Archbishop's Ursuline School Cologne

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Archbishop's Ursuline School
School yard and new building of the Ursuline school
type of school High School for Girls and bilateral educational secondary school
School number 166704 (GY) and 160155 (RS)
founding 1639

Machabäerstrasse 47

place Cologne
country North Rhine-Westphalia
Country Germany
Coordinates 50 ° 56 '51 "  N , 6 ° 57' 37"  E Coordinates: 50 ° 56 '51 "  N , 6 ° 57' 37"  E
carrier Archdiocese of Cologne
student High school: around 1100
Secondary school: around 550
Teachers Gymnasium: around 87
Realschule: around 40
management High school: Monika Burbaum
Secondary school: Monika Schäfers

The Archbishop's Ursuline School in Cologne is home to Cologne's only secondary school for girls . The secondary school branch has also been open to boys since the 2012/2013 school year, but they are taught in their own educational classes.


In 1639, the Flemish Anne Marie de Heers , Mother Augustina , superior of the Liège Ursuline Order , moved with three companions to Cologne to open a girls' school there. She chose the city because of the patroness Ursula of Cologne . She had the goal that Angela Merici had already strived for: “... to raise religious life above all to the lower classes and to convey views and principles to women by which they secured against the errors of their time and for one would enable healthy expansion of their content in life ". When they got there after a five day arduous journey, some difficulties awaited the tour group. The Thirty Years' War had just ended and Cologne, a city reasonably well protected from robbers and thieves, was overcrowded. The small group first rented a small, dilapidated apartment. The first students were accepted the next day. The number of schoolgirls rose rapidly and people began to talk about the Ursuline Sisters. This is how the magistrate became aware of them and forced them to sign a contract. This stated that they were only given the right to stay and live for three months, and had to extend it every quarter. After twelve years they were entered in the city register as ordinary citizens. Mother Augustina died on April 11, 1666; on June 3, 1676, the school moved into the monastery they had newly built on an old vineyard in Machabäerstrasse. The Corpus Christi Church was also built at this time.

The first crisis began at the end of 1797 with the occupation of the Rhineland by the French. At that time the order had to fear that the entire property would be confiscated. By cunning, they managed to get rid of their most precious possessions. According to a consular resolution from 1802, no monastery was allowed to remain on the left bank of the Rhine. The Ursuline Order escaped this decision, presumably because some of the daughters of French officials attended this school. So it was allowed to continue to exist as a school order. Nevertheless, the order threatened to die out, since according to the consular resolution no new members could be accepted. But in 1806 a postulant dared to be admitted and thus became another official member of the order. In 1809 the Ursuline School had to ask for state recognition. It is clear from the records of the school that the quality of teaching had deteriorated significantly. Presumably this had something to do with the state's enforced aging and the halved number of female teachers. With the liberation from French rule, the Rhineland fell to the Prussian government. Now the consistory, a new authority, was responsible for the school system. In 1815 this introduced thorough training by the state for teachers and in 1825 compulsory schooling. The teachers at the Ursuline School had to do advanced training to meet the state requirements.

The second crisis was caused by Otto von Bismarck . Since he had enforced a law as part of the “Kulturkampf”, which said that only the nursing medals were allowed to remain, the Ursuline order and all other orders had to leave the city within six months. Due to an agreement with the new Pope Leo XIII. Bismarck abolished the so-called May Laws with the exception of the school inspection and civil marriage. Most of the orders in Prussia were re-admitted. On September 9, 1887, the Ursuline Order was allowed to return to Cologne.

After the seizure of power of the NSDAP early 1933 did Hitler dissolve everything a unitary state could stand in the way, so does the Catholic institutions and associations. From 1935 onwards, Nazi propaganda tried to make the church look as bad as possible in front of the people. The National Socialists cut secondary school time by one year, which resulted in financial problems in the Ursuline School due to the reduction in school fees. In 1940 the school received a phone call stating that the school would be run by the city from the new school year. In the Operation Millennium and further air raids on the Ruhr in the Second World War, the school building was almost completely destroyed. The sisters had to find a new place to live. Most of them were accepted into other Ursuline orders, only three stayed until the end of the war and lived in the Marienhospital during this time. After the Americans moved in, the three sisters secured the remains of the school building, which was later rebuilt there.

During the war, the residential and school buildings belonging to the monastery suffered extensive fire damage and there was no way of using the rubble for reconstruction. Just like the school buildings, the Corpus Christi church was also badly damaged. Immediately after the end of the war in 1945, the first makeshift repairs began. Although the reconstruction had not yet been completed, everyday school life was largely normalized again from 1947. The money required for the work, a total of around 24,000 DM (converted to around 80,000 euros today), was collected through several bazaars. After the school was taken over by the Archdiocese of Cologne , a concept was developed to expand the school. This concept includes, among other things, the concentration of the respective specialist rooms in one area, the construction of a student-teacher library and the redesign of the school yard and the outdoor area.


In 1971 a secondary school was attached to the grammar school. Until 1988 the school was run by the Ursuline Order. Since then, the Archdiocese of Cologne has been the sponsor of the school, whose Christian-Catholic profile continues to determine the school program. The four-class grammar school is attended by around a thousand pupils, the three-class secondary school by around 550 pupils. It is the only school in Cologne that has not followed the trend towards co-education . Since the school year 2012/2013 there have also been classes for boys at the Realschule; Boys and girls are taught separately there (in what is known as bi-education).

Foreign languages ​​and exchange projects

In the 5th school year, both schools start with English as their first foreign language. The pupils of the grammar school can choose between Latin or French in the 6th grade, two years later the grammar school students have the option of French, Italian, Russian or InformatikPