Academic Gymnasium of Lviv

Image - The Academic Gymnasium of Lviv (1906). Image - The Academic Gymnasium of Lviv (1990s).

Academic Gymnasium of Lviv (Академічна гімназія; Akademichna himnaziia). The oldest Ukrainian gymnasium in Galicia and Ukraine. It was established in 1784 along with Lviv University of which it was a part. The gymnasium was a continuation of the Jesuit Academic Gymnasium founded in 1591. In 1774 this school became the Royal Gymnasium, and from 1776 to 1784 it was called the Theresian Royal State Gymnasium. Until 1849 Latin was the language of instruction, with German as an auxiliary language. Then German became the language of instruction. In 1867 Ukrainian came into use in the four lower grades, and in 1875 it became the language of instruction in all grades. At first the school had five grades, then six, and by 1849 the eight grades that constitute a classical gymnasium. Afterwards parallel departments of the humanities (eg, foreign languages) were added. After the reforms of 1932 the school was reorganized into a four-year general gymnasium and a two-year lyceum. Although the Polish government abolished the name ‘academic gymnasium,’ it remained in common use. The gymnasium had a reputation as the best Ukrainian high school. Its principals were prominent pedagogues: Rev Vasyl Ilnytsky, Edvard Kharkevych, Illia Kokorudz, Mykola Sabat, and others. Among its teachers were authors of textbooks, scholars, writers, and public figures. At the beginning of the 20th century over 1,000 students attended the school. Between 1921 and 1931 the number of students varied from 500 to 800. There were also about 100 part-time students. The school produced hundreds of church and secular leaders in various fields of Ukrainian life. Under Soviet rule the Academic Gymnasium was turned into a 10-year school in 1939. The gymnasium was revived in 1992 with an enrollment of over 600 students.

Androkhovych, A. ‘Iz mynuloho akademichnoï himnaziï u L’vovi,' Ukraïns’ka shkola, 1926, nos 7–9
Derzhavna himnaziia z ukraïns’koiu movoiu navchannia u L’vovi. Zvidomlennia za skhkil’ni roky 1921–31 i 1931–32 (Lviv 1932)
Shakh, S. L’viv—misto moieï molodosty. Vol 3, Tsisars’ko-Korolivs’ka Akademichna Himnaziia (Munich 1956)
Iuvileina knyha Ukraïns’koï akademichnoï himnaziï u L’vovi, 3 vols. Ed Bohdan Romanenchuk (vol 1) and O. Dombrovsky (vols 2–3) (Philadelphia–Munich 1978, 1982; Philadelphia–Lviv, 1995)

Petro Polishchuk

[This article was updated in 2001.]

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