The ceiling of the Library at the Collegium in Sárospatak
A miracle of our trip to Hungary in 2007…
On our last day in Sárospatak, waiting for the train, we wandered over to the Collegium and discovered its wealth of history. The librarian allowed us to be in the library alone, to view the treasures which had recently been returned from Russia after they were confiscated during WWII for their “protection.”
Some of the treasures include Martin Luther’s personal bible with his inscription and a 13th century astrological tome. The ceilings are great works of art.
Here is a short description of this important seat of learning.
“The ﬁrst phase of the history of the Collegium begins in 1531 with the generosity of the lord of the castle, Péter Perényi and later with the generosity of György Rákóczi and his wife Zsuzsanna Lorántffy. They provided appropriate buildings for the school, its teachers, its magniﬁcent library and drew up the regulations under which it was run. In the Collegium, primary, secondary and higher education were built on each other. From time to time, diﬀerent types of school were established. In Patak, alongside Theology, Arts and Law, later Pedagogy received emphasis. Over the centuries, the Collegium has been the centre of the town’s life. A citadel of classical education, Hungarian writers have bestowed on Patak titles such as Athens on the Bodrog, the seat of the Muses and later, because of the English diplomas it began to award, the Hungarian Cambridge. In 2006, about 85% of the book rarities which vanished during World War II, were returned from Russia.” Excerpted from a PDF file which unfortunately is no longer available online.