes) were taken under state administration.


Each of the polytechnics was given a new name: The Imperial and Royal Czech Technical High School in Prague, and the Imperial and Royal German Technical High School in Prague.


By an imperial act of April 14th, the technical high schools were accorded the right to award the title of Doctor of Technical Sciences (Dr. techn.) and Honorary Doctorate of Technical Sciences (Dr. techn. h. c.).


The teaching staff at the Czech Technical University School suggested to the Ministry of Culture and Education that women should also be enrolled as full-time students.

1920 - 1939

By a decree of the Ministry of Education and National Enlightenment of the Czechoslovak Republic of September 1st, 1920, the Czech Technical University in Prague (České vysoké učení technické) emerged as a union of seven technical schools: Civil Engineering, Cultural Engineering, Architecture and Structural Engineering, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Chemical and Technological Engineering, Agricultural and Forestry Engineering, and Special Sciences. The High School of Cultural Engineering closed down as a separate institution in 1921, and was merged with the High School of Civil Engineering. From 1929, the High School of Business, which had until then offered only three-year programmes, became an equal part of CTU. In 1918, the name of the German Technical Institute in Prague was changed to the German Technical High School, Prague (DeutscheTechnische Hochschule Prag).


On the basis of a decision issued by Konstantin von Neurath, the Imperial Protector, the Czech universities were closed down on November 17th, 1939.


Less than one month after the end of the war, on June 4th, 1945, classes at CTU were fully restarted, at the same schools of CTU as in 1939. On October 16th, the German Technical High School in Prague was closed down by a decree of President Beneš.

1950 - 1960

After organisational changes between 1950 – 1960, CTU remained with four faculties: Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Technical and Nuclear Physics (from 1967, Faculty of Nuclear and Physical Engineering.


CTU acquired a Faculty of Architecture.


So-called structured studies were gradually introduced, with programmes at bachelor, master’s and doctoral level.


Extensive reconstruction of the Bethlehem Chapel - which functions as the Great Hall of CTU - was completed.


Classes began at the newly-established Faculty of Transportation.


The Faculty of Biomedical Engineering was added to the previous six faculties of CTU.


In the Week of Technology from January 15th to 19th, the university celebrated the 300th anniversary of its foundation. Events in the Week of Technology included a concert by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in the Rudolfinum on January 16th. Honorary doctorates were awarded to Václav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, to Professor Josef Kittler, from the University of Surrey, and to Stuart E. Graham, president of SKANSKA AB, at a festive session of the Scientific Council on January 17th. The highpoint of the celebrations was a special session on January 18th of the Scientific Council of CTU in the Spanish Hall of Prague Castle, with the participation of the President of the Republic, members of the government and representatives of foreign universities. The Week of Technology was completed by the opening of an exhibition under the title Technology through the Eyes of an Engineer.


On June 1st, the Faculty of Information Technologies became the eighth faculty of CTU.

In addition to the eight faculties, CTU has several other integral elements: the Klokner Institute (a scientific and research workplace in the field of civil engineering), the Masaryk Institute of Advanced

Studies, the Institute of Physical Education and Sport, the Computing and Information Centre, the Technology and Innovation Centre, the Research Centre for the Industrial Heritage, the Institute of Technical and Experimental Physics, the Division of Construction and Investment, the CTU Central Library, and three service institutions: the CTU Rectorate, the Service Facilities Administration, and Česká technika – the CTU publishing house.


The CTU University Centre for Energy Efficient Buildings (UCEEB) obtained the status of a university institute. This interdisciplinary research project was set up in response to one of the major current priority areas for the European Union – optimization of energy savings in buildings.


Foundation of the Czech Institute for Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC). CIIRC aims to become an international-level scientific and research workplace. In collaboration with the CTU faculties, it will develop into an excellent education centre for doctoral and post-doctoral studies. In its early stage of development, CIIRC focused on preparing the CIIRC – CTU Research and Development for Innovation Operational Project.


The Centre for Energy Efficient Buildings in Buštěhrad was completed and opened. The headquarters of the Centre provides a model for the use of the latest trends in the field of accessible energy saving technologies in construction engineering. The building itself serves for experimental purposes.

Content owner: Ilona Chalupská