Armenian school Murad-Rapaelyan in Venice


Reliable information about the presence of Armenians in Italy was transmitted from the 6th-7th centuries. From the middle of the 12th century, relatively stable Armenian communities were formed in various cities of Italy, and Armenian churches were created. The Italian Armenians participated in many spheres of activity and showed themselves as good sailors and shipbuilders. In 1512, it was in Venice that Hakob Meghapart published the first book in Armenian. Armenian books were also published in Rome, Livorno, Pavia and Padova. In 1717, the Mkhitarist Congregation was founded on the island of Saint Lazarus in Venice, and in 1836, on the initiative of the Congregation, one of the most important scientific and educational institutions was founded - the Murad-Rapaelyan boarding school. It has a long history. In the first years after its foundation, the school worked according to the gymnasium program and provided a 6-year study course, but in 1867 it received the right to lyceum activity. In 1917 the school was transferred to Rome, and in 1918 again to Venice. During World War II, the school was closed and it was reopened in 1950. In the 80’s about 120 students studied there. The school had a rich library, museums, sports grounds, the “Sayat-Nova” orchestra and a theater group. The school provided education in accordance with highest academic standards, with the best graduates being eligible to enter European universities without exams.

Such famous people as Ghevond Alishyan, S. Teodoryan, M․ Nurikhan, V. Avgeryan, A. Gaskantilian and others taught there and such famous people as Daniel Varuzhan, Mkrtich Peshiktashyan, Tovmas Terzyan, Vahram Papazyan, Hakob Papazyan, Edgar Shahin, Edgar Manas, Srapion Hekimyan and others studied there. The school doors were also open to Europeans. Famous Armenologists  Heinrich Hübschmann, Felix Neuve, Marie Felicite Brosse, Nicola Iorga , Frederic Feydi also studied there.

According to some reports, the school was closed in 1997 due to a small number of students and financial difficulties. Later, the building was used as a venue for educational and cultural events, as well as a guest house for special guests.