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School Nuestra Senora de la Antigua is a school in Lugo, Spain, built in 1523 by the Cardinal of Seville, Don Rodrigo de Castro. The school was first managed by the Society of Jesus and later passed on to the Piarists Fathers during the nineteenth century. The school building is one of the few Herrerian style buildings in Galicia, and widely known due to its magnificent structure, which counts with a main building, a church, and a museum. Nowadays the school continues to impart classes from kindergarten to High School.
The school was founded in 1523 by the Cardinal of Seville, Don Rodrigo de Castro, son of Countess Beatriz de Castro and Count Don Alvaro de Osorio. The school is located in Monforte de Lemos, in the north region of Spain, in the city of Lugo, Galicia.
During the first years, the school was managed by the Society of Jesus, in which the Cardinal was highly involved, providing financial support and management supervision to other Jesuit schools in the south of Spain: School of Jerez de la Frontera and Seminary School of the British Jesuits.
The school is considered the biggest legacy of the Cardinal in Monforte de Lemos, and one of the few buildings built in the Herrerian style in Galicia, Spain. The name of the school, Colegio Nuestra Senora de la Antigua, emerges from the great devotion the Cardinal had to the Antigua Virgin, one of the multiple representations of Virgin Mary.
In 1767, the 11 Jesuits residing in the school were driven out by Spanish King Carlos III, and forced to abandon the school leaving all their objects and personal belongings. After the Jesuits were expelled form the School, the King ordered to erase all signs of the Jesuits Society from the school shield and symbols. Since this moment until 1873, the school was served for multiple purposes, from the Real Seminar, School of Humanities and Fine Arts and Province Institute of Lugo.
After this period of time, the building was left in ruins, having to be closed because it was completely uninhabitable.
In 1873, Duke of Alba, takes control of the School and ordered the Piarists Fathers to restore and mend the building and start again to impart classes. In November 1873, the Piarists Fathers started to impart classes to a promotion of 153 students, but it didn't last long before the Piarists Fathers tried to escape the city due to defaults from the Duke and the Mayor.
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