Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg was founded 1457 in Freiburg by the Habsburgs. One of the oldest universities in Germany, it has a long tradition of teaching the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The university is one of Germany’s most prestigious, and is a leading research as well as teaching institution in Europe. While it suffered many challenges in its long history, having to relocate on several occasions due to wars and changing political as well as religious situations, it finally settled permanently in the historic and beautiful city of Freiburg.
Originally Albrechts University, the university started with four faculties (theology, philosophy, medicine and law). Its establishment belongs to the second wave of German university foundings in the late Middle Ages, like the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen and the University of Basel. Established by papal privilege (papal bull) the University in Freiburg actually was—like all or most universities in the middle ages—a corporation of the church body and therefore belonged to the Roman Catholic Church and its hierarchy.
The University Medical Center Freiburg (Universitätsklinikum Freiburg) is one of the largest medical centers in Germany, as well as one of the most reputable. It is the teaching hospital of the University. In 1751, the university’s medical faculty began charity medical activities. In 1780, the first general clinic (Allgemeines Kranken-Spital) was established. In the nineteenth century a medical center was built, followed by an entire campus with different specialized departments. In 1887 the psychiatric clinic was constructed. In 1926 the architect Albert Lorenz began building a modern hospital complex at the present hospital location. During the bombing raid of 1944, almost all medical center facilities were destroyed. In 1952 the reconstruction of the medical center in accordance with the original plans began.
Today, the hospital boasts almost 1,800 beds and treats 54,000 in-patients each year. Over 300,000 out-patients are seen annually. The University Medical Center employs more than 8,240 people, including over 1,000 doctors. It consists of many specialized clinics and institutes, as well as research facilities and lecture halls.
The university also has an excellent library with a large collection and a museum, Uniseum Freiburg, which traces the history of the university from its inception to modern day. Its collection includes invaluable artworks, photographs, writings, and more.
the university has a student population of around 22,100, including both undergraduate and graduate students. Approximately 16 percent of these students are foreigners. Currently, approximately 3,000 students are enrolled at the Faculty of Medicine, while the medical program is by far the largest with about 2,500 students. Each year, around 340 students are admitted to the medical program and circa 40 each to the dental and molecular medicine programs.
The clinical departments and research facilities are, for the most part, situated at the University Medical Center Freiburg, located a short walking distance from the Institutsviertel. The Dermatology Clinic and the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine are both located in the Herdern district of Freiburg.