Double-edged tool

1900 was a breakthrough year. Poznań finally broke free from the restraints imposed by fortifications. The city expanded to include three more districts: Jeżyce, Łazarz and Wilda, where new blocks with tenement houses were emerging fast and the number of residents was growing rapidly. So was the distance to the existing schools. Therefore, new educational institutions were needed. These were built in midtown and in the new districts. They were large and carefully designed.

Opening more schools in Poznań was necessary. Compulsory education in the lands under the Prussian rule was well-established. In the Wielkopolska Region, schools were also used as a Germanisation tool. However, new buildings did not serve this purpose for long. Thanks to a turn in history a large number of good, modern schools began to serve the Poles.


illustration: Dariusz Zych

Main photo - Double-edged tool

Primary School No. 33

as well as the Youth Community Centre No. 3 and the Kindergarten No. 136
Originally: Volksschule No. 13 (for girls)
Design: Fritz Teubner (pavilions A, B, C) Hermann Herrenberger, Adolf Stahl (pavilion D)
Year of construction: pavilions A, B, C – 1908, pavilion D – 1914

It was the first school of the kind in Poznań. What is more, it was built on the outskirts of the city. This modern pavilion school was put up in the dynamically developing district of Łazarz. It consisted of several independent buildings which surrounded a spacious yard. The designers paid particular attention to issues such as light, space, access to the fresh air and greenery.

The exterior parts of the buildings belonging to this modern complex were given a rather traditional ‘costume’. Their design referred to the times of the Renaissance and Baroque.

According to the plans, six pavilions and a gym were to be constructed. Before the First World War, only four buildings were erected. And that was it; the others were never built. Later, one of the buildings which originally had been put up for the Polish General Exhibition was turned into a gym.

Interesting facts:

  • There is a pre-war writing on one of the walls saying: Szkoła Powszechna nr 13 (Primary School No. 13).
  • Among the building’s ornaments are sculptures depicting good and bad children.
  • Another similar pavilion school from these times is the complex at ul. Prądzyńskiego – it was also designed by Fritz Teubner and, like in the case of the other building, only part of the project was carried out.

photos: Łukasz Gdak

Secondary School No. 1

Originally: the Royal Augusta Victoria Middle School (male)
Design: Ministry of Public Works
Year of construction: 1903

One of the most significant secondary schools in Poznań was established in 1919 in the building constructed under the Prussian rule for the Royal Augusta Victoria Middle School. The school had a large parcel located at the intersection between ul. Grunwaldzka and ul. Bukowska, next to the zoological garden. Up to that moment, this neighbourhood had been used mainly by the Prussian army. The complex comprised of a large main building with 24 classrooms as well as a separate gym, vast fields and a small botanic garden.

The building was constructed in the neo-Gothic style, hence it is soaring and made of red brick. The fact that the inspiration for the design was drawn from the Middle Ages can also be seen inside. An example of that is the hall with a stellar vault. In recent years, renovation works were carried out in the building, for example, some of the original ornaments were recreated.

Interesting facts:

  • During the war the building was used as a hospital: first German, then Soviet.

photos: Łukasz Gdak