Learn about the history and discover the mosaics of this monument of world architecture
Portrait of Alexander II from the Alexander PalaceAt the beginning of the XVIII century a whole birch grove was on the spot, which is now the garden of the Lyceum. In 1714 the architect Foerster began to build here a low wooden church. It was finished in 1716 and consecrated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. It was covered from outside with planks and was painted like unbleached stone. It was covered inside with whitewashed canvas. The cupolas, the steeple, and crosses, were of white tin. Her Majesty's travelling church was placed in the Chapel. In 1742 the church was removed to the cemetery, beyond the brook Vangazia, and in 1747 to Kuzmino. Of this church nothing is left.
A few steps through the garden of the Lyceum bring you to the monument of Pushkin (below, left), which was founded on the 26th of May 1899, on the 100th anniversary of the poet's birth. Pushkin was educated at the Lyceum of Tsarskoe Selo.
On the 28th of May 1899 a mass for the repose of Pushkin's soul was sung in the Ekaterininsky Cathedral by the united choirs of the town boys' schools, and the clergy of all the town churches. After this a public reading from the poet's works, illustrated by lantern pictures, took place; at the same time a literary reading and concert took place in the Chinese theatre. Scholarships for 32 boys and 6 girls of the town school were established in his memory. Finally a marble tablet was fixed to the building, formerly occupied by the Lyceum opposite the Great Catherine Palace, with the inscription "Alexander Sergievich Pushkin was educated here 1811-17".
The expenses for the monument were entirely covered by the subscription of the house-owners and of the inhabitants of the town.
Models for the monument were submitted by the sculptors Tchijoff, Bach, Posen and Beklemishev. H. I. M. the Emperor selected R. R. Bach's model. The statue was cast in bronze at N. Stange's shops. The poet is represented on the monument as a Lyceum student, seated on a bench.
The following lines, are carved in golden letters on the granite plinth:
"After I had left the pomp and splendors of my youthful comrades, I knew toil and inspiration, and sweet to me was the lonely agitation of hot thoughts".In former times the birch brook ended, and here began the garden, belonging to the palace church, which was surrounded by an iron fence with stone posts.
The four storied house, which stands close to the Church of the Miraculous Apparition, is still called the Lyceum. From 1811 to 1843 it was occupied by the Imperial Lyceum of Tsarskoe Selo. The great Russian poet Pushkin was educated here. His room is in the fourth story with a window facing the garden, and bears the number 14. Pushkin finished the school among 29 other pupils, one of whom was the prince Gorchakov, the Imperial Chancellor in later days.
The LyceumThe Lyceum was founded, by the Emperor Alexander I, with the object of educating youths of the best families, who should afterwards. occupy important posts in the Imperial service. Its regulations were published on the 11th of January 1811, although they had received the Imperial sanction on the 12th of August 1810, when the four-storied "new" wing of the Great Palace was appointed for its accommodation, with special premises for a hospital, a kitchen and other domestic requirements, as well as a residence for the tchinovniks'. Furniture and utensils were given with the building.
However, the "new" Lyceum wing was so old, that after nine years' existence, it was found necessary to restore it thoroughly. It was, built in 1791 by the architect Quarenghi for the children of the Tsarevich Paul Petrovich, and formed a part of the palace. The gallery was thrown over the Sadovaya for the Empress, who, towards the end of her life, avoided staircases and often visited her grandchildren.
After the death of Catherine, the building was left unoccupied.
The Emperor Nicholas Pavlovich hinted to Bronevsky, the director of the Lyceum, in 1842, that his August Brother intended to install the Lyceum in the palace itself, and give there a university education to his younger brothers. "I intend to move you to St. Petersburg" said the Emperor Nicholas Pavlovich, my family increasing every year. The Lyceum owes its existence here to his father "added the Emperor, pointing to, the, prince Peter Georgievich of Oldenburg" he suggested to the Emperor the 'idea of giving us a university education and to establish the lyceum in our premises." But the rupture with Napoleon put a stop to the fulfillment of the idea.
One half of the lower story was occupied by the lazaret, the other by the office. In the top story were the dormitories, in the second, the lower class-rooms and the dining hall; in the third, the higher class-rooms and the large MI. In the arch, was the library, belonging partly to the Emperor Alexander, when he was Tsarevich and partly to the private library of Catherine II, brought front the Agate rooms in the Great Palace.
The director lived in the "Cavalier's House" at the corner of the Pevcheskaya and the Sadovaya streets. The garden and spinney round the church of the Miraculous Apparition also belonged to the Lyceum. The arrangement of the garden was finished in 1818; the Emperor supplied it with 18,000 rubles from his own purse. A turf-pedestal, bearing a marble slab with the inscription "Genis loci" was erected by the first party of pupils, who finished the school. It was renewed by the pupils of the 12th course, and this caused the inquiry of the staff of the Military educational establishments; as to why a monument had been erected to Pushkin without permission? The director Bronevsky set the higher powers at ease, by assuring them, that the monument had nothing to do with Pushkin. The slab remained in its place, and when the Lyceum was removed to St. Petersburg, it was taken there and set up in the garden. "The private garden of the Lyceum," says one of the pupils of the Tsarskoe Selo Lyceum, "was rather extensive and had many old shady trees. There was work enough for us there. Every class had its own ground, and the senior-course had several plots. In our own plot we planted trees, and flowers in spring and built arbors and made paths. We did, what we liked, and our chiefs did not interfere with us. On the front part of the garden, under the shadow of the old limes, there stood a wooden arbor, having the form, of a mushroom, teachers on duty used generally to sit there. Between this mushroom and the long four storied building of the Lyceum was a wide open space, running the whole length of the house, and covered with red sand, where we used to play at cricket, leap frog and bary.
At Christmas 1843, the Lyceum, was removed to St. Petersburg and named the Imperial Alexander Lyceum In 1829 the Boarding School for Nobles, which had been opened in 1814, as a preparatory school for the Lyceum, was closed; the building, where it used to be, was in Sophia, and is now occupied by the 4th regiment of the Imperial Family's rifles.