The Building of the Mariinskaya Gymnasium for Girls in Grodno
Architecture, Industrial buildings
The geographical position
Grodno is a town in the west of Belarus that serves as a window to Lithuania and Poland. The Belarusian town on the Neman is 20 km from the border with these states. Grodno is 280 km from Minsk; this distance is reachable in three and hath hours by car along the Republican road.
The historical reference
Grodno was founded in 1128. Like many other Belarusian towns it was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, then it came to possession of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and later, in 1795 - of the Russian Empire. Grodno was part of the Polish territory since 1921. And in 1939 the town came to possession of the BSSR. The coat of arms of Grodno is a deer that is connected with the legend about transformation of an ordinary hunter into an exemplary Christian. The modern coat of arms of the town was approved in 1988.
According to the recent data, the population of Grodno is over 365 thousand people.
Grodno has always stood out for the fullness of cultural and scientific events. In 1860 in the town there was established the Mariinskaya Gymnasium for Girls. The education was available for daughters of civil servants, noblemen and priests. The length of the educational course was seven years. Every year the high quality of education attracted more and more schoolgirls. Soon the educational institution needed a separate building.
The building of the Mariinskaya Gymnasium was constructed in 1892. The style is late Classicism. The engineer Vasily Fyodorovich Nebolsin conducted the building works.
The three-storey part of the building covered with a gable roof has the shape of letter “Г”. The main facade of the building has a central risalit; besides, there are two lateral risalits. The building finished with yellow brick has a strict appearance. The arc openings bring the atmosphere of majesty and beauty. The architectural planning of the building is corridor-type when all classrooms are located on one side. In the building of the gymnasium there were training laboratories and auxiliary rooms that were located near two staircases.
In 1920 the Mariinskaya Gymnasium suffered the same fate as of other institutions of the type – it was closed. However, the building hosted other educational institutions.
Twenty years later in the building of the former Mariinskaya Gymnasium there was established a teachers training institute. It was a milestone event for the whole territory of Western Belarus.
In 1969 a need emerged to expand the three-storey building made of brick. A four-storey corpus was built out. During the postwar period the teachers training institute got the name of pedagogical. And in 1978 it served as a basis for the Grodno State University of Yanka Kupala that is still in the building of the former gymnasium. The building of the Mariinskaya Gymnasium is rightly included into many tour itineraries around Belarus: the pre-revolutionary structure impresses with its majestic architecture and generous appearance. In summer the building is especially attractive for tourists as twining plants and flowers serve as living decoration of the strict building of the gymnasium.