The history of “Unirea” National College

“Unirea” National College came into being on the 7th of January 1866 through the Princely Order no. 26521 given on the 10th of August 1865, being the first school of secondary teaching from this area and one of the first in Romania.

Two years later, the gymnasium already had four classes and a small teaching staff, interested in gathering the didactic materials: devices for Physics, Chemistry, collections for Geography, History and Natural Sciences, a collection of old coins. At the same time the Library was founded, with its 45 volumes, donated by the students. (At the present moment there are over 30.000 of volumes in the library)

The school functioned without its own building till 1880, when the construction of the building started, and the name is changed from “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” in “Unirea” Gymnasium.

Between1884-1885, the fifth grade reappeared, and in the next years the gymnasium changed into college. This fact was of utterly importance, taking into account that in the whole area between Buzău and Bârlad there was no other similar school.

After long waiting periods, in the year 1900, the college moved in the present building, built according to architect Băicoianu’s plans.

In the years of the German occupation, during the first world war (1917- 1918), the college was changed into hospital and the school stopped its activity.

1908   1910

Between the two world wars, the school material support developed: a special hall for the library, an amphitheatre for Physics and Chemistry, two labs for the same subjects and new classrooms. The library reached at 10.000 volumes, and the main attraction for the students was the film projection device which the school has had since 1920 and which functioned at the end of the week.

At the same time, more precisely in 1928, the first History and Ethnography Museum from the county came into being, located in the extra building in front of the school and was initiated by the teacher Alexander Arbore.

The second world war as well as the earthquake from 1940 brought significant damage to the school, the building being strongly affected and a lot of books and didactical materials got lost.

In the communism, the paranoia of industrialization and technology influence caused an inferior position of the college, more specifically this was transformed from theoretical college into an industrial one.

It was the seriousness and the quality of teaching in “Unirea” High school that made it possible for its fame to go beyond the Putna county borders, thus remarking itself as one of the most important landmarks of secondary education and also of cultural and scientific life.

It is also here where the first ethnography and history museum in the area was founded and well-known magazines were issued, such as “Liga Culturala” (1891), “Societatea Literara” (1898), “Societatea Filarmonica” (1899), “Revista Noastra” (1912-1914 1st series), “Milcovia”(1930), “Ethos”(1941).

1917     1930

A lot of teachers from “Unirea” High school became well-known personalities in the field of Romanian science and culture: Stefan Neagoe, Dumitru F. Caian, author of the first monography of Focsani, I.A.Basarabescu, Ovid Densusianu, a writer, university professor and distinguished man of letters, C.G. Giurascu, illustrious historian, university professor, Gh. Bodgan Duica, a writer and literary critic; and so did some of “Unirea”`s best students: Anghel Saligni, Simoin Mehedinti, Duiliu Zamfirescu, Stefan Longinescu, Gh. Longinescu, Ion Diaconu, Ion Nestor, Mihai Steriade, Virgil Huzum, Emanuil Petrut, Cornel Coman – to mention just a few. There were times when, having a “Unirea” baccalaureat diploma was the best recommendation for university admission. It is of importance to mention that the high school has been functioning ceaselessly since its foundation, except war circumstances, its prestige being maintained by teachers and students` hardwork, committment and worth. The high school was built at the end of the previous century and started to function in 1899, being included in the category of national architectural monuments.

In 1997 our institution was named “Unirea” National College as a decision of the Ministry of Education based not only on the tradition of the high school, but also on the results obtained during the past years.

The College has lately stood out through its modern educational methods while maintaining at he same time the Romanian classical educational tradition.

There are some explanations about “Unirea” middle school and high school;

“Unirea” was founded in 1866 on January 7thby Princely Decree number 26512 from August 10th ,1865, being the first middle school in the region and among the first in Romania.

The first Official Monitor from April 19th/May 1st 1880 contains, at page 2847,a Royal Decree given by Carol I who decreed that the middle school which existed in Focsani at that date be named “Unirea” .

The second Official Monitor from October 4th /16th ,1885,at page 2952 , contains a display of Putna County situation at 15th of October , 1884 , where the middle school transformation into a high school is done by the addition of the fifth grade .

A similar decree to the one of from 1880 does not appear in the Official monitors of the time ,the middle school just being turned into a high school the 1884-18885 school year.

1937     1942