Saint Sava National College

Saint Sava National College
Colegiul Național "Sfântul Sava"
General Berthelot str. no. 23
Type Public
Established 1688
Number of students ca. 1,000
Color(s) Yellow, blue
Information +4021 314 9294
Website School web site

The Saint Sava National College (Colegiul Național Sfântul Sava) is the oldest and one of the most prestigious high schools in Bucharest, Romania.

The College is the direct descendant of the Princely Academy of Saint Sava, which was divided in 1864 by Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza into the University of Bucharest and the present high school. During the Communist era, its name was changed to Nicolae Bălcescu High School.

Saint Sava, originally the prince Rastko Nemanjić (son of the Serbian ruler and founder of the Serbian medieval state Stefan Nemanja and brother of King Stefan Prvovenčani), is the first Serb archbishop (1219-1233), the most important saint in the Serbian Orthodox Church and important cultural and political worker of that time.


In the 17th century Saint Sava was actually an old monastery built in Bucharest’s historic centre, in the proximity of today’s University Square. It was here in the rooms of the monastery that Romania’s first higher education institution was set up. The founding of this college in the late 17th century was brought about by a strong European influence, mostly Italian, that encouraged the rise of the national spirit. This assertion of a national awareness had the firm support of many writers and historians of the age.

In Wallachia (Southern Romania) the most remarkable representative of this trend was Constantin Cantacuzino, writer and great patriot, who had been educated in Padua, Italy. He was a widely−travelled aristocrat and adviser to Prince Șerban Cantacuzino. "As Constantin Cantacuzino was determined to have a college similar to the Italian ones set up in Bucharest, his brother’s coming to power in 1678 made it possible for him to achieve his goal" (Nicolae Iorga, Romanian historian, 1871-1940).

"Saint Sava Princely Academy" was therefore created by Wallachia’s reigning Prince Şerban Cantacuzino and it was placed under the aegis of the Prince and of the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Cultural and religious allegiance accounted for the fact that tuition was carried on in modern Greek, a symbol of Byzantine civilization.

The first principal of the school was Sebastos Kyminitis, who had been educated in Constantinople. Saint Sava Academy thrived during the reign of Constantin Brâncoveanu’s, who sketched out the curriculum and ensured the funds needed to run the school. A law given in 1707 demanded that "teachers should be understanding and principled; they should also have excellent reputation".

Notable alumni (includes alumni of the Princely Academy)

Notable teachers (includes teachers at the Princely Academy)

Coordinates: 44°26′27.87″N 26°5′27.72″E / 44.4410750°N 26.0910333°E / 44.4410750; 26.0910333

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