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15/05/2008

Kapodistrian School, today 1st Primary School of Argos, Kapodistriou & Danaou Str.

Municipality of Argos


Under Construction

The School was founded on the 12th of June 1830 and inaugurated on the 11th of June 1831 with the presence of Kapodistrias. The opening ceremony was extremely glamorous because the great interest of the Governor in the nation’s education and the erection of the school expressed his educational policy. At the same time, Kapodistrias obviously wanted to prove that he had the support of the public, at a time when the Opposition showed their enmity. We should not forget that he was assassinated three months later. Three powerful politicians of the Opposition like Spyridon Trikoupis, Alexandros Maurokordatos and the English men Dawkins and Chores were in Argos at that time while he had Demetrios Kallergis, Demetrios Tsokris and the whole people of Argos on his side. Indeed, apart from many notabilities, a lot of people came to the opening ceremony. The speakers – Anthimos, the Bishop of Helioupolis, the Deputy of Argos N. Mauromatis and a student – pointed out the significant work of the Government in the field of Education and they said the best about Kapodistrias whom they called a father of the Nation. There was such enthusiasm that a fund raiser was held and much money was gathered for the erection of other public establishments. Kapodistrias himself gave a respectful amount of money from his own purse.
The Swiss mechanic Devaut took over the building, where the mutual- teaching school of Argos was to be lodged. Chariton Kapos is memorized as the contractor. Due to several bungling and delays Devaut was drawn away and the architect Labros Zavos was placed by the Governor for the completion of the work. It was estimated that this would be a school of 300 pupils. During the same period of time, a house was built on the south east edge of the big court yard, for the teacher.
After the assassination of Kapodistrias the school could not function normally. N. Phandridis, who was the teacher then, had not got paid, there was no money for functioning expenses and last but not least, alterations and damages took place because the 5th National Assembly was to be held in the building. The Assembly began in the building of the school, but went on and finished in the building of Pronoia Naupliou (July 1832).
During the period of Othon (1834 and later on) the pupils were lodged in today’s Town Hall, while the court which functioned there at the time of Kapodistrias was moved to the Capital of the Prefecture, which was Nauplion, by the Babarians. A little later (1844?) the school degenerated into a stable for the Cavelry of the Barracks, but we do not know exactly when and for how long.
The next news is of 1873. Mich. Papalexopoulos, the Mayor of that time, repaired it to be used as a Primary school of boys. It seems that the house of the teacher did not exist any more. The roof collapsed in 1892. Luckily teachers had foreseen the collapse and had stopped the lessons. The school was hospitalized in the barracks then. It was repaired in 1894 and there was a new arrangement with four classrooms. The founding and the next assemblies of the Association “Danaos” (1894) took place there, while the annual trade fair of Argos was held in the school-yard.
The school was used by the Army, when the barracks housed Turkish pows, during the Balkan War. The next news is of 1932. There was a serious repair of the school at that time, when five classrooms and two offices were modulated.
In 1980 it is recognized as a landmark after the actions of the Cultural Association of Argos, at the moment when some people doubted its Kapodistrian origin and expressed the opinion that it had to be demolished. This idea of demolition came up later on, as well, especially after the strong earthquake of February 1981, which caused some crack, despite the fact that it had been officially recognized as a landmark for the second time. It was rescued from the “demolishers”, and in 1985 the works of renovation and new inner arrangement are completed with 6 classrooms. Since then it functions constantly and it lodges the 1st Primary School of Argos.





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