One of the oldest universities in the world, it was established around 1230, when scholars and doctors from the University of Paris fled to Orleans. The university later grew to be recognized by twelve different popes, and was frequently granted privileges and high honors from various rulers and men of power. By the 14th Century, it was one of the most prominent universities in the world, with over 5,000 students coming from all over Europe.
The original, historic university was shut down in 1798 however, and merged with the University of France in 1808. The university of today, though it bears the same name as its medieval predecessor, was founded in 1960.