St. Mary΄s: A school with 80+ years of history in Limassol!

* NOTE: All the tributes of All About Limassol (as the Official Guide of Limassol) aim to ONLY highlight the special aspects of this wonderful city, so that everyone can be aware of the exceptional options they offer. Under no circumstances do they have any promotional or nominal value, and they do not serve the interests of Companies, Municipalities, Organizations or Individuals.

In 1923, at a time when Limassol had very few schools, the Catholic Church decided to found a school, which would be administrated by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. This school has been constantly a part of the city’s life for over 8 decades.

The school was founded to serve the educational needs of the children of the Latin (Catholic) community and it was originally housed in a stone-built construction at 360, Agiou Andreou Street (where the Orthodox Bishopric of Limassol is housed today). Even though it was a school founded by Catholics, many children outside of the Catholic minority have studied there, both from the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities.

The interest of Limassol’s families to send their children to study there, led to the need for a larger building, close to the roundabout of Agios Nikolaos, where the school is still housed today. The school of Terra Santa was renamed to St. Mary’s School after moving to the new building and it is still called that today. The building, designed by the architect Stavros Economou, was finished in 1965 and it is one of the most remarkable samples of modernism in Cyprus. Elegant and symmetrical, with white as the dominant color, the school building is still admired today for its looks.

The school of St. Mary’s in Limassol, originally founded as a girl’s college, even though the primary school and the kindergarten were mixed. Since 2000 the high school has been mixed, too. For several years, there used to be boarding facilities, too, for students coming from nearby villages or cities, as well as from abroad (Africa, Britain, Greece and elsewhere). The boarding school stopped operating, after the transportation allowed students to arrive on a car or a bus more easily.

A separate wing in the school hosts the monastery where the Franciscan Sisters live. There are cells for 24 Sisters, a workshop area, a kitchen, as well as a church for 150 people.

Source: 'St. Mary's School: A versatile offering to Limassol's education', Salomi Papadema - Sophocleous, Record of the 2nd Scientific Symposium of Oral History, Limassol Municipality Research Center
Photos: Limassol Historical Archives

* NOTE: The tributes of the Project "History of Limassol" present information that has emerged from historical research thus far. Any new data is embedded into the tributes, once it has been confirmed.