The Pancyprian Gymnasium was founded in 1812 by Archbishop Kyprianos at a time when Cyprus was still under Ottoman occupation. It was originally called the Hellenic School (Ελληνική Σχολή) and is the oldest high school still in operation on the island. The school was expanded in 1893 to incorporate a lyceum when Cyprus was under British occupation and changed its name to its current one in 1896. In tribute to the school's contribution to education the Cyprus Post office issued a commemorative stamp in 1993.
It is located opposite the archbishopric within the walls of the old city of Nicosia. The original building was destroyed in a fire in 1920 and parts of the school were completely rebuilt in neoclassical style. Of particular historical interest is the crypt of the school located beneath the main entrance. This is where Archbishop Kyprianos was said to have held secret meetings with representatives of the Philiki Etairia in the early 19th century. The school also incorporates a substantial collection of artifacts, art and books. The Severios Library which opened in 1949 holds over 60,000 manuscripts.
The stamp depicts the portal to the institute. The owl on the postmark signifies perfection in learning. It also brings back nostalgic memomories of my days at the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington, which also had an owl as its logo. Thank you dear Merja for this nice maximum card.
Through benevolent donations the school has become very wealthy. On an educational level it is highly regarded and considered a model school. Many influential figures have studied and taught here.