Ján Francisci-Rimavský Gymnasium

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Ján Francisci-Rimavský Gymnasium
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The Ján Francisci-Rimavský Gymnasium in Levoča, Slovakia, is a four-year high school with general classes and an eight-year college with a focus on foreign languages. Students are eligible to attend upon completion of the fifth grade of elementary school. The school is situated in the historic centre of Levoča.


1512 to 1918[edit]

The first high school in Levoča was founded in the 16th century. In 1513, local nobility funded the establishment of a Latin language school, and in 1520, with the help of Johanna Henckel, they acquired a gymnasium for the rector of the University of Kraków: Leonard Cox, an English humanist, scholar, and educator of King Henry VIII. Rector Jan Mylius established a study program in 1589, which was considered among the best of its era.

The original high school was Catholic. In 1544, a Lutheran high school was also established. From 1658 to 1664, the rector was Gaspar Hain, known as the author of Levoča's city chronicle. In 1696, the school changed from a Lutheran gymnasium to a Lutheran lyceum (seminary).

In 1672, Emperor Leopold I founded a Catholic gymnasium in Levoča. From 1746–47, Maximilian Hell was a professor at the gymnasium. He achieved such significant results that Empress Maria Theresa invited him to Vienna, and in 1768 authorized him to observe and calculate the distance between the Sun and the Earth.

In 1861, the gymnasium was Magyarized, but it continued to teach Slovak and German. After 1867, it only taught Hungarian and was converted into an eight-year Classic Royal Catholic gymnasium.

In 1903, the new director, Elek Kalmár, began to promote the construction of a new building. It was designed in the Art Nouveau style by architect Alfréd Hajós, and exterior construction was completed in November 1912. The old building was used until June 1913. The 1913–14 school year started in the new building.

1919 to present[edit]

In 1919, the school was placed under the Czechoslovak administration. The classical gymnasium was transformed into a practical school and renamed the Czechoslovak State Reál Gymnasium Dr. Vavra Šrobára. In 1937, it was renamed the State Slovak Reál Gymnasium in Levoča.

In 1948, the eight-year school was reorganized as a four-year school. In 1949, it incorporated the former high school and teachers college in Levoča and Spišské Podhradie. Its name changed several times between then and 1988, when it was renamed to honor Ján Francisci-Rimavský, an early Slovakian patriot.

School building[edit]

The building, constructed in 1913 in the Art Nouveau style, is registered on the list of monuments of Slovakia. Because of the age of the building, various repairs have been necessary. The roofing and windows were recently[when?] replaced, and the façade and interior are being restored gradually. In addition to 16 classic classrooms, the building has specialized classrooms for chemistry, physics, and biology, two classrooms for foreign languages, and two classrooms for informatics.

The 100-seat school auditorium is used for cultural events and meetings. There is a sports hall close to the school. The campus also includes a playground for handball, basketball, long jump, and high jump.


The school provides upper secondary education. Study is completed with a standard exit examination and receipt of an upper secondary school leaving certificate.

In the lower grades, education is governed by the state program for lower secondary education, ISCED 2; in higher grades, it is governed by the program for upper secondary education, ISCED 3A.

Students who have completed upper secondary education are eligible to continue with tertiary education at ISCED 5, or with various forms of post-secondary studies at ISCED 4.

Well-known graduates[edit]

  • Jan Brewer — printer
  • Daniel Sinapius-Horčička — writer, translator
  • Maximilian Hell — professor, 1745–48; physicist and astronomer; director of the observatory in Vienna
  • Károly Markó the Elder — painter and landscape designer with works in Budapest, Bratislava, Copenhagen, Dresden, Florence, Košice, Leipzig, Munich, Prague, and Vienna
  • Martin Liedemann — professor, rector
  • Béla Kéler — composer, conductor
  • Albert Fuchs — Slovak physicist, native of Levoča
  • John Chalupka — novelist, playwright
  • Self Vozár — poet, journalist, translator
  • Ján Botto — poet, representative of literary Romanticism
  • Pavol Dobšinský — priest, folklorist, writer
  • Janko Kráľ — poet
  • Ján Kalinčiak — poet, writer
  • Janko Matúška — poet, novelist, playwright
  • Bohuslav Nosák — poet, novelist, journalist, editor of Slovak national newspapers
  • Louis Kuban — poet, novelist, playwright
  • Nicholas Dohnány — poet, historian
  • Peter Kellner-Hostinský — writer, journalist, historian, philosopher
  • Self Bohdan Hroboň — poet, writer, translator
  • Ján Francisci-Rimavský — poet, novelist, journalist, politician, briefly deputy professor of the Department of Language and Literature in Levoča
  • Peter Michal Bohúň — teacher, painter
  • Joseph Petzval — mathematician, physicist, inventor, founder of modern optics and photography
  • Otto Petzval — mathematician, dean of the University of Budapest, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Nicholas Stephen Ferienčík — writer, journalist, publicist
  • Ján Levoslav Bella — composer
  • Ivan Branislav Zoch — teacher, physical education pioneer, founder of Sokol; introduced school trips
  • Ladislav Nádaši-Jégé — writer, editor
  • Albert Škarvan — physician, writer, translator
  • Aurel Stodola — physicist, engineer, theorist of steam and gas turbines, professor at the College of Technology in Zurich
  • Andrej Hlinka — priest, politician
  • Vavro Šrobár — politician
  • Imrich Weiner King — painter, printmaker
  • John Šmok — photographer, professor at FAMU in Prague; led the Department of Cinematography and Photography
  • John Olejnik — ethnographer
  • Simon Ondruš — writer, linguist, literary scholar; worked at Charles University and the University of Cologne
  • Ladislav Dvonč — linguist
  • Edmund Hleba — professor of the history of Slovak literature at FF Prešov
  • Peter Milčák — translator, poet, educator
  • Marian Milčák — translator, poet, educator
  • Luke Pardubský — journalist
  • Vincent Lafko — dean of the Faculty of Education, Olympic silver medalist in handball
  • Tibor Búza — director of program services at STV
  • Marek Michlík — mBank spokesperson
  • Lucia Gažiová — actress


Gymnázium Janka Francisciho-Rimavského Levoča, Z dejín stredného školstva v Levoči

External links[edit]