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134 years of history

The Society of Jesus, founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in 1540, was the first educational institution in Uruguay. Our history begins with the foundation of Colonia del Sacramento in 1680 by the Portuguese conqueror Manuel de Lobo. The group of Jesuits that was part of his expedition was in charge of the spiritual aspect of the colony and the establishment of the first educational institution in our country, Colegio de San Francisco Javier, whose remains nowadays surround the lighthouse of the city of Colonia. The school suffered the vicissitudes of the Portuguese colonizers, who lost the power over the city at the hands of the Spaniards in various occasions and closed its doors forever when the Jesuits were expelled from the Portuguese lands in 1758.


Meanwhile, the Spanish Jesuits participated in the founding of the city of Montevideo, giving spiritual guidance to the almost two thousand Tapes indians who came from the missions in Paraguay to build the walls of the new town. In 1746, directed by the Father Gabriel Martorell, these Jesuits opened the first school in Montevideo, which was situated across the Matriz Square, in the present-day site of the Ministry of Transport and Public Works is situated today. The school, which was dedicated to Saint Estanislao of Kostka, was closed in 1767, when the Jesuits were banned from the Spanish Empire by the King Carlos III.

The Jesuits returned to Uruguay in 1842, when our country had already become an independent republic after a long civil war, the Guerra Grande. In Montevideo, during the Defence and while the city was under siege, the Jesuits, guided by the Father Ramón Cabré, took over the Colegio Oriental de Humanidades, which remained open until 1854. For the third time the Jesuits were expelled from the Uruguayan territory in January 1859. This was stated in a decree by president Gabriel Pereira when the Jesuits were getting ready to open a school in Santa Lucía.

Finally, and definitively to this day, the Jesuits returned to our country in December, 1872, invited by Mgr. Jacinto Vera, Apostolic Vicar of Montevideo, and future first bishop, with the aim of devoting to three fundamental tasks: the rural missions, the instruction of the clergy and the education of the youth. Supported by the wealthy and generous Jackson Errazquín family, the construction of the present building began in 1878, and it opened its doors to the first students on March 1st, 1880. As at that moment the building was very small, only twelve children who wanted to be seminarians were admitted; but during the next year, 1881, secular students were also admitted.

Although the initial project was a school that could also admit seminarians, due to reasons related to legal security, the new centre was called Seminario Conciliar (Council Seminar), but quickly started to be known as Colegio Seminario. In 1899 it was called for the first time Colegio del Sagrado Corazón, and when it stopped being a seminary in 1922, this was added to the official name (ExSeminario). It has recently been decided to name it Colegio Seminario again, so that it suits the common use.

The main building grew at the same pace as the number of students and the services that were provided, spreading later to the north building on Soriano street, the sports facilities on Canelones south street, and in 2012 the new building for preschool school on Canelones street, between Martínez Trueba Street and Salto street. Outside the city centre, the school has always had sports fields, first on Larrañaga Avenue corner with Caiguá street (nowadays the Manresa House of Spirituality), then in Lagomar, and later in Camino Carrasco (Loyola sportsfield). The house in Santa María de Arequita and the house in La Floresta, were later built to hold pastoral and spiritual activities.

The academic and pastoral programme offered has been changing, adapting itself and developing over more than a hundred and thirty years.

Acerca del Colegio

El Colegio Seminario forma parte de la red de instituciones educativas católicas de la Compañía de Jesús (Jesuitas), presente en 127 países. Inspirado en la Iglesia y los valores del Evangelio, el Seminario procura una educación según la visión que la espiritualidad ignaciana ofrece de Dios, la persona y el mundo.



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Soriano 1472 - 11200 - Montevideo, Uruguay

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