Avda.Universidad pontifícia s/n
Marquès de Comillas
Equipo dirigido por Luis Alberto Alonso. Asesor artístico Enrique Campuzano
The Marquis of Comillas commissioned the design of Comillas Seminary from Catalan architect Joan Martorell i Montells (advised by Jesuit Fathers Alcolado and Gómez Carral), and the supervision of the work from master-builder Cristóbal Cascante y Colom. The construction began in 1883. Cascante passed away in 1889 and, on the suggestion of Martorell himself, was replaced by Lluís Domènech who, besides being asked to continue the work, also completed the interior decoration of the building and enhanced the more noble rooms. Construction work went on until the year 1896. On this project Domènech collaborated with Antoni Mª Gallissà and Antoni Millàs.
Domènech, who was only supposed to complete the interior decoration, ended up intervening on the structure. On the one hand, he placed metallic elements in several areas of the building that had deteriorated, and completely refurbished the entrance hall and main staircase replacing a wall with columns and letting natural light into these spaces. He also refurbished the library and the assembly hall, completed the decoration of the seminary church, covering the exterior with ceramic and designing the altars of the side chapels and benches. He renovated the imposing entrance to the Pontifical University of Comillas adding ceramics with metallic reflections, framing it with brick face. Domènech was assisted on this project by his usual collaborators: Eusebi Arnau, Tallers Masriera, Eduard Llorens, Josep Maria Tamburini, Joan Llimona and Mario Maragliano.
In 1904 the seminary became a Pontifical University, and offered academic degrees in Philosophy, Theology and Canonical Law. In 1969 the university moved to Madrid. Since 2005 the Comillas building is owned by the government of Cantabria and accommodates, among others, the Comillas Foundation dedicated to promoting the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. The current renovation of the ensemble began in 2007.