|Category||Primary & secondary|
|Affiliation||Jesuit (Roman Catholic)|
The school is built on the location of a cloister, the "Sint Barbaraklooster in Jerusalem". The cloister was founded in 1420 for Augustinian nuns, closed in 1783 by order of Joseph II, briefly reopened but closed again during the French Revolutionary War. In 1814 the building near the Ketelvest housed a secondary school, but that was closed in 1819 by order of William I who had opened an atheneum in the nearby buildings of the old Baudelo Abbey. In 1833, after the Belgian Revolution of 1830 the Bishop of Ghent, Jan Frans Van De Velde, gave the school to the Jesuits. The first students graduated in 1836. A school church was inaugurated on 6 November 1858.
Maurice Maeterlinck, who was sent there in 1874 (then aged 14) disliked the fact that in Sainte-Barbe works of the French Romantics were scorned and only plays on religious subjects were permitted. His experiences at this school influenced his distaste for the Catholic Church and organized religion.
Though located in a Dutch-speaking Flemish city, the language of instruction at Sint-Barbaracollege was French, and as such it was considered in the 19th and early 20th Century as instilling a French cultural identity in its young Flemish pupils - though some of them later rebelled against this identity, such as Joris Van Severen.
As of 2011, the Sint-Barbaracollege consists of a primary school (K-12) and a secondary school.
- Bettina Knapp, Maurice Maeterlinck, (Thackery Publishers: Boston, 1975), 22-3.
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