The Romanian government is funding the restoration of the former Ursuline monastery building in Nagyvárad, a property of the Roman Catholic Church to the tune of €13.2 million. The 250-year-old monastery houses a Hungarian high school in Nagyvárad (Oradea, Großwardein), Ady Endre High School.
The government’s decision to finance the complete restoration of the former Ursuline monastery was announced by Attila Cseke, who is Minister of Development, Public Works and Administration in the Cîţu cabinet on behalf of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym RMDSZ).
The cabinet approved funding of the historic complex’s renovation, thanks to a joint effort of the RMDSZ and the Roman Catholic Bishopric of Nagyvárad, Attila Cseke said. As he noted, the 250-year-old building of the Ursuline monastery is one of the most representative historical monuments of Nagyvárad and Bihar (Bihor) County and has never been completely renovated before.
The Ministry of Development will provide RON 65 million for the comprehensive restoration of the monastery, during which all the wings of the building complex will be renovated.
”Both the creation of modern teaching conditions in schools and the preservation of the architectural heritage of the community are important objectives of the RMDSZ, so this investment project was a priority,” Cseke said, according to the RMDSZ communiqué.
The minister, who is also RMDSZ senator for Bihar County, added that as a result of the government’s decision, the public procurement process can begin, and as soon as the agreement is signed with the chosen contractor, the renovation work can start. During the renovation process, the whole building complex will be made fireproof, the doors and windows will be restored, and the heating system will be modernized. The high school will also be equipped with new computers.
Ady Endre High School is a successor of the convent school of the Ursuline order, which was established in Nagyvárad in 1771. The prebendary István Szenczi bought a house for the order in the inner city, turned it into a convent and donated a considerable amount for the nuns to operate an elementary school for girls.
By 1773, new wings were added, and in the middle of the 19th century, the monastery underwent major transformations. In 1858, Nagyvárad Bishop Ferenc Szaniszló arranged for another wing; at the same time, the main façade of the Baroque-style monastery and church were remodeled to suit the tastes of Gothic Romanticism.
In 1856, a teacher training college was established in the building complex, and from the end of the 19th century, a girls’ high school also operated there. The First World War and the subsequent regime change interrupted the activity of these teaching institutions. The teacher training institute and the girl’s school then opened their doors again in 1940. After 1945, with the rise of the communist regime, the school had to abandon its traditional methods of education.
From 1971 to 1982, the school bore the name of Alexandru Moghioroş (a former member of the Communist Party), and then it was transformed into an industrial-profile high school. After 1990, the institution was reorganized, and now one of the most outstanding Hungarian high schools in the county functions there, named after the great Hungarian poet, Endre Ady, who lived and worked for a while in Nagyvárad and loved the city.
Title image: Today’s Ady Endre High School is a successor of the convent school of the Ursuline order