Instituto San Isidro

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Instituto San Isidro
Instituto de San Isidro (Madrid) 01.jpg
Facade of Instituto San Isidro in Calle de Toledo
Calle de Toledo 39


Head MasterEnrique de Avilés y Arroyo
Director of StudiesRafael de Martín y Villa
Age12 to 18
Colour(s)Imperial roseate & Pantone         
Detail of Pedro Texeira's 17th century map of Madrid showing the location of Imperial College

Instituto San Isidro is a co-educational day school for pupils from 12 to 18 years of age. It is located in the historical Calle de Toledo in Madrid, Spain.

It is one of 66 secondary schools established in provincial capitals and other major cities between 1835 and 1868 under the 1836 Plan General de Instrucción Pública, most of which would occupy the premises of disentailed convents and other church buildings.[1] Originally a boys' school, it became coeducational and state-owned in the second half of the 20th century.[citation needed] Tracing its origins back to 1346, albeit indirectly, it is considered the oldest non-university education center in Spain.[2]

San Isidro has educated eight Spanish prime ministers and was formerly referred to as the "nanny" of Spain's statesmen.[3][4] With the discovery of the Americas, the school gained importance in educating young men who would later become a credit to the Spanish Empire.[5] It has four Nobel Prize laureates among its former pupils, José Echegaray, Jacinto Benavente, Vicente Aleixandre, and Camilo José Cela.[4]


The school occupies part of the site[6] originally belonging to several former education centers, including Reales Estudios de San Isidro, formally known as Colegio Imperial,[7] and built on the land donated by Maria of de Austria.[8][9]

The current building includes the baroque cloister (1672), a baroque staircase and an elegant chapel (1723) among other ancient works of art. On the stairs is a small museum dedicated to science and education.[10]

The school also has a museum on the ground floor. The museum has a recreation of a school class, dozens of stuffed animals, and four floors of various interests.[11]

School of architecture (1847-1936)[edit]

Shortly after its independence from the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid's School of Architecture (Escuela Especial de Arquitectura, now Superior Technical School of Architecture of Madrid, ETSAM) would occupy part of the premises of the Instituto, together with the secondary school and other schools and departments,[12] remaining there from 1847 to 1936, when it moved to its current site at Ciudad Universitaria.[13] [12] The School of Architecture's coat of arms can still be seen over the main entrance to the Institute.[12]

Notable alumni[edit]

The former pupils of San Isidro are known as ″Old Franciscans″.[citation needed]

The school has educated a wide range of historical figures including four Nobel Prize laureates.[4][14]

Many old pupils went on to fight in the Spanish Civil War, the great majority of them joining the Nationalist side, with around 200 being killed during the two-year war period. In addition, 12 Old Franciscans from the Blue Division died fighting in the Eastern Front during World War II.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Escolano Benito, Agustín (in Spanish). "Review: El Instituto de San Isidro. Saber y patrimonio. Apuntes para una historia. González de la Lastra, Leonor y Fernández Bargueño, Vicente J. (eds)." Fundación madri+d. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  2. ^ Martín Villa, Rafael (in Spanish). "Centros Escolares con Patrimonio Histórico: IES San Isidro, Madrid". Participación Educativa, 7 (March 2008). Ministry of Education (Spain). Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Overview of Former pupils of the Instituto San Isidro". Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  4. ^ a b c Betim, Felipe. "Un colegio con cuatro Nobel". El País. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  5. ^ Thomas, Hugh. El Imperio Español de Carlos V (2010).
  6. ^ Gea, María Isabel. Los nombres de las calles de Madrid, p. 109. La Librería, Madrid 2009. 978-84-87290-94-7
  7. ^ "El Colegio Imperial de Madrid y los Reales Estudios de San Isidro." Biblioteca Histórica Marqués de Valdecilla. Universidad Complutense Madrid. Retrieved on 21 January 2019.
  8. ^ Ortega & Marín 2013, pp. 140-143.
  9. ^ Répide, Pedro de. Las calles de Madrid, p. 258. Ediciones La Librería, Madrid 2011. 9788487290909
  10. ^ "School museum".
  11. ^ "Areas of interest at Instituto San Isidro".
  12. ^ a b c Prieto González, José Manuel (in Spanish). Aprendiendo a ser arquitectos: Creación y desarrollo de la Escuela de Arquitectura de Madrid (1844-1914), pp. 201-4. Editorial CSIC - CSIC Press, 2004. Google Books. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Historical background." Superior Technical School of Architecture of Madrid. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Old alumni". Archived from the original on 2016-03-12. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  15. ^ González de la Lastra, Leonor; El Instituto San Isidro: Saber y Patrimonio, Apuntes para una Historia (2014).

Coordinates: 40°24′45.81″N 3°42′26.1936″W / 40.4127250°N 3.707276000°W / 40.4127250; -3.707276000


External links[edit]