|The Pancyprian Gymnasium is the oldest Secondary School and the first educational institution in Cyprus. It was founded in 1812, on a site across the Archbishopric, by the national martyr Archbishop of Cyprus Kyprianos, and was first names "Hellenic School". At the time, Cyprus constituted part of the ottoman Empire, and the church played an important role in th education of the enslaved Greek population.
The school's functioning was temporarily interrupted soon after the hanging of its founder, who was executed by the Turks in 1821 during the persecution of the Greek Cypriot supporters of the Greek revolution.
The school resumed functioning in 1830 and in 1893 when Cyprus had already come under the rule of the British Empire, it developed into a Six-Grade Secondary School, recognized by the Greek Government as equivalent to Secondary Schools in Greece. In 1896 it was named "The Pancyprian Gymnasium", a name which has been retained since then.
The oldest building of the Pancyprian Gymnasium was burnt down in 1920. The following year, a new building was erected in its place, which today constitutes the central wing with its classic porch. New classrooms or whole wings ere at intervals added in order to meet the needs of the increasing number of pupils.
The Pancyprian Gymnasium has always provided high standards of education, and has, for decades, been regarded as a model school for Cyprus. During both the Turkish and the British occupation it immensely contributed to the cultural development to the people of Cyprus with a variety of frequent culture activities. A number of graduates from this school have distinguished themselves in the fields of politics, economy, science and culture as well as in the Church.
Many of its pupils and graduates have voluntarily participated in the Liberation Movement of the Greek Nation, particularly in the Cyprus Liberation Struggle (1955-1959) against the British Colonialism. A number of them were killed in action during these struggles.
Throughout the School's long existence, a great many of its graduates out of gratitude and appreciation of its immense offer, have endowed it with legacies for the welfare of its pupils and the provision of scholarships to graduates for university studies. Many others have been declared Donators or Benefactors for their various contributions to the School.
The Pancyprian Gymnasium is equipped with a library with tens of thousands of volumes of books. The cost of the erection of the building in 1949 was covered by donations, the biggest of which came from the Demosthenis Severis family, after which the building was names "Severios Library".
The Pancyprian Gymnasium possesses a large collection of items of historic and archaeological value, natural history collections, paintings and other works of art, a very important record of documents, and fully equipped special classrooms and laboratories.
The school has been twice awarded a prize by the Academy of Athens.
The crypt in the basement presents great interest. It is situated underneath the main entrance and the School Hall floor.l According to tradition in this underground hiding-place, Archbishop Kyprianos held meetings with members of the "Philiki Eteria" during their visit to Cyprus. "Philiki Eteria" was a secret revolutionary organization at the beginning of the 19th century, which prepared the Liberation Struggle against the Ottoman Empire.
The numerous inscriptions and epigrams fitted in the school walls, as well as various monuments and busts in the front garden are of also special interest.
Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.