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Imperial Lyceum in Tsarskoye Selo opened

31 October 1811

19 (31) October 1811 in the suburbs of St. Petersburg,  Tsarskoe Selo, took place the grand opening of the Imperial Lyceum, founded with the goal of "education of young people, especially those who were intended for public service".

The initiative to create a privileged high school belonged to the Minister of Education A. K. Razumovsky and Justice Minister M. M. Speranskiy. The curriculum of the Lyceum was drawn up by Speransky back in 1808. The main place in the learning process was given to the sciences of moral and historical character.

Approved in 1810 by Emperor Alexander I «Resolution on the Lyceum," equated the new educational institution in the rights and benefits with other Russian universities. Education in the Tsarskoe Selo Lyceum was scheduled for 6 years and consisted of two courses 3 years each. The first course was called the initial, the second one - final. Students were taught languages ​​(Russian, Latin, French and German), moral sciences (God's law, philosophy and foundations of logic), mathematics and physics (arithmetic, geometry, trigonometry, algebra and physics), history (Russian history, foreign history, geography), fine arts and gymnastics (painting, calligraphy, dancing, fencing, riding, swimming). The students who were preparing for a military career, in addition studied weapons, tactics, strategy and history of warfare, military topography and drawing of schemes.

The Lyceum was located in a wing of the Catherine Palace, rebuilt in 1811 by architect V. Stasov according to the needs of the institution. On the ground floor were rooms for teachers, hospital and administrative offices, on the second - the dining room with buffet, office and a Small Conference Hall. On the third floor was a Big Hall decorated with paintings on antique themes, classes and a library. The fourth floor was occupied by dormitories - rooms of students.

During 33 years of existence of the Tsarskoe Selo Lyceum 286 students had graduated from it. 234 of them entered the civil service, 50 - the military service, and 2 - the Navy. Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum acquired its historical glory, first of all, owing to its graduates of 1817 - Alexander Pushkin, A. A. Delvig, A. M. Gorchakov, Decembrists W. C. Kuchelbecker and I. I. Pushchin. Many of the students had become statesmen, diplomats, senators (A. K. Girs, N. K Girs, A. V. Golovnin, D. N. Zamyatin, N. A. Korsakov, M. A. Korf, D. A. Tolstoy, etc.) or scientists (K. S. Veselovsky, J. K. Grote, N. Ya. Danilevsky, etc.).

In 1843, Nicholas I issued a Decree on introduction of the Tsarskoe Selo Lyceum in the general structure of civilian educational institutions. Tsarskoe Selo Lyceum was moved to St. Petersburg and was renamed to the Imperial Alexander Lyceum.

Lit.: Глущенко Л. И. Педагогика Царскосельского лицея в 1811–1817 гг. Опыт организации оптимального пространства в школах прошлых и настоящих лет // Коллеги. 2006. № 2; Грот К. Я. Пушкинский Лицей (1811-1817). СПб., 1911; Егоров А. Д. Императорский Александровский (бывший Царскосельский) лицей. Иваново, 1995; Кобеко Д. Ф. Императорский Царскосельский лицей. Наставники и питомцы 1811-1843. СПб., 1911; Некрасов С. М. Лицейская лира. Лицей в творчестве его воспитанников. М., 2007; Павлова С. В. Императорский Александровский (бывший Царскосельский) Лицей. СПб., 2002; Равкин З. И. Педагогика Царскосельского лицея пушкинской поры (1811-1817 гг.): Историко-педагогический очерк. М.,1999; Руденская С. Д. Царскосельский — Александровский лицей. 1811-1917. СПб., 1999; Селезнёв И. А. Исторический очерк Императорского, бывшего Царскосельского, ныне Александровского лицея за первое его пятидесятилетие, с 1811 по 1861 г. СПб., 1861; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL:

From the Presidential library materials:

Грамота пожалованная Императорскому лицею Императором Александром I, 22 сентября 1811 года. Пг., 1916;

Постановление о Лицее. СПб., 1810.