Great School of the Nation

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The Great School of the Nation

The first efforts for the establishment of a Greek School in Constantinople, during ottoman occupation began in the 16th century. The Patriarchal School of Ioassaf II (1556-1565) with the help of Ioannis Zygomalas will be the forerunner of the Great School of the Nation (I Megali tou Genous Sxoli /Η Μεγάλη του Γένους Σχολή).

In 1625 the Patriarchal School opened again, under the direction of Theofilos Korydaleas, with many students. But the liberal ideas of Korydaleas were annoying and the school closed. In 1662 the school acquired permanent income, a building and remarkable teachers, among them Alexandros Mavrokordatos who bore the title Confidant.

In the middle of the 19th century the Great School began to offer great and wide services - it was almost a University in modern terms. The School graduates taught in the Greek Schools of all the regions. In 1882 during the Patriarchate of Joachim III, the Great School of the Nation was housed in a new, large building in the area of Phanar. Today it houses a middle and high school of the Greek minority.