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:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.