The Blanquerna Mutual School (today Menéndez i Pelayo secondary school), established in 1924, joined the Government of Catalonia system on 1936 and became a member of the schools run by CENU, the Council for the Unified New School; committed to a new teaching system based on the principles of rationalist work and human brotherhood, secularism, free of charge, equality between boys and girls, and no class differences.
The Mútua Escolar Blanquerna school was founded in 1924 by families of students in the Escola Graduada Montessori under the auspices of the Mancomunitat association of municipalities of Catalonia and was closed by the Primo de Rivera dictatorship in 1925. Its head was Alexandre Galí, from the Catalan nationalist right and a sympathiser with the Mancomunitat, which promoted education in Catalan and completed educational reforms, inspired in freedom and in the methods of an active school.
On 23 April 1934, the extension of the school on Via Augusta was approved in a building designed by Jaume Mestres, following the rationalist architectural model disseminated by GATPAC, which provided the space to students, the key players in education based on action and team learning, The building thereby moved away from the monumentalism and ostentatious features of schools built during the Primo de Rivera dictatorship.
During the Second Republic, Mútua Escolar Blanquerna continued as a private institution but, when the Civil War broke out, the institution joined the Government of Catalonia’s network of schools on 16 August 1936 and became part of the New Unified School Council (CENU) – a Government of Catalonia body that advocated educational reform of the modern school –, at which time it became a public school. This meant greater freedom of action in secondary education and co-education was established. On 21 January 1939, five days before Barcelona’s occupation by Franco’s troops, classes came to a standstill and that very month the building was confiscated and the institution was dissolved by the new regime.
Address: 140, Via Augusta || Coordinates: (LAT, LONG): 41.400174529, 2.144729358