Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Argentina - Museo Fray José Antonio de San Alberto (Fray Jose Antonio de San Alberto Museum)

The site is a house-museum that has been part of the city since its foundation. It tells the history of the Royal Home of Noble and Student Orphan Girls (1782), first pluralistic and female teaching institution of the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata, which formed orphan girls, mulattas and pardas, and wealthy girls of the society of Cordoba.

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By will of the Bishop Fray José Antonio de San Alberto, who took charge of the diocese of Cordoba in 1780, the ancient convictorio Our Lady of Monserrat founded by the Jesuits, turned into a convent of Tertiary Carmelites, Royal House of Noble Orphan Girls and School Santa Teresa de Jesus on 1782, becoming the first example of female and pluralistic education in the territory of the Viceroyalty of Río de la Plata.

There the orphan girls and young ladies of the society of Cordoba, who paid an annuity, shared their classrooms, but also with mulatto (European and African ancestry) and pardo (Indian and European ancestry) girls.

The constitutions of the school established that the school should not accept more than 40 girls, aged from 5 to 15. The school could receive up to 8 mulatto orphan girls who would serve the rest of the girls, but who would be fed, educated and raised as the rest of the girls.

The educational proposal included the formation of the spirit (religion), the household management, the intellectual class and the class of the adornments, consisting in adorning the women with their own female qualities so that it would be desirable to turn them into wives. The lessons included embroidery, painting, playing fine instruments and singing decently.

They manufactured ponchos, stockings and "bordo" or textured carpets which became famous in the city. Among the weekly tasks they had to help the cook, serve the table for the other students, help cleaning the kitchen and the mess hall, ironing, helping in kneading dough and reading aloud from the spiritual books while the other students had their meals in silence.

There was also a public lesson dictated to the city girls where they learned to read, to write, catechesis, needle work and civics, with special emphasis on the fidelity to the king.

On March 1810, Bishop Orellana proposed the authorities of the university the opening of a public school of elementary education for the pardos of the region but his proposal ignored and several months later the School of Orphans will open a classroom for the pardo girls. 

In 1825 a report indicated that the Orphanage had 57 white students and 46 "pardas o de castas" (girls of mixed Indian and European descent) students

Accessibility: All the lines of public transportation of the city stop no more than 3 blocks away from the museum. Free access during opening hours of the institution (Monday to Friday 9:00 to 12:30 hrs).
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Other data of interest


Historical name

Real Hogar de Niñas Huérfanas Nobles y Educadas. (Royal Home of Noble and Educated Orphan Girls)

Founding Date

The Royal Home of Noble and Educated Orphan Girls was founded on 1782-04-21. The Fray Jose Antonio de San Alberto Museum was founded on 1980-04-21.


Caseros N° 124, Centro, Córdoba, Provincia de Córdoba , PC: X5000AHD .

Phone numbers

+54 0351 4341616

Responsible entity

Estado municipal y Convento de Hermanas Carmelitas Terciarias Argentinas

Web link




Local monument


Workplace Settlement

Access level


Current Use


Original use

Orphanage for girls, School and Convent of Tertiary Carmelites

Property kind



  • 1978-10-19