Jesuit College

The Jesuit College as the Arts Centre of Palacký University

From the 15th century onwards, the site of the old Jewish quarter and synagogue was built upon with burgher houses, neighbouring the renaissance Konvikt building of Olomouc University. The university, established by the Jesuits in 1573, was the first in Moravia and the second in the Czech lands. Later, between 1660 and 1668, the Jesuit Society built the "Old Konvikt" on the site of the purchased houses, as accommodation to house noble and patrician students, with a northern additional structure before 1674, which was added to between 1721 and 1724, evidently on the site of the old synagogue, by the "New Konvikt". It also incorporated the late gothic Jewish gate to the city ("Judenpfördl") and the new oval Corpus Christi Chapel on the site of the gothic chapel of the same consecration.

The Baroque building of the former Jesuit College is one of the oldest parts of the university in Olomouc. After an exacting renovation on a grand scale, Palacký University now owns a spacious historical building with many original rooms and halls. Five fine art departments of the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Education have thus gained new lecture halls, fine art studios, recording studios, representative conference halls for international venues, and rooms for its students and teachers. The historical centre of Olomouc now has another centre for culture and the arts.

The Arts Centre of Palacký University, besides being a teaching and research institution, is involved in the everyday cultural and artistic life of the city and the region, and has a specific dramaturgy. The artists, ensembles and companies performing there are linked with the specialized orientation of the local institutions and their contacts with artists and experts from the Czech Republic and from abroad. The people of Olomouc as well as the tourist visitors have an opportunity to attend programmes held in the university cinema and theatre, in an attractive concert hall in the Corpus Christi Chapel, and see exhibitions installed in the spacious corridors and in the College Gallery, and attend performances and concerts held in the atrium and the courtyard. After the performance, the audience can stay in the restaurant.

The Arts Centre is open even during the summer holidays so that Summer Schools of Film, film shows, outdoor exhibitions and concerts can take place there. The Arts Centre of Palacký University cooperates in its activities with the City Council of Olomouc, the Council of the Olomouc Region, with institutes, commercial and industrial companies in the region, and with sponsors.

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