Maurinum

The Maurinum Association was established by Damján Varga, Cistercian monk and a professor at the Faculty of Humanities in Pécs and supported by Kúnó Klébelsberg, Minister for Culture at the time. The activity of the Association and its public charity contributed to the endowment of the Collegium Maurinum, a dormitory named after Saint Maurinum, a former bishop of Pécs. The Articles of Association of the dormitory for Catholic students were approved by Governor Horthy in December 1927 and adopted by Cardinal Justinian Serédy, Archbishop of Esztergom.

The building was designed by the architects Gáspár Flórián and Andor Pilch in a Neo-Roman style. The laying of the cornerstone took place on 22 April 1928. The dormitory opened its door on 1 Sept 1928 providing housing for male students studying at the Faculty of Law (31 students), Medicine (17 students) and Humanities (6). Those who were accepted by the Collegium Maurinum had to swear obedience to the disciplinary rules of the dormitory, the basic principle of which was expressed in the motto of the institution: “Sciencia et conscientia”.  The basic principle was supported by the so called block lectures organized every Thursday evening. The lectures were given by the professors of the University, prestigious citizens of Pécs, scientists and visiting professors.

The dormitory provided the students with many amenities: a chapel, a library of 30.000 volumes, a concert hall, a lounge, a well equipped gym and a tennis court in the yard. Next to the dormitory’s own casino there was an outlet selling local wines and cigarettes. The local tobacco factory produced a special brand of cigarettes called ‘Maurinum’ exclusively for the students of the dormitory.

In 1946 all Catholic organizations and Scout associations were disbanded by the Home Secretary of the time, so the dormitory had to be closed. From 1951 the building served as a dormitory for both male and female students pursuing their studies at the POTE, (the Medical University of Pécs) which had become independent from the University of Pécs. The dormitory was named after János Balassa, an excellent surgeon of the 19th century. The building was redesignated its original name Maurinum in 1991, 80 years after the laying of the cornerstone. In September 2010, the Rector’s Office moved into the former dormitory building.