Old Pinsk Gymnasium
Few Belarusian schools can be proud to be so old. The 150th anniversary of Pinsk Gymnasium was festively celebrated in 2008.
Words in Polish “State Men’s Gymnasium” stand on the fronton.
History of the Gymnasium started in 1832 when parish school was moved here from village Kholopenichy. The building was designed by Kazimir Skirmunt and financed by Alexander Skirmunt and other mighty landowners of the region. The Gymnasium was turned into Men’s Gymnasium in 1858. Spirit of freedom and freethinking soared here. When national uprising of 1863 reached Pinsk lots of Pinsk Gymnasium students joined the rebels. The gymnasium is famous for its graduates: Academician of Architecture Ivan Zholtovsky, the 1st President of Israel Chaim Weizmann, inventor Sir Isaac Shoenberg, soviet pharmacologist M. Mashkovsky, Admiral Pavel Traynin.
On the panorama one can see a boulder with commemorative board established in honor of Polessye rebels fighting for Soviet power. Behind a small park a building of red brick is seen. It was built at the beginning of the XX century and owned by Leontina Orda remarkable for her charity and educating activities. Headquarters of Polessye rebel regiment took place here in times of Civil war.
A three-storied building with its corner round was a restaurant and Gregorovich confectionery. In 1939 the first Town Council started its work here. Many prominent people visited this place: Yanka Maur, Mikhas Lyn’kou, Piatrus Hlebka, Leonid Utesov, Faina Ranevskaya.
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Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.
The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.
Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".
Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.
Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.
In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states.
Text by Steve Smith.