Collège des Quatre-Nations

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The Collège des Quatre-Nations . Engraving by Israel Silvestre , 'around 1670.
The Collège des Quatre-Nations
headquarters of the Institut de France
Dome of the college

The Collège des Quatre-Nations (German College of the Four Nations ) or Collège Mazarin is a baroque building on the Rive Gauche , on the banks of the Seine opposite the Louvre , in the center of Paris ( 6th arrondissement ). It was planned and built between 1662 and 1688 by the French builder Louis Le Vau as a school for young aristocrats. Today it serves as the headquarters of the Institut de France and the Bibliothèque Mazarine .

The establishment of the Collèges goes back to a testamentary decree of the French cardinal and minister of Italian descent Jules Mazarin (1602–1661), in which the measures to be taken were determined to annually around sixty young nobles from the after the Peace of Munster 1648 and the Peace of the Pyrenees in 1659 in the areas of Artois , Alsace , Pignerol and Roussillon that fell to France in a knight academy free of charge and educated to be loyal subjects of the French king The name of the building is derived from these four areas or nations . According to the cardinal's last will, the students were instructed as follows: a total of twenty from Flanders, Artois and Luxemburg, fifteen each from Alsace and Pignerol and ten from Roussillon.

In 1691, Mazarin's private library was housed in the east wing of the school and made accessible to the public.

According to his wishes, the cardinal found his final resting place in the chapel of the Collège des Quatre-Nations .

Since 1805, at the instigation of Napoleon , the building has been the seat of the Institut de France , which was founded in 1795 and previously located in the Louvre , which in addition to the public Bibliothèque Mazarine also manages the Bibliothèque de l'Institut there . The use of the latter is, however, reserved for members of the five academies represented in the house and recognized researchers.


Among the students at the college were the mathematician, physicist and philosopher Jean-Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert , the painter Jacques-Louis David , the author and encyclopedist Charles-Étienne Pesselier , the philosopher Marquis de Condorcet , the critic Julien Louis Geoffroy , the Chemist Antoine Laurent de Lavoisier and the physicist Charles Augustin de Coulomb .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Fondation et statuts du collège Mazarin . NuBIS (French, [accessed June 25, 2020] 17th century).

Coordinates: 48 ° 51 '26.3 "  N , 2 ° 20' 13"  E