Monserrat, Colegio de

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Monserrat, Colegio de

Colegio de Monserrat, Argentine secondary school. The Colegio de Monserrat was founded in Córdoba in 1687 as the Real Colegio Convictorio de Nuestra Señora de Monserrat (Royal College and Convent of Our Lady of Monserrat) as an institution of secondary education and a seminary. It replaced the Colegio Máximo of the Society of Jesus (founded in 1610), which became the University of Córdoba in 1622. The Colegio Monserrat is thus the oldest extant secondary school in Argentina. It was first located in an ornate colonial building bequeathed to the Jesuits by a leading citizen of Córdoba, Ignacio Duarte de Quirós. The Colegio de Monserrat worked closely with the university with which it later shared buildings. Run by the Jesuits from 1687 to 1767, its faculty excelled in teaching classical studies, theology, and mathematics.

Higher education in South America suffered a setback with the expulsion of the Jesuits, upon which control of Monserrat was transferred to the Franciscan Order until 1807. From 1807 to 1820 Monserrat was placed in the hands of the secular clergy, where it flourished under Gregorio Funes, a learned friar, statesman, historian, and alumnus of Monserrat. The school was administered by the province until 1854, when it was incorporated into the National University of Córdoba as a college preparatory school in 1907. Argentine presidents who studied at Monserrat include: Nicolás Avellaneda, Santiago Derqui, Roque Sáenz Peña, and José Figueroa Alcorta. Other prominent alumni include the statesmen Juan José Castelli, Juan José Paso, Tomás Godoy Cruz, Viceroy Santiago Liniers, and jurist Dalmacio Vélez Sársfield. Besides being declared an international historic monument in 1938, the United Nations declared the colegio international cultural patrimony in 2000.

See alsoArgentina, University Reform; Córdoba, University of; Franciscans; Funes, Gregorio; Jesuits.


Fernando Beato et al., El Monserrat: Trecientos años, 1687–1987 (1987).

Additional Bibliography

Aguiar de Zapiola, Liliana. Cultura liberal, cultura autoritaria: El Colegio Monserrat (1943/1955). Córdoba: Editorial Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, 1998.

Vera de Flachs, María Cristina. Finanzas, saberes y vida cotidiana en el Colegio Monserrat: Del antiguo al nuevo regimen. Córdoba: Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, 1999.

                                Georgette Magassy Dorn