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Nicholas of Cusa: philosopher, theologian, humanist

Nicholas of Cusa was a widely educated philosopher, theologian and mathematician. He was one of the pioneering German humanists in the period of transition between the late Middle Ages and the early modern era.

Nicholas of Cusa was born in Kues in 1401 as Nikolaus Cryfftz (Krebs). He studied mathematics, physics, astronomy, medicine, ancient philosophy and law in Heidelberg and Padua, before going on to study theology in Cologne.
As a priest and academic, he rose to the highest echelons of public life at the time, serving as a member of the Council of Basel, a papal legate in Germany, a cardinal, Bishop of Brixen and Vicar General in Rome.
As a cardinal of the Roman curia and advisor to Pope Pius II, he was involved in the reform of the clergy and general church reform.
He also appeared to be a serious candidate for the next papal election, but died in Todi, Umbria, in 1464. Nicholas of Cusa is buried in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome, but his heart remains in the chapel of St. Nicholas' Hospital, the foundation he established.

Birthplace of Nicholas of Cusa
The birthplace of Nicholas of Cusa, situated right by the river Moselle in Kues, is still open to visitors today. It houses a permanent exhibition entitled "Nikolaus von Kues – Leben und Werk im Bild" ("Nicholas of Cusa – his life and work in pictures").

St. Nicholas' Hospital
St. Nicholas' Hospital, otherwise known as the Cusanus Foundation, was originally established as a "hospital for the poor", designed to accommodate 33 old men from all walks of life. The late Gothic buildings of the hospital foundation were modelled on monastic architecture and are still standing today. Following an unbroken tradition, the hospital continues to offer accommodation and care for the elderly - now for both men and women.

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