Some facts about the school in the 18th century

In the study that is made of Monforte By Rosa Mª Guntiñás, starting from the data of the Cadastre of the Marques de la Ensenada, made in the middle of the XVIII century, we find numerous data that put us on track of how our College worked then. Thus we read:

“D. Rodrigo is going to name, then, universal heir to the College in his will, made by his own hand in 1598, but placing it under the patronage of the Counts of Lemos and pointing out to the religious an income of 2,000 annual ducats for their sustenance, giving them solar, garden, silver and relics and ratifying the creation in it of a school for the Galician youth under the direction of the Society of Jesus, so that the Relationship of 1741 specifies that, in addition to the main faculty, there was “Another patio of schools” that were in total four of Grammar, one of Philosophy, two of Scholastic Theology and moral “with another piece for children to read and write””.

We see that the studies that were taught were closer to being university studies than of primary education.

San Francisco de Borja in its splendor

At this time of March, the restoration of the San Francisco de Borja painting, oil on canvas, by an anonymous author, dated 1666 and of which we have already reported in an entry dated January 27 of this same page. Although this restoration is not finished, we can already perceive the changes that the restoration has made on this canvas, hopefully giving it another 353 years of life.

If you want to collaborate with this restoration costs DONA

San Francisco de Borja, oil on canvas 1666. Anonymous
San Francisco de Borja, oil on canvas 1666. Anonymous


In an article entitled Cervantes and the Jesuits, Fr. José Martínez-Escalera SJ wrote:

PEDRO FDEZ DE CASTRO- VII CONDE DE LEMOS -Alumno del Colegio de Nª Sª de la Antigua

“Let us remember at last that Cervantes dedicated his Exemplary Novels to the” great Count of Lemos “, his true patron, to whom he also dedicated the Eight comedies and eight hors d’oeuvres (1615), the second part of Don Quixote (1615) and the works of Persiles and Sigismunda, four days before he died. As we know, D. Pedro de Castro had been, together with his two brothers, a student of the Monforte school, founded by his uncle-grandfather, the archbishop of Seville and cardinal. “

He was the son of Fernando Ruiz de Castro Andrade and Portugal, VI Count of Lemos and III Marqués de Sarria, and his wife Catalina de Luna Sandoval y Rojas, daughter of the Marquis of Denia, Francisco de Sandoval y Rojas and Isabel de Borja y Castro .

Known habitually as “The Great Count of Lemos,” he was President of the Council of the Indies, Viceroy of Naples, President of the Supreme Council of Italy -according to the Count of Gondomar, the “greater and more useful position given by the King in Europe” -, Commander of the Order of Alcántara, and famous Spanish statesman and diplomat. He was also extraordinary ambassador in Rome and Alguacil Mayor of the Kingdom of Galicia.

Monastery? Convent? School?

We observe that the building of the College of the Cardinal or of Nª Sª de la Antigua, is denominated of several forms, most of them incorrect. There is no more to surf the internet and we will see that they call us MONASTERY or CONVENT, sometimes COLEGIATA … All those forms are incorrect.

• A MONASTERY is the building where the members of the monastic Orders live: formed by monks or nuns who live and work in the monastery are cloistered and are linked to the monastery for life, among these Orders we can quote Benedictines, Cistercians, Trappists , Poor Clares …

• A CONVENT is the house of the mendicant Orders, inhabited by friars or sisters who have active participation in the apostolate and live on alms. Among them are the Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians and some of their female branches.

• A (HOUSE) CASA is where the Regular Clerics live in communities formed by priests who live under a rule – hence the denomination of regulars – with solemn vows, and have a more active and concrete apostolate. In this case there are Jesuits and Piarists, the two orders that have lived and worked in Nª Señora de la Antigua.

The School Nª Sª de la Antigua was founded, from the first moment in 1593, as a SCHOOL, with a house of religious who attended it. The essential thing is the School and therefore the appropriate denomination is that of COLEGIO. Being also one of the oldest colleges in Galicia and probably the oldest working in the activity for which it was created. It was never a monastery or convent.
Let us name our building as COLEGIO DEL CARDENAL, popular name, but valid, or with its official name COLEGIO DE NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA ANTIGUA. Never convent or monastery

Translation of our WEB into English

To complete the project of our WEB and to better disseminate our purposes and our cultural heritage, we have begun with the translation of it into English. Texts and links are still provisional but we hope that they can be definitive soon. With this we intend to give visibility to our page in many of the countries where there are Monfortinos, Escolapios and friends of the College of the Cardinal.

Signature, in the altarpiece of Moure

One of the curiosities that emerged with the cleaning of the altarpiece of our church was the appearance of a signature, made in ink on wood, about 5 meters high on one side of the altarpiece, specifically the right. At first glance it is impossible to see such a signature. The doubt that arose was whether or not this signature would be D. Francisco de Moure.

Once analyzed both signatures, the one of the altarpiece and another one of a document signed by Moure, it is necessary to conclude that no, that it is not of D. Francisco de Moure, being the mystery opened on who could sign that board, that had to be signed with ink and pen, in the workshop and horizontally, not vertically as it is now …

To illustrate the curiosity of whoever reads this, we attach a photo of both signatures

Galician translation of our WEB page

The CNSdlA Foundation is undertaking the translation of its WEB page into Galician, in collaboration with the Languages Department of the Calasanz PP School. Escolapios de la Coruña and with a group of volunteer students from the center. Little by little we will have all the information in Galician, informative entries, pages, except the documents that will be kept in their original language.

Stamp of the Cardinal and of the College Nª Sª de la Antigua

The Royal House of the Currency, National Factory of Currency and Stamp, commercialized on June 1, 2001 a stamp of Correos commemorating the four hundred years of death Cardinal Rodrigo de Castro. The issuance of the stamp was part of the commemorative acts promoted by the City Council of Monforte to vindicate the figure of the Cardinal. According to the Real Casa de la Moneda, the circulation was 1,200,000 copies. The stamp was printed in gravure from a design by José L. Suárez, from the drafting team of the National Currency and Stamp Factory. Its economic value was 40 pesetas (0.24 euros). In the adaptation the prayer statue of Cardinal Rodrigo de Castro is reproduced by Juan de Bolonia. At the bottom of the stamp appears the facade of the College of Our Lady of Antigua, founded by him.


We have just added a new option in our “Architecture” menu, it is the “Documentation” option where you can find PDFs of some theses or articles of architectural congresses that deal especially with the College of Nª Sª de la Antigua. You can also find many other facts and curiosities about the building, the architects, biographies and celebrations in its history.

Facade elevation of the College Nª Sª de la Antigua.

We publish an elevation of the facade of the School Nª Sª de la Antigua made with graphic design techniques, made by Edith Nieves. This elevation is serving to illustrate the project of Infantile on the building of the Cardinal and its history, that the little ones are getting to know these days, training to be authentic tour guides of their school.

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