Collegium Hosianum

Braniewo, Poland

The Collegium Hosianum was the Jesuit collegium in Royal Prussia, Poland, founded in 1565-1566 by Cardinal Stanislaus Hosius in Braniewo (Braunsberg). It was one of the biggest Jesuit schools and one of the most important centres of Counter-Reformation in Europe and was particularly established to educate Catholic clergy of different countries.

The first Jesuits were called to Warmia by its cardinal Hosius, in order to counter the widespread Protestant movement in Prussia and elsewhere in Central and eastern Europe. The Jesuits arrived in 1564. They were strongly opposed by the largely Protestant Prussian burghers and caused a religious split in the country. Despite difficult material conditions throughout the 16th century, they quickly founded many educational establishments: gymnasium (1565), convictus nobilium - school for Polish szlachta (1565), Diocesan Seminary (1567), Papal Seminary (1578) and dormitory for poor students (1582). The 16th century foundation was designed for 20 Jesuits, but the number soon approached 80, which resulted in problems with the finances of the schools and suitable number of school-rooms.

The Collegium was temporally closed in 1626 due to war of Poland with Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus (Polish-Swedish War (1625–1629)), and reopened in 1637. In 1646Matthaeus Montanus (Matthias Bergh), a canon of Warmia, funded a new, large schoolhouse. In the years 1665-1668 the school was closed again due to destructive Swedish invasion in Prussia and Poland, Swedish Deluge.

In the 18th century in the Collegium humanities, theology, mathematics and Greek and Hebrew languages were taught. In 1701 and later Polish Jesuits applied to Rome for changing the Collegium into full university, but without success. In 1743 they bought from the city of Braunsberg a location for a new schoolhouse, which was built in the next years.

At the time of the Partitions of Poland the prince-bishopric of Warmia with Braunsberg became a part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1772, and in 1773 the Society of Jesus was suppressed. The Prussian government turned the closed Collegium in 1780 into Gymnasium Academicum, from 1818 called Lyceum Hosianum, which in 1912 became a State Academy.

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Founded: 1565-1566
Category: Religious sites in Poland

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