Friday, January 06, 2012

College of Bernardine - inspiring monument of learning

On my way back to the hotel last night, I stopped to admire The College of Bernardine, an historical monument in the heart of Paris.

The place has undergone a complete renovation beginning in 2004 and completed in August 2008. It was conducted by Hervé Baptiste, chief architect of historical monuments in the old part, and Jean-Michel Wilmotte for contemporary spaces.

This major renovation put 350 steel piles 20 meters deep in all exterior walls and under each pillar. It was during this work that ancient Romanesque arches were uncovered – having been buried in loose soil over the many decades.

It was opened in September 2008 by the Archbishop of Paris Archbishop Andre Vingt-Trois . On Friday September 12, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI gave a speech to more than 700 cultural leaders as part of his apostolic visit to France.

The College of Bernardine has been part of the Diocese of Paris since 1984, and its Cathedral School is open to all those wishing to explore Christian thought, witness to their faith, or assume responsibility in the Church. Since July 19, 2005 it has been a private institute of higher education.

It annually hosts more than 3,000 students. Each according to his own vocation, secular or religious, professional or priestly, finds a place for reflection on the Christian faith to illuminate the issues facing people today.

You can read more about the College at

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