The Former Latin Divinity School

In 1873, when the Meiji government’s ban on Christianity was lifted, Father Petijean of Oura Cathedral planned the establishment of the Latin Divinity School, and construction was completed in 1875. The building was used as both a school and dormitory for students until the Urakami Theological Seminary was built in 1926. It was subsequently used as the rectory and a meeting place, and in around 1930 the partitions on the first floor were removed to make larger rooms and the 3rd floor converted into bedrooms for students.

 

Father Marc Marie de Rotz, the French priest, designed the building. Unusually, its skeletal structure is wooden, with the walls constructed from bricks, but Father de Rotz had a very detailed knowledge of architectural techniques and one of the features of the building is its extraordinary robustness and durability.  Father de Rotz designed many other buildings still standing in Nagasaki including the rectory (now former rectory) at Oura Cathedral and Shitsu Catholic Church in the northern part of Nagasaki City (at Sotome). 

Key information on the cultural property

Designated category
Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property
Registered date
May 15, 1972
Address
5-3 Minami Yamate-machi, within precincts of Oura Cathedral
Proprietary rights
Roman Catholic Diocese of Nagasaki

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