7th-12th century: A seminary laying the foundation
The basis of Utrecht University was laid in the seventh century, when the Anglo-Saxon monk Willibrord of Utrecht founded a Catholic city. Willibrord, whose statue can be found on the Janskerkhof, played an important role in Utrecht's development.
In 695, Willibrord set up a school for the future priests and noble young men of Utrecht. His seminary was affiliated to the cathedral and later became known as the Domschool (Cathedral School).
Utrecht teaching was renowned for its quality, also in imperial circles. Around 928, Emperor Henry I's son Bruno studied at the Domschool. In those days, Utrecht was the cultural and intellectual centre of the Northern Netherlands.