Higher girls’ school

Architect: Vojtěch Ignác Ullmann

Year of completion: 1867

Only in the mid-19th century was women’s education in Bohemia very neglected, and the highest level of girls’ education was in elementary school. The change was brought about by the efforts of progressive Czech national revivalists and female revivalists around Vojtěch Náprstek and Marie Riegrová-Palacká, as well as the year 1861 when the Czechs gained a majority in the city council. In the same year, the establishment of a higher girls’ school under the leadership of Vilém Gabler was approved, who introduced a previously unseen concept of class teachers ensuring discipline among the students. The original three classes of the school initially resided in Jungmannova and Navrátilova Street, but discussions on building their premises began right from the start of teaching in 1863. The project was entrusted to the architect Vojtěch Ignác Ullmann, who created a remarkable piece inspired by the Italian neo-renaissance. At first sight, the three-winged building with a prominently projecting central bay catches the eye with richly profiled decoration, including sgraffito ornamentation according to Josef Scheiwl’s design.

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The majestic entrance hall with a central staircase dominates the interior, leading to the side wings with classrooms. Due to immense interest right from the start, there was a shortage of classrooms, leading the institute to expand into neighboring buildings on Školská Street. Over the following decades, the curriculum expanded, gradually favoring theoretical subjects such as mathematics or natural science over practical "feminine" subjects. Perhaps due to these changes, the school can boast of distinguished alumnae like Ema Destinnová, Bohuslava Kecková, Hana Kvapilová, or Jaroslava Vondráčková.
Vodičkova 683/22, 110 00 Praha 2 – Nové Město
Vodičkova 683/22, 110 00 Praha 2 – Nové Město

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