Kurt Gödel

The famous native of Brno

Who was Kurt Gödel

Kurt Gödel is above all the greatest logician of all time, who fundamentally deepened the connection between logic and the foundations of mathematics. “IT guys” call him the father of programming languages. His contribution to logic is of similar importance as Mendel's contribution to genetics.

Gödel was born in Brno in 1906, but soon he moved to Vienna where he spent two decades and achieved his career pinnacle. He spent the rest of his life at Princeton in the USA, partly alongside his friend Albert Einstein.

He enriched Einstein’s theory of relativity by finding new solutions to his equations that, among other things, allow thinking about time loops (a return to your own past)

His two famous incompleteness theorems published in 1931 answer the questions related to the limits of mechanical processes, the uncontroversial nature of mathematical theories, and the relationship between the truth and its proof.

More about Kurt Godel
  • 28 April 1906

    Mariana and Rudolf Gödel, a wealthy German couple from Brno, had their second son, Kurt 

  • 1915

    The Gödel family bought a villa at Pellicova 8a. 

  • 1929

    Gödel’s father died. After his funeral, Kurt never returned to Brno. At that time he was already living in Vienna. 

  • 1930

    In 1930, at the Café-Reichsrat, talking to Rudolf Carnap, Kurt Gödel informally announced his first incompleteness...  show full text

  • 1933

    He made his first trip to America to give lectures on the discovery of incompleteness at the Institute for Advanced Study in...  show full text

  • 1939

    Kurt Gödel was identified as a Jew by the Nazis in Vienna, even though he came from a "traditional" German family...  show full text

  • 1948

    He became an American citizen. He was well received by the local academic community, and Albert Einstein became his neighbour and close friend. 

  • 1955

    After Einstein's death and with his other friends passing away, Gödel became increasingly solitary reclusive. Although his...  show full text

  • 1978

    His lifelong anxiety and paranoia escalated, resulting in a fear of poisoning and he almost stopped eating. After a brief hospitalization...  show full text

  • 2019

    It was only in 2019 that a street was named after him in Brno. Actually a street without a single entrance. 

  • 2023

    He had a 30-second cameo appearance in the narrative film Oppenheimer (2023) by Christopher Nolan. 


In the footsteps of Kurt Gödel

  • 1Birth House

    Pekařská 5

    Kurt Gödel saw the light of day here on 28 April 1906 as the second child of Marianna and Rudolf Gödel. He was baptised in the Red Church, a German Evangelical congregation, and his godfather was Friedrich Redlich, a wealthy Brno manufacturer whose textile factory was managed and later co-owned by Kurt's father. A memorial plaque by the Brno artist Milivoj Husák was unveiled on the house in August 1993.

  • 2Villa below Špilberk

    Pellicova 8a

    Very good financial situation enabled Gödel's father to have a villa built in what is now Pellicova Street in 1914. The family moved in the following year and Kurt spent his grammar school years there. A memorial plaque by the sculptor Ivo Koníček was unveiled in August 2008 by the mathematician Petr Vopěnka.

  • 3Gödela (Kurt Gödel Lane)

    The connection between Husova Street and Pekařská Street above Studánka Park, which adjoins the back side of Kurt's birth house under the windows of the Gödels' apartment on the second floor, was named Kurt Gödel's Alley and the street sighs were officially attached in the presence of the Mayor of Brno in August 2019.

  • 4Elementary School

    Opletalova ulice 5

    Between 1912 and 1916 Kurt Gödel attended the German Evangelical Elementary School on Trautenbergergasse, today's Opletalova Street, opposite the Red Church. He always had only excellent school results but was repeatedly excused by his parents, especially from physical education, because of rheumatic fever attacks. Perhaps this is where his later excessive concern for his own health came from.

  • 5German State Real Grammar School

    Hybešova 15

    After completing his four-year compulsory elementary school education, Kurt Gödel entered the German State Real Grammar School in Wawrastrasse (now Hybešova Street 15). His favourite subjects included physics, languages and religion. Curiously, the only B in his school report was in mathematics in the middle of the first year. In autumn 1924, at the age of eighteen, he went to the University of Vienna to study physics. He came back to Brno only to visit his parents or to borrow books from the technical library (today one of the Masaryk University buildings, Komenského nám. 2).

  • 6Red Church (Jana Amos Komenský Church)

    Komenského nám. 218/4

    Kurt Gödel belonged to the same parish as his mother, Marianna Gödel, née Handschuh, who attended the Red Church.

  • 7Brno University of Technology Lecture Hall

    Božetěchova 2/04

    Kurt Gödel Lecture Hall at the Faculty of Information Technology of Brno University of Technology was inaugurated on the occasion of Gödel’s 100th birth anniversary.

  • 8Gödel Building

    Technická 2995/21

    Gödel Building is situated in the Technology Park Brno.

  • 9Faculty of Informatics

    Botanická 554/68a

    Kurt Gödel’s face is on the insignia of the Faculty of Informatics of Masaryk University. His portrait is on the obverse of the faculty medal, which, together with the faculty sceptre, was created by sculptor and artist Jaromír Gargulák. The reverse bears the faculty emblem.

Download and print the map

Map for download


Encyklopedie města Brna
Internetová encyklopedie dějin Brna
Společnost Kurta Gödela


Jiří Sláma, P. Vachůta, Muzeum města Brna, Richard Arens, Oskar Morgenstern, Alan Richards, A. G. Wightman (Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, USA), Vysoké učení technické v Brně

Město BrnoHvězdárna BrnoJihomoravský kraj

What you do not know about Kurt

  • Back home, they used to call him “Mr WHY
  • He spent his childhood near Pekařská and Pellicova streets. The alley from Studánka Park to the Brno Municipal Office is named after him today.
  • Kurt's dad was one of the first owners of a Chrysler car in Brno. His skills and diligence helped him to work his way up to the position of the director and later the co-owner of the Friedrich Redlich textile factory.
  • There was only one error in Kurt’s first maths exercise book.
  • He was identified as a Jew by the Nazis, even though his family was of purely German origin.
  • It took Kurt Gödel and his wife three months to emigrate – by the Trans-Siberian express via Japan to San Francisco.
  • Due to delaying treatment for a duodenal ulcer, his life got in danger in the 1940s and he had to have a blood transfusion, a novelty at the time.
  • On the occasion of receiving the Albert Einstein Award in 1951, he was described as the greatest logician since Aristotle.
  • He believed that mathematical truths exist independently of their discoverers.
  • He wrote his notes in Gabelsberger shorthand, not for secrecy but to save time and because he was fond of brevity.
  • He discovered that Einstein's equations allowed for the possibility of time travel into the past.
  • He was a solitary genius who trusted only his wife at the end of his life.
  • Celoživotní úzkost a paranoia se stupňovaly a vyústily ve strach z otravy. Přestal téměř jíst. Podvýživa se mu také v roce 1978 stala smrtelnou.|trans