The Royal and Pontifical University of St. Geronimo of Havana

The Royal and Pontifical University of St. Geronimo of Havana

Heritage & Traditions


The heritage and cultural heritage, so important in the development of a nation, have in the St. Geronimo of Havana University College, located in the capital's historic center, a reference that goes back to the founding of the first university in Cuba in the 18th century.

In 1578, on carefully chosen land in the then young city of St. Christopher of Havana, the so-called Order of Preachers of the Catholic Church built the convent of St. John of Letrán.

A century and a half later, in 1728, in that same place, and by the same religious order of the Dominicans, the first university on the island was founded.

To complete a career, Cubans had to attend the University of Salamanca, in Spain, or make a pilgrimage to the University of Mexico, Peru or Santo Domingo, the only places in the New World where there were those centers of higher studies.

The corresponding papal bull authorizing the Dominicans to found a university was issued by Pope Innocent XIII in 1721, and the monarch Felipe V of Borbón, through the Council of the Indies, gave his approval, ratifying it by royal decree of 1728.

When the news authorizing the establishment of the university on the island reached Havana, there was great rejoicing, demonstrating with parties and public gatherings. On January 5, 1728, in the old religious building, near the Plaza of Arms and the Castle of the Real Force, with bells ringing and all possible formalities and solemnities of the time.

It was born, similar to the one in Santo Domingo in Hispaniola, the Royal and Pontifical University of St. Geronimo of Havana. Classes at this first university were only theoretical, with readings of texts that were compulsory in Latin and had to be learned by heart.

Canon Law was taught in the Professorship of Canons and Civil Law, in the Faculty of Law. Medicine was a singular chair because all its professors were laymen, however, dissections on corpses were prohibited.

The Faculty of Arts illustrated in Philosophy from the scholastic system in all its rigorous meaning. The building located in the block of Obispo, Mercaderes, San Ignacio and O'Reilly.

Its old gate was combined with elements of later modernity and rescued as a Faculty of the University of Havana, which began to function in the 2007-2008 academic year.

There, the career of Preservation and Management of the Historic-Cultural Heritage, expression of the search and rescue of the authentic identity roots, is studied there, with subjects such as Museology, Archaeology, Urban Management and Sociocultural Management.