The Lycée Pierre-Corneille (also known as the Lycée Corneille) is a school founded in 1593. It was founded by the Archbishop of Rouen, Charles, Cardinal de Bourbon and run by the Jesuits to educate the children of the aristocracy and bourgeoisie in accordance with the purest doctrinal principles of Roman Catholicism. It adopted the name Pierre Corneille in 1873. Today it educates students in preparation for university and Grandes écoles.
The gatehouse and chapel were built between 1614 and 1631. The chapel blends both late gothic and classical architectural styles in its 52m long nave. In 1762 the school became known as the Collège Royal after the Jesuits had been expelled from France. After the French Revolution it became associated with the 'Ecole Centrale' following the ideas of the Age of Enlightenment, and reducing study of humanities in favour of a broader-based curriculum.
After 1803 it became known as the 'Lycée Impérial' and taught humanities and mathematics following the principles and discipline of the Napoleonic code. Successful students were awarded the Baccalauréat and subjects increased to include languages and Natural Sciences. The school then developed a two-year 'post baccalaureate' curriculum that enabled entry to the Grandes écoles.
In 1873, the Lycée was renamed 'Lycée Pierre-Corneille' in honour of the alumnus, the 17th century writer and academic, Pierre Corneille. At this time the petit lycée was added for younger pupils. In 1890 the sports club Les Francs Joueurs was founded.
Since 1918 the school has run a Norwegian 'college' that houses typically twenty-four boys for three years each. During World War I it served as a military hospital. In World War II it was commandeered by the German army, and was then bombed in September 1942 and on April 19, 1944.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.