Front entrance to the Sorbonne
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeFront entrance to the Sorbonne - Credit: Carcharoth
The name “La Sorbonne” is often applied familiarly to the University of Paris, although the name has had many different usages over the centuries. It derives from the Collège de Sorbonne, founded by Robert Sorbon in 1253 as one of the first major schools of the medieval University of Paris, already a century old then.

Suppressed by the French Revolution, reopened by Napoleon in 1808, the college finally closed permanently in 1882. The name survived as a colloquial term for the entire university.