Since its foundation in the year 1803, the University of Antioquia has served as a central knowledge-base for the city of Medellin. It is the oldest and most prestigious university in the city and has educated countless Colombians including famous poets, writers, artists, scientists, doctors, engineers as well as political figures including Colombia’s ex-president, Álvaro Uribe Vélez. The San Ignacio building located downtown was the original site in which classes were held, but was later relocated in the year 1969 to its present day location north of the city which can be easily accessed via the Metro Station Universidad. More than 20 buildings make up the main campus at the University of Antioquia including the central library, natural sciences building, visual arts center, as well as the University Museum and the Camilo Torres Theater. There is also a comprehensive sports complex located on campus. Photo above by Carlos Hoyos.
The University of Antioquia is adorned with artistic features and expressions, the campus is home to such works as Rodrigo Arenas Betancur’s sculpture “Man, Creator of Energy”, a mural painted by the famous artist Pedro Nel Gomez as well as other sculptures created by Enrique Grau and Ana Mercedes intermixed among the tree laden grounds of this astute learning center. The University of Antioquia also operates several satellite campuses including their Health Sciences College located near the San Vincente de Paul Hospital.
University of Antioquia Museum
Founded in 1942, this museum stands just at the heart of the University of Antioquia campus north of downtown Medellin. It is one of the most frequently visited museums in the city, especially by students, since it gathers and holds approximately 40,000 pieces related to visual arts, natural science, history and anthropology. The museum also plays host to art exhibitions and musicals/plays at its concert halls. The Saint Ignatius Building at the University of Antioquia (downtown) is probably one of the most important architectural jewels in all of Medellin. It was the first branch of the university whose origins date back to 1793, in which the Medellin Cabildo purchased the lands for the construction of a church, a convent and a school.
Declared in 1803, the University of Antioquia began it’s process of building and expanding the campus. However, it was not until 1886 that the Saint Ignatius Building received the official name of University of Antioquia. Initially only the School of Arts, Trades and Mining were offered at the university. The assembly hall (Paraninfo) was built during the republican period and was carried out by Maestro Horacio Rodriguez. The assembly hall (Paraninfo) has been the epicenter of cultural development for both the department as well as the rest of Colombia. In 1982, this building (Paraninfo) was declared a national monument by the city of Medellin.
San Ignacio Square
For decades San Ignacio Square served as the patio for the Saint Ignacio School, founded by Jesuits. Remodeled in 1993, the park which is located right next to the Saint Ignacio Building and close to the assembly hall is lined with beautiful, native centenary ceiba trees.
Location of University of Antioquia in Medellin:
CALLE 67 #53-108 TEL: (574) 263-0011
METRO STATION: UNIVERSIDAD