Harshini karthikeyan

St.Martinus University of Medicine

College Info:

By the end of the 19th century there were continuous riots in Venezuela. The bishop of Merida, Mgr. da Silva, with the help of pastor Frie of the parish of Sta. Rosa, bought plantation Scherpenheuvel to set up a seminary to avoid the riots. Pastor Frie designed the building and on January 9th, 1898 “El SeminarioInmaculada de Concepción de Scherpenheuvel” officially opened. There were 24 Spanish speaking students in care of Dutch professors. There was a severe lack of communication but thanks to father Radulphus, the Dutch professors learnt Spanish so the communication could be improved. On August 27th, 1901 the seminary had to be closed because of lack of funds. The students had to go back to Venezuela and the Dutch professors dedicated themselves to pastor work. In 1919, the bishop of Curaçao took over the building from Mgr. da Silva to set up an orphanage. On July 29th, 1920 the fathers of Tilburg moved the orphan children from Sta. Rosa to Scherpenheuvel.

Scherpenheuvel was used as an orphanage and as technical and vocational school and training facility until July 31st 1974. Because of lack of financial support from the government during that time, the orphanage came to an end and all the departments for career training were moved or sold to the private sector. Huize Scherpenheuvel was home to the fathers of Tilburg until 1995 when they donated the property to the community of Curacao and returned to Holland. It remained the Headquarters for the Roman Catholic School Board until 2008. St. Thomas College Foundation is the official entity to protect and to maintain these properties. On May 9th, 2013 St. Martinus University, Faculty of Medicine became the newest entity to call the “Home on the Sharp Hill” a.k.a. Huize Scherpenheuvel, home. On October 12th, after months or restoration and renovations, St. Martinus University officially opened its doors in this magnificent building.