FORMER JESUIT COLLEGE
The foundation of a capitular school in Alba Iulia in the fifteenth century marked the beginning of the theological education in the city. The institution offered both religious education and useful knowledge for secular professions: lawyers, notaries, scribes, etc. The school was closed around 1557 as a result of the reformist measures imposed by the Transylvanian principles. But in 1579, along with wave of countermeasure against the Reformation, the Jesuit order was settled in Alba Iulia, and from then on, training in the priesthood took place within the Jesuit seminar in the St. Stephen’s Monastery or the Báthory Church. The information on how the building was built is scarce and comes mostly from foreign travellers who passed through Alba Iulia in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, leaving some accounts of what they saw there.
The college building was completed by the end of the 16th century. Either its construction or just some of its renovation works were carried out by the Italian Massimo Milanesi during 1585-1586.
Transylvania’s Princes took care of raising the education level and thus strived to bring prestigious teachers to the city. Therefore, Prince Stefan Báthory succeeded to bring the Jesuit Johannes Lelesius in the charge of the school.
In 1588, however, the Jesuits were expelled from the city and forced to build a new church outside the walls. Limited historic data available indicate that at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the „small college” functioned in the Jesuit monastery buildings, independently of the „grand college” set up by Prince Gabriel Bethlen. Once Transylvania was taken over by Austrians, Catholicism was reinstated at the beginning of the 18th century, and the Jesuit school was re-organized. The diocesan seminary was established midcentury and a building was erected for it (the former Jericho), but it turned out to be too small and the seminarians were transferred to the Jesuit monastery. The Roman Catholic Theological Seminary functioned for intermittent periods in the former Jesuit school building. In 1778, the Jesuits left definitively the place which was later transformed into a military depot.
Towards the end of the 19th century, on the site of the former Jesuit church, the „Mailath” edifice was erected which in the first decades of its existence housed the Roman Catholic Superior Gymnasium.
Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian
Translation made by: Ciprian Dobra, PR expert
The Alba Iulia Citadel distinguished itself over time as a place of a distinctive tradition in elite training and for preserving important national and universal heritage values. One of the places in the citadel that has still kept these attributes at present is the B wing of the „1 Decembrie 1918” University in Alba Iulia, which has inherited the patrimony of the Jesuit College.
The Jesuit monastic order was established in Alba Iulia in 1579 along with the wave of countermeasures against the religious Reformation. The moment marked the beginning of priesthood training within the seminar established in the Báthory Church, also known as the Jesuits Church (today demolished).
Historical data have revealed that the Jesuit college building was completed at the end of the sixteenth century, and at the beginning of the following century, „the small college” used to function within the Jesuit monastery buildings.
The Jesuits were expelled from the fortress in 1588 and came back only in the early 18th century when the Austrians took over the place. The Jesuit school was also reorganized, and this time, their stay in the Citadel was also temporary. In 1776, when the monastic orders were abolished, the former Jesuit school building was taken over by the Roman Catholic Theological Seminary which operated here until 1783. The former Jesuit college was the second building wing owned by the „1 Decembrie 1918” University of Alba Iulia, which was founded in 1991.