French school in the heart of the Quartier latin in Paris, France
The Lycée Louis-le-Grand (French pronunciation: [lise lwi lə gʁɑ̃]) is a prestigious secondary school located in Paris. Founded in 1563 by the Jesuits as the Collège de Clermont, it was renamed in King Louis XIV of France's honor after he extended his direct patronage to it in 1682. It offers both a sixth-form college curriculum (as a lycée or high school with 800 pupils), and a post-secondary-level curriculum (classes préparatoires with 900 students), preparing students for entrance to the elite Grandes écoles for research, such as the École normale supérieure (Paris), for engineering, such as the École Polytechnique, or for business, such as HEC Paris. Students at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand are called magnoludoviciens.
Louis-le-Grand, founded in 1563, is located in the heart of the Quartier Latin, the traditional student district of Paris. The lycée is situated opposite the Sorbonne and adjacent to the Collège de France. Its southern side opens onto the place du Panthéon, which is the location of its historical rival, the Lycée Henri-IV. These two lycées are home to the oldest preparatory classes in France, which are commonly viewed as the most selective in the country.
Because of this, Louis-le-Grand is considered to play an important role in the education of French elites. Many of its former pupils have become influential scientists, statesmen, diplomats, prelates, intellectuals and writers. "The Jesuit College of Paris", wrote Élie de Beaumont in 1862, "has for a long time been a state nursery, the most fertile in great men". Indeed, former students have included writers Molière, Victor Hugo and Charles Baudelaire, revolutionaries Maximilien Robespierre and Camille Desmoulins, as well as seven former presidents of the French Republic and countless other ministers and prime ministers, philosophers such as Voltaire, the Marquis de Sade, Denis Diderot, Emile Durkheim, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Cavaillès and Jacques Derrida, scientists Évariste Galois, Henri Poincaré and Laurent Schwartz, and artists Eugène Delacroix, Edgar Degas and Georges Méliès. Renowned foreign students of the lycée include King Nicholas I of Montenegro, Léopold Sédar Senghor, and Saint Francis de Sales.
Admission to Louis-Le-Grand is very competitive; the strict selection process is based on academic grades, drawing from middle schools (for entry into high school) and high schools (for entry into the preparatory classes) throughout France. Its educational standards are highly rated and the working conditions are considered optimal due to its demanding recruitment of teachers. Louis-Le-Grand students generally achieve excellent results; topping national rankings for baccalauréat grades in high school and entry into the best grandes écoles in the preparatory classes.
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