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Type: Architecture, Religious, Historical, War related, National Treasure
The Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius with its Seminary, the first modern Catholic university facility in BiH, is located in the Old Town, on the corner of Josipa Stadlera and Muse Ćazima Ćatića Streets.
The Music Academy is about 30 meters to the west, and, not long ago, the Diocesan Clergy Home of the Archdiocese of Vrhbosna took up its own place along the church’s eastern extent.
At the beginning of Austro-Hungarian rule in BiH, not enough priests were becoming bishops, and this was hindering the establishment of a regular church hierarchy. Therefore, by 1880 the Holy See had already requested from the National Government that a provincial seminary be opened.
The complex built between 1892 and 1896 was designed by Josip Vancaš, and, in September 1896, the church was dedicated to St. Cyril and St. Methodius, “equals to the apostles,” as a testimony to the unity of Western and Eastern Christendom.
The seminary worked throughout the Austro-Hungarian period, during the interwar period, and during WWII, all the way up until 1944, when the German military command turned part of the building into a hospital.
After the war, the seminary did not carry on with its work, instead, a Partisan medical-sanitary battalion moved into the facility and, on Christmas Day 1946, the seminary officially ceased with operations. The building was later used by other units of the Yugoslav Army, and also served as a home for the Student Housing Administration.
The east wing of the seminary reopened in 1969, as did the west wing, in 1973. The seminary remained in constant use until 1992, when wartime events caused it to close. The church and seminary were hit by shells during the last war, causing significant damage to both structures.
The seminary was renovated after the war, and Pope John Paul visited in 1997.
The Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius with its Seminary was made a National Monument of BiH in 2011.