Founded by the Spanish Dominican Friar, Cristóbal de Torres, Del Rosario University (Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario) is the third oldest university in Columbia and has been a working private institution since 1653, only pausing its existence in 1819 when it became a prison during General Morillo of Spain’s re-conquest of Colombian land.
Situated in the towns of La Candelaria and Santa Fe in the centre of Bogotá, it was modelled on the University of Salamanca in Spain and is one of the most prestigious private universities in the country.
It has an astounding history, having been involved with the revolution for independence from Spain and the drafting of the Political National Constitution in 1991. Its cloister was built in the colonial era in the typical 17th century-style and is listed as one of the Republic of Columbia’s National Heritage Monuments. The cloister also contains one of the country’s finest art galleries, with paintings dating back to 1700. It was printed on the 200 Columbian peso bank note (now out of circulation).
With six faculties and two schools, the university offers 20 undergraduate programs, 11 master's, 4 PhDs and over 20 postgraduate courses in six different disciplines. There is also a primary and secondary school for boys, which forms part of the university.
Some 28 of Colombia’s presidents are former students of Del Rosario (including Andrés Pastrana, Alfonso López Michelsen and Dario Echandia) and every single government in Columbian history has featured at least one of the university’s alumni.