7Monastic education

It is not absolutely clear when the convent school was founded, from the extant sources it is considered that it was established firstly in 1306, when the monastery was built and the Benedictines were obligated to care about education.

This convent school was attended by Arnošt of Pardubice, the son of the Royal burgrave of Klodsko and the first Archbishop of Prague. Latin was the language of instruction and the lessons were dictated or recited, students were writing it down and then memorised the materials.

In 1624 the convent school was rebuilt into a four-class grammar school. Among the first pupils of the grammar schools were Bohuslav Balbin, a Jesuit priest and a Czech writer who studied in Broumov in 1631, and Matous Ferdinand Sobek of Bílenberk, the first bishop of Hradec Kralove and then the Archbishop of Prague. Part of the curriculum in the grammar school were also theatrical and musical performances. Students were given the opportunity to learn music and play instruments, especially violin and flute. Actors were chosen from among all students, whereas the professors of rhetoric distributed the tasks and directed the performances. The plays were originally demonstrated publicly in the square, which were then subsequently performed in theatre. .

The abbot Otmar Daniel Zinke tried to transform the grammar school into a lyceum (eight-class school with a focus on philosophy and theology). He was unsuccessful in his attempt to transform the school due to a small number of students, but in 1711 he built a new grammar school building in the area of the monastery. The taught subjects were religion, Latin, Greek, geography, history, mathematics and science. Tests took place once a month, by the half-term and semester exams. Students also had summer holidays, but they lasted from 15th September to 1st November. Among other significant students were Alois Jirasek, a famous Czech writer (he studied there from 1863 to 1867) or JUDr. Alois Rasin, Czech politician, economist and finance minister.

During the war the school worked as a state secondary school and in 1945 the Czechoslovak state grammar school was established, with the headquarters relocated to new premises. The school building currently serves as the Centre of regional development of Broumov region and a conference hall Kreslirna, café, ticket office for monastery tours and offices that serve local organisations.

A memory of Jaroslav Prikner (a grammar school student from 1935 to 1939):

"The wooden classroom podium, classic black board and a cross above it, teacher’s desk on a side, all those still for years remembered young Alois Jirasek, who as an eleven-year-old boy came into this building to draw knowledge for his prolific career of a writer. And it was a good tradition that a pupil of Czech nationality used to sit on his spot. Because it was just me and Josef Matoulek in the class, each of us was sitting on his spot for half a year." (Printed in Broumovský zpravodaj in 1990).

Interesting fact – Disciplinary Code of the 2nd half of the 17th century

§ 11 and 12 relate to pupils' behaviour toward the teaching staff and pupils’ behaviour during visits in general

§ 13 prohibits contact with immoral people

§ 14 prohibits throwing stones and snowballs, shouting, playing cards and dice, also riding on the sledge and public swimming

§ 17 says that it is prohibited to talk publicly about what happens at school

§ 18 prohibits visiting pubs and dance parties

§ 19 prohibits damaging benches, desks, stoves and doors

§ 20 orders that students are required to speak Latin in school

§ 22 contains the ban on smoking and sniffing

§ 24 encourages students to revise schoolwork on days off