Interesting facts about the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum

The Imperial Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum was a privileged educational institution in pre-revolutionary Russia. It was intended to educate the children of nobles, and the curriculum at the lyceum was aimed at training the highest government officials. But, the greatest popularity of the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum was brought by the fact that among its pupils was the great Russian poet Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin.

The decree on the opening of the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum was signed by Emperor Alexander I on August 12, 1810. The famous statesman of that time, Mikhail Mikhailovich Speransky, convinced the monarch that this educational institution should train statesmen capable of working for the good of the Russian Empire. Pupils were admitted to the lyceum at the age of 10-11, initially the program was designed for 6 years of study, from 1836 it was reduced to four.

Each lyceum student was entitled to a separate room, which the young Pushkin called "cell". The furnishings, indeed, were modest: an iron bed, a chest of drawers, a chair, a table for washing, a desk, a mirror. The daily routine was strict, the lyceum students were at full boarding school, and it was strictly forbidden to leave the lyceum during the school year. Only one month of the year was allotted for vacation. However, according to the recollections of the pupils themselves, they often fled AWOL.

The pupils had to master many disciplines: the Law of God, jurisprudence, Russian and foreign languages, history, geography, mathematics, physics, as well as dancing, horse riding, swimming and fencing. In addition, lyceum students, who decided to choose a military career in the future, additionally studied strategy, tactics, and military topography. Since 1829, the lyceum switched to training pupils only for the civil service.

Classes at the Lyceum began in 1811. The grand opening took place on October 19, the ceremony was attended by the Emperor Alexander the First himself with his family. Among the first pupils, in addition to Pushkin, were such well-known personalities as the Decembrists Wilhelm Kuchelbecker and Ivan Pushchin, Chancellor Alexander Gorchakov, publisher Anton Delvig, Admiral Fyodor Matyushkin and others.

The pupils got up at 6 o'clock in the morning and went to the morning prayer. The whole day was strictly scheduled: meals, classes, walks, games. At 22 o'clock, after the evening prayer, the lyceum students went to bed. Despite such Spartan conditions, most of the students of the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum fondly remembered these years.

Pushkin's first duel took place at the Lyceum. The reason was the epigram that Alexander wrote to his friend Küchelbecker. Outraged Wilhelm decided to get even with the offender. The opponents did shoot, but there were no casualties, since the pistols were loaded with cranberries. Years later, Pushkin was mortally wounded in a duel with Dantes, and the Decembrist Kuchelbecker died in exile in the distant Siberian city of Tobolsk.

Pushkin is called the most famous of the pupils in the entire history of the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum. Although Alexander Sergeevich studied here is far from brilliant, by the time of graduation he was twenty-sixth in academic performance out of twenty-nine students. He showed remarkable success only in Russian and French literature, as well as in fencing.

The system of assessing knowledge in the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum may seem unusual to modern schoolchildren, "one" was considered the highest score, but "five" was given to far from the best pupils. There was also "zero", which indicated the absolute lack of knowledge of the lyceum student. The charter of the lyceum strictly prohibited corporal punishment of pupils. Even teachers addressed their students to "you". The first issue received from the director Yegor Antonovich Engelhardt cast iron rings, as a symbol of strong friendship.

The lyceum was located in Tsarskoe Selo until 1843, after which the educational institution was transferred to St. Petersburg, where it was located in the building of the Alexandrinsky Orphanage. Emperor Nicholas the First ordered to call it the Alexander Lyceum in the future. In May 1918, by order of the Council of People's Commissars, the Lyceum was closed. The building housed a new educational institution - the 1st Workers 'and Peasants' University. Zinoviev.

Many generations of lyceum students kept the memory of Pushkin. It celebrated not only the opening day of the lyceum, but also the birth and death days of the great poet. In 1900, a bronze bust of the famous pupil was installed in Tsarskoye Selo, where the Lyceum used to be located.

In letters to his former classmates, Pushkin simply signed - No. 14. Everyone perfectly understood what was at stake, young Pushkin lived in a room with such a number. It was in the Lyceum that he felt like a poet, having written about 120 poems over the years of study. The talent of the Lyceum student Pushkin was noted by Gavriil Romanovich Derzhavin.