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University of Ingolstadt

The University of Ingolstadt was opened on 26 July 1472 under the patronage of the Duke of Bavaria, Ludwig the Wealthy. For centuries its various faculties -- humanistic, scientific, theology, law, and medicine -- were contained in the Hoheschule (High School). By the end of the seventeenth century plans were elaborated for new university buildings, but these were never realized. Nonetheless, during the ensuing century the University was forced to expand. In 1760 George Ludwig Claudius Rousseau was appointed demonstrator of Chemistry, and in 1778 a separate laboratory was constructed for him near the Hoheschule. Given the time scheme of Frankenstein, it seems likely that Victor would have pursued his studies in that location.

But Ingolstadt was also very well equipped to support Victor's more elaborate scientific ambitions. From the first, the University possessed a medical school of stature. In 1722 its faculty acquired a site for a projected school that would incorporate an anatomy theater, botanical garden, and chemistry laboratory, and construction was begun early in 1723 though, for want of money, it was not wholly finished until 1736. A major botanical garden was attached to the school to support its experiments and treatments. By 1755 the demonstration hall in the central atrium had been converted into a two-story anatomical theater, with a dissecting table on the ground floor, a gallery for student observers above, and a glass ceiling allowing overhead illumination. In the later eighteenth century it was considered to be one of the finest such theaters in Europe. Obviously, such a theater would have had ample provision for the specimens required for teaching purposes -- or for clandestine experimentation.