In the literature’s history there was no case . that writer or poet devoted so much
place in his works to school which brought him up, as A.S. Pushkin to Lyceum. Lyceum is
everywhere: in his first youth poems , in the correspondence to friends, in novel of poems
"Eugenie Onegin", in poems of different years, devoted to Lyceum anniversaries.
|В те дни - во мгле дубравных сводов
Близ вод, текущих в тишине,
В углах лицейских переходов
Являться муза стала мне.
Моя студенческая келья,
Доселе чуждая веселья,
Вдруг озарилась! Муза вней
Открыла пир своих затей;
Простите, хладные науки!
Простите игры первых лет!
Я изменился, я поэт,
В душе моей едины звуки
В размеры сладкие бегут.
А.С.Пушкин. «Евгений Онегин». VIII глава (Беловая
A.S.Pushkin. Picture to "Eugenie Onegin" Chapter VIII (the rough manuscript)
The prototype of Tsarskoselskii Lyceum was Greek Lyceum. Lyceum or Lykeum, so was called
one of three Athens gymnasium, which was founded in 335 BC by Aristotle. It was located
not far from the Temple of Appolon Lyceiskiy at the north - east countryside of Athens -
Lykey. It was a beautiful and picturesque place.
Like ancient school Pushkin Lyceum is located in the small town - Tsarskoye Selo,2which
was green and smart and it was located among some parks. Later "excellent oak -
grove" became the source of Alexander Pushkin and his friends poetic inspiration, it
was inseparable part of their 6-years life in Lyceum.
The Lyceum creation was inseparably linked with the wide plans of State transformation at
the beginning of the Emperor Alexander I reign. Pushkin’s line "The Alexanders’
days the beautiful beginning..." shows us the atmosphere of unusual public raising of
There were existent gymnasiums and universities. But the project of opening one more
establishment appeared. It was especial school where during a short period students would
get education, like in University,. That had to be the new school type " included
incomparably more kinds than all our universities" - wrote M.M. Speranskiy. It was
his idea of new educational establishment creation.
New establishment had as the aim "the education of youth, especially intended for the
main parts of State service". At all "rights and advantages Lyceum perfectly was
as Russian Universities". The Emperor showed preference to the new educational
establishment. During 6 years , which were defined for the studies, one need to learn
"subjects of study, important parts of the State Service which are decent and for a
well-bred young man they are necessary".
Pupils were taken to Lyceum not only by showing certificate of nobility provenance, but
they had entrance exams.
Great attention was spared to Russian literature, to foreign literature especially and
also to historical science at first period of education; at high classes - to the
sciences. If you look to Lyceum Statute you can see a lot of the humanities. By authors
project mind a lot of subject's quantity was able to give an opportunity to student to
choose that subject as he liked and for better prepairing for their further military or
civil service. After Lyceum graduating, the last-years students went to work to the civil
service with the ranks from XIV to IX and to the military service at the same position as
alumnis of Pazheskiy corps
At first the wing was built for grandchildren of Catherine II. It was connected with
palace by thrown over street gallery. But when Tsarskoye Selo was chosen, as the place for
Lyceum, young and talented architecture V.P. Stogov got the task to prepare building for
educational establishment needs. Post of the Lyceum leader was given to civil servant of
Foreign Affairs College Archives - Vasiliy Fedorovich Malinovskiy. He had to have
"more than decent life, has to have wide knowledge at different science and languages
in Lyceum taught" by Statute.
Malinovskiy decided not only problems of organization, he was disturbed about Lyceum
teachers' staff. He couldn't make a mistake at the teachers choice because Lyceum was the
especial educational establishment. It was over the Emperor protection. Moral teachers
qualities, their subject's knowledge, ability to lead information to alumnis, presence of
published works - everything was taken to attentively. Director was able to make the right
choice, he invited to work not only experienced teachers - David de Burdy, N.F.
Koshanskiy, but also young teachers - Ya. I. Kartsov, A.P. Kunitsyn, I.K. Kaidanov, for
them Lyceum became the all life business.
At last all was ready for opening day. Thirteen boys, who passed the first hard test -
entrance exams, became Lyceum alumnis. Among 13 of them there were those , whose names
came into the Russian history at last: poet and journalist Anton Delvig, diplomacy and
chancellor Alexander Gorchakov, poet and decembrist Vilgelm Kuhelbecker, decembrist Ivan
Pushchin, poet Alexander Pushkin. Lyceum was the peace of Pushkin's youth, that was the
birthplace of his poet talent, the birthplace of that great friendship, memoirs about
which couldn't be rubbed neither time nor tests.
