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Tsarskoe Selo Imperial Lyceum photo

A four-floor yellow building is in the immediate vicinity of the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo. It is the Imperial Lyceum known for its first graduates, including А. S. Pushkin and many other famous Russian public figures.

The Imperial or Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum was founded in 1811 when the rule of Emperor Alexander I still was very liberal and Speransky developed the new principles of state management. It was for this new state institutions that Speransky intended to prepare the children of the nobility at this lyceum.

The lyceum admitted boy of 10-14 years old. They studied there for 6 years: 3 years at the beginning department and 3 years at the final department. Law and philosophy was at the focus of the academic programme. The graduates were given certificates equal to those of a university.

The main exposition is on the second floor where class-rooms were located. An excursion begins at the event room where the ceremonial opening of the lyceum took place on October 19, 1811. Three years later the 15-year old Alexander Pushkin there recited his first verses to the distinguished audience. Gavrila Derzhavin was among the invitees. The first graduates were very talented. Apart from Pushkin, Gorchakov, future chancellor of the Russian Empire, Delvig, Matyushkin, Korf, Pushchin, Valkhovskiy, and Kuchelbecker also studied at the lyceum.

On the second floor one can have a look at various class-rooms both for general and individual lessons. The rooms of Lyceum students were on the third floor. A common corridor runs through the building, with the small rooms on both sides of it. Pushkin called them monastic cells.