Palacký University is a public university with eight faculties:
- Sts. Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology
- Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
- Faculty of Health Sciences
- Philosophical Faculty
- Faculty of Science
- Faculty of Education
- Faculty of Physical Culture
- Faculty of Law
Olomouc is a prominent centre of education and culture. The history of higher education in Olomouc began in 1566, when a Jesuit college was established here. In 1573 this college was granted University rights, identical with those of other European institutions of higher education.
The University of Olomouc, the second oldest university in the Czech lands (after Charles University in Prague), spread its influence not only through Moravia and Silesia, but also in Austria, Germany, Poland, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.
Jesuits governed the University for two hundred years and the Faculty of Theology played a central role in its life. Later the Faculty of Philosophy was established, where natural sciences were also studied.
The era of the Old University is associated with the names of numerous outstanding scientists - for example Jakub Kresa (the "Euclid of the West"), Gregor Mendel, the founder of genetics, and the astronomer Karel Slavíček (who also worked for the Chinese Emperor). The famous general, Duke Albrecht of Wallenstein, was also a student of the University.
After the Jesuit order was abolished in 1773, the University was secularised. It was moved to Brno in 1778 and in 1782 it returned to Olomouc as a mere lyceum. In 1872 the Emperor Franz decided to restore the University and it was named in his honour - Franzens University.
In 1848 the University teachers and students took an active part in the Revolution and their legions supported the uprising in Vienna. The result was that the University fell into disfavour with the monarchy and from 1851 on it was gradually reduced, and finally abolished altogether by a Decree of 1860.
The Faculty of Theology continued its work independently and, together with the University Library, kept up the tradition of higher education in Olomouc. On the 21st of February, 1946 the University was re-established and was named Palacký University.
František Palacký - known as "the father of the nation" (born 1798 in Hodslavice in Moravia, died 1876 in Prague) - was a national revivalist, an enlightened scientist, critic and aesthetician, politician and outstanding historian. Although there was no direct connection between Palacký and Olomouc, his work was so influential that it is a great honour for Olomouc University to bear his name.
Gradually faculties of Theology, Medicine, Philosophy and Education were established and in 1947 the university was ceremonially opened. Prof. Dr. Josef Ludvík Fischer (1894 - 1973), a renowned philosopher and sociologist, was appointed its first Rector. He conceived the idea of a top-ranking university based on the West European model.
The November revolution in 1989 brought about the beginning of the third and the most important period in the history of higher education in Olomouc. The University is re-entering Europe and the whole world and is creating many international links and promoting the exchange of ideas.