Prague has been a centre of university education for almost seven centuries. It was 7 April 1348 when Charles IV, king of Bohemia and future Roman emperor, founded the first place of higher learning north of the Alps and east of the Rine in the city where he had established his court. Charles University later had competition in the form of the Jesuit Academy at Klementinum - until the two institutions were merged in 1654. The need for education in technical and agricultural disciplines led to the foundation of an engineering school in 1718, which became the Czech Technical University. At hte end of the 18th century the foundations of the Academy of Fine Arts were laid and later this was supplemented by the university od Decorative Arts. The other public universities were founded after WWII: the Academy of Performing Arts 1945, the Czech University of Life Sciences 1952, the University of Chemistry and Technology 1952 and the University of Economics 1953. In 1993 the Police Academy increased the number of universities in Prague to a total of nine. Our guides to the history and architecture of Prague´s universities also enlighten us abiut academic life and integral role played by the universities in the social and cultural life of the Czech capital city.