From Gellért Hill to Gellert Square

©CEU, Daniel Vegel

“Central European University has arrived in Vienna; the newest university in a city of great universities. While the particular circumstances of our move are unique in the history of the European Union, our arrival promises to open a new chapter in the millennium-old history of intellectual exchange and inspiration between Hungary and Austria. Moving to the vibrantly diverse district of Favoriten – from Gellért Hill to Gellert Square, just three blocks from our campus – enables us to become an actor in one of the most exciting urban development programs currently being undertaken in Europe. As such, we both play a role in the gradual transformation of our immediate neighborhood and help underpin Vienna’s aspiration as a city of world-class science and research.

The format of the ‘Spectacular Ball’ as an opportunity for trades, professions and esteemed institutions to acquire, enhance and burnish societal reputation was developed under the Danube Monarchy. The Science Ball of today can be considered a re-interpretation of tradition by inducing innovation to convention, and opening doors rather than closing.

We are very happy to take part in this event – and we are looking forward to connecting with, learning from and contributing to our Viennese peers.

P.S. While the hill in Budapest is named after Gellért, the patron saint of Budapest rolled down the hills of Buda, in 1046, to his death, Gellert square in Favoriten derives its name from Christian Fürchtegott Gellert, German poet from the age of enlightenment. I like to think of CEU’s move to its new home less as an act of martyrdom and more as a harbinger of a future of intellectual, philosophical and scientific collaboration.”

Michael Ignatieff is President and Rector of the Central European University. Born in Canada, educated at the University of Toronto and Harvard, he is a university professor, writer and former politician.

Photo: ©CEU, Daniel Vegel

Hungarian Version