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History of the French Lycée in Prague

1919: The French school of Prague was founded by the Czechoslovak Ministry of Public Education, and the city of Prague, to educate the children of the French military mission in Czechoslovakia from the start of the 1919-1920 school year. From the outset, the school also took in pupils from other backgrounds, and in particular the children of exiled Russian families. In 1919, there were two classes in the school, one primary and one secondary. 

1929: The school was now an eight-class lycée taking its pupils towards the Czech “maturita” (the school-leaving certificate) and the French baccalauréat, as well as a junior school, an infant school and a kindergarten. At the lycée, all the subjects were taught in French except for the Czech language and – in part – history and geography. At the end of the 1920s, two-thirds of the teachers were French, and the others were Czechoslovaks.

until 1933: the school was situated at number 26 on Ječna street, in Prague 2 (Nové město). From here, the school relocated to a building commissioned by the French government and designed by Jan Gillar at number 1, Bílá street in Dejvice, from 1931 to 1933.

June 1939: the Germans closed the school and replaced it with German schools.

The French Lycée in Prague reopened for the 1945-1946 school year to take in 846 pupils from the infant school to the lycée level, occasionally using the premises of the French Institute in Školská when there was not enough space at Dejvice. At the lycée, most of the subjects were taught in Czech, except for French, Latin, French history and French geography. 

The Dejvice building was confiscated by the Czechoslovak state, and the lycée was once again closed in 1951. The Czech students were relocated to other schools in Prague. The French primary school, founded in 1949, remained reserved for French children and non-Czechoslovak foreigners, and was installed in Školská street. 

The new French lycée opened its doors again after the Velvet Revolution in 1989. From 1991 it rented space in Prague’s Russian embassy school in Dejvice. 

1998: the prime minister, Lionel Jospin, inaugurated the new building.

1 January 2001: the school’s parental management became direct management (EGD).

2021: the beginning of building work to extend the school.