Day routine was passed in Lyceum. It was thoroughly considered : early time for getting
up, lessons repeating, studies, time for rest, walks, obligatory physical exercises, in
summer it was swimming, in winter it was skating, as A.S. Pushkin said "inspiring
feet with iron". School year lasted 11 months and it was over only in July, but ever
at holidays alumnis stayed in Tsarskoye Selo. Relatives could visit lyceumists at holidays
and week - ends. Strick supervision of tutors didn't prevent "selected sons of
nobility" as Kunitsyn called them, to play jokes, to play pranks and then at record
behavior book such notes appeared: "Malinovskiy, Pushchin and Ilushevskiy stayed
without supper because of during the walk in the garden they quarreled with Pushkin and
pushed and beat him at its back by twing as joke". punishment wasn't the same in
Lyceum as in military establishments or private passions. There one wasn't birched, wasn't
humbled physically; the quilty was stayed alone, he could think about his fault or he had
the lastest place at the dinner table. They were alienated from their relatives and usual
life. So Lyceum alumnis soon "got accustomed, habituated". The comrade family
founded and there were their circles in that family, at those circles each personality
began to appear more or less" - remembered Ivan Pushchin. Quiet, measured life was
broken by 1812 events. Armies came past Lyceum on the last Sadovaya street... "We
were there always , with their appearing, went out during subjects yet, we addressed
soldiers with kind prayers, embraced with relatives and familiars; grenadiers with a big
mustache blessed us by cross from lines" - wrote Ivan Pushchin in his memoirs. It was
difficult to return to quiet studies life. It was difficult to study differently and
assiduously. And Lyceum wasn't missed by sad event. Vasiliy Fedorovich Malinovskiy, the
director, died in March 1814. He was loved by everyone. He had never shouted, scolded,
punished. He always was able to find needed and right words, that to explain to quilty his
fault. Malinovskiy treated with boys as with family members, he didn't do any difference
and sometimes was strick a lot to his son Ivan.
Pupils had to pass exams at the passage from primary to high course according to Lyceum
Statute. The war 1812, the director's death, anarchy... All those events prevented to make
exams in time. Quests, familiars, relatives gathered in Lyceum again for the public tests
of alumnis only in winter 1815. Exams became an important event in alumnis life and for
A.S. Pushkin it became the first public poetic success. Pushkin read his "Memoirs in
Tsarskoye Selo", at the presence of the venerable poet - Derzhavin G.R...
Pages of Russian heroic past, recent events revived in lines of young poet. "Pushkin
read with great liveliness. I listen to his poems and frost comes at my skin. When
patriarch of our singers, in delight, with tears on his eyes threw to kiss him... we all
over some unknown influence reverential silenced." - Pushchin would write that in his
late notes, so as he remembered that event again.
Not only Pushkin wrote poems in Lyceum. Poetry lived together with alumnis since the first
days and hobby of versification was common. There were published Lyceum manuscript
magazines. Poems and prose of Alexey Ilushevskiy, Anton Delvig, Vilgelm Kuhelbecker, Ivan
Pushchin one could read at the pages of the main literature magazines of that time. The
atmosphere of Tsarskoye Selo, its monuments of resent antiquity, palace stricken by luxury
and splendid nice parks, breathing by poetry of antique world, protected corners with
silver willows, shadow alleys, transparent smooth of the Big Lake, teachers and director,
who wrote - all it gathered and made exclusive favorable poetic surroundings.
Alumnis had dreamed about the day, when they would graduate Lyceum a lot, made plans for
future life, counted themselves grown up, but the time of exams came so imperceptibly. In
May 1817 announcement about future tests and time - table for parents and quests was
published in "Saint Petersburg vedomosti" (Saint Petersburg news). 6 studies
years left. Each of the 29th first final - year pupils made his own choice of military or
civil service. Wide general education let them to go to work to the Ministry of Education,
Financial Ministry, Legislative Ministry, State College, Foreign Affair College, to the
military service and ever to fleet. M.A. Korf was so displeasure by that education, he
counted it "upper, encyclopedic" and he called it "bright all - know".
After the first gradates, Lyceum was in Tsarskoye Selo till 1843, then it was removed to
Petersburg and got the name "Alexandrovskiy".