Old Nikolaischule (Leipzig)

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Old Nikolaischule (2009)

The Old Nikolaischule (lat. Schola Nikolaitana ) was the first municipal school in Leipzig .


The history of the old Nikolaischule goes back to the end of the 12th century. On March 11, 1395, the councilors of the city of Leipzig were by decree of Pope Boniface IX. authorized to build a city school at the Nikolaikirchhof or the surrounding area. At first there was only one private school Schola Nikolaitana , which was first mentioned in 1490.

Because the University of Leipzig was founded in 1409, the council did not pass a resolution to build the school until March 14, 1498, so that in 1511 the dilapidated house at Nikolaikirchhof 2 could be bought and demolished together with the sextoy next to it. On December 6, 1512, the day of St. Nicholas , the first secular school in Leipzig was inaugurated.

Even after the renovation and expansion of the building in 1530, which became necessary due to the increasing number of pupils, the boys from the 17th to 19th centuries only had four classrooms available for teaching. They were set up on the first and third floors, while the sexton and his family lived on the entire first floor. When Protestant teaching was introduced in Leipzig in 1539, the St. Nicholas School was reformation .

In 1551 the schoolhouse burned down and in 1568 a new building was erected, which was redesigned in the Renaissance style in 1596/97 . In 1611 the Nikolaischule was then a six-class Latin school, and it was not until 1716 that training in German was included in the school regulations. During this period, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz , who was the last universal genius, was a Nikolaitaner from 1655 to 1661.

Complex Alte Nikolaischule (1875)
From left: commercial building (only ground floor), Nikolaischule, priests' houses

A school auditorium as well as the detention room, which had been completely missing until then, were only available after the upper floors of the neighboring corner building had been attached in 1824–1827. The later composer Richard Wagner received music lessons in the school's “speaking room” (assembly hall), which was built on the second floor of this house in the late classical illusionist style . Probably the most beautiful room in the house was reconstructed in 1994 in keeping with the style and today offers space for 100 people at events.

The building was used for school purposes until the 19th century. After the school had moved to a new school building at Königstrasse 30 (today Goldschmidtstrasse) on April 15, 1872, various facilities were housed here. For example, 1886–1889 the interim of the royal building trade school , from 1897 the 1st medical guard of the Samariterverein, 1907–1910 the main guard of the garrison, storage, business premises and rooms for the Leipzig trade fair, a police station or 1890–1896 the office of the “common Local health insurance for Leipzig and the surrounding area ” . During the GDR era, the building became the legal entity of the university in 1953. After it was used by the commercial college in the 1970s, it fell into disrepair, so that the building inspectorate had to close it in 1976.

Since 1990

Summer at the Alte Nikolaischule
Old Nikolaischule at night

The Cultural Foundation Leipzig sat down immediately after its foundation in 1990 for a rescue of the Old St. Nicholas School one. In October 1990 the city council decided to transfer the school to the cultural foundation. Thanks to a DM 10 million donation from the city of Frankfurt am Main and Saxon monument funding, the foundation began to carefully renovate the monument between 1991 and 1994 and to use it for cultural and monument-friendly use Reopening of the old Nikolaischule. The renovation was awarded the first architecture prize from the Chamber of Architects of Saxony in the category "Conversion and addition to historic buildings".

A new cultural and historical excursion destination was created in Leipzig's city center and the “Gasthaus Alte Nikolaischule” in the historic school room - the auditorium - is a well-known restaurant in the city. The old Nikolaischule is also home to the Leipzig Cultural Foundation and, since 1994, the University of Leipzig's Museum of Antiquities . In 1996, the University of Applied Sciences for Technology, Economics and Culture (HTWK) founded its automatic museum here , closely related to G. W. Leibniz and based on a collection from the Technical University of Leipzig . In the meantime, the Automatic Museum has moved to the "GaraGe" building at Karl-Heine-Strasse 97 in Leipzig-Plagwitz . In its place, the former classrooms house a Richard Wagner Museum , which was opened in 2013 on the occasion of his 200th birthday and is dedicated to the developments in childhood and adolescence of this Leipzig-born musical genius.

The Nikolaischule as an institution has been located in Leipzig-Stötteritz at Schönbachstraße 17 as the Neue Nikolaischule Leipzig since the 2010s .


Famous Nikolaitans


  • The program of the Nicolaigymnasium in Leipzig invites you to the Valedictionsactus on ... and to the public exams on ... in the name of the teachers' college . Leipzig 1867–1886 ( digitized version )
  • Annual report of the Nikolaigymnasium in Leipzig as an invitation to the solemn dismissal of the high school graduates ... as well as to the public class exams . Leipzig 1887–1903 ( digitized version )
  • Hans Voigt: On the history of the Nicolaischule in the eighteenth century . Dürr, Leipzig 1893, 34 p. (Supplement to the annual report of the Nicolaigymnasium in Leipzig 1893) ( digitized version )
  • Ernst Bischoff : The teaching staff of the Nicolaigymnasium in Leipzig 1816–1896 / 97. Biographical and bibliographical contributions to school history . Dürr, Leipzig 1897, 76 p. (Scientific supplement to the annual report of the Nicolaigymnasium in Leipzig 1897) ( digitized version )
  • Annual report of the Nikolaischule in Leipzig. Leipzig 1904–1916 ( digitized version )
  • Hans Voigt: The high school graduates of the Nikolaischule in Leipzig 1830–1911 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the school . Hinrichs, Leipzig 1912, 109 p. ( Digitized version )
  • Hans Burkhardt, Manfred Andreas: The history of the Nikolaischule in Leipzig in the 20th century. Data and memories , Sax Verlag, Beucha 2001, ISBN 978-3-934544-11-6 .
  • Sabine Hocquél-Schneider: Old Nikolaischule Leipzig. Published by the Leipzig Cultural Foundation, Edition Leipzig 1994, ISBN 3-361-00420-9 .

Web links

Commons : Alte Nikolaischule  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Fritz Behn and Karl May. In: Das Karl-May-Wiki. Retrieved November 20, 2016 .
  2. ^ Professor Fritz Behn. in: Papal sheets . Born in 1910, No. 51, issue of December 11, 1910, pp. 202-204

Coordinates: 51 ° 20 ′ 26.9 "  N , 12 ° 22 ′ 43.1"  E