Symbol of France’s great spirit of learning, the Sorbonne was founded in 1253 and for centuries maintained an independent attitude to the state, recognizing the English Henri V as king of France, condemning Joan of Arc, later fiercely opposing Protestants and the 18th century “philosophers”. The student revolts in 1968 gave the state its first opportunity to allow police to enter these premises. Richelieu was responsible for the rebuilding of the dilapidated college in 1642, although Lemercier’s domed chapel, where the cardinal lies in splendor, is all that remains :
today’s amphitheaters and endless corridors all date from the late 19th century. You can enter the imposing courtyard off the rue de la Sorbonne and ask for permission to see Puvis de Chavannes’ mural in the Grand Amphitheater.