Diorama 17: Construction of UST, 1611

Ayala Museum Staff (Historians, Researchers, Artists) and Artisans from Paete, Laguna1974 - 2011

Ayala Museum

Ayala Museum
Makati, Philippines

Construction of the University of Santo TomasManila, 1611 While the Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas (UST) is acknowledged as the oldest university in the Philippines and the oldest in Asia, tracing its foundation to 1611, it began only as a seminary school, the Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Rosario founded by the Dominicans. It was elevated to university status in 1645 by Pope Innocent X. Seed money for the seminary school was left in the will of Fray Miguel Benavidez, OP, the second archbishop of Manila, who died in 1605. Starting with 1,500 pesos and the entire library of Bishop Benavidez, the seminary school was later named Colegio de Santo Tomas in honor of the Dominican Theologian and doctor of the Church. Thomas Aquinas. The diorama depicts improvements being made on the university buildings, not the construction of the original structure in 1611. The first offerings of the college were core courses in grammar, the humanities, and theology. As the college developed and competent faculty arrived from Europe, courses in rhetoric, logic, philosophy, moral theology, and civil and canon law were added to the curriculum. As the only university in the Philippines during the Spanish period, many Filipino patriots like Jose Burgos and Jose Rizal were educated in this institution. The University of Santo Tomas also served as the unofficial Department of Education, thus its archives preserved all academic records from all schools. All education degrees and licenses to open educational institutions were administered by UST. The original University of Santo Tomas was within Intramuros. In 1927, the university moved to its present location along España in downtown Manila.


  • Title: Diorama 17: Construction of UST, 1611
  • Date Created: 1974 - 2011
  • Physical Dimensions: w1384.3 x h749.3 cm (Complete)
  • Type: Diorama
  • Rights: Ayala Museum, Ayala Museum
  • External Link: www.ayalamuseum.com
  • Provenance: Purchase (Commissioned work): Complete
  • Medium: Mixed media installation (Diorama): Complete
  • Creators: Ayala Museum Staff (Historians, Researchers, Artists) and Artisans from Paete, Laguna

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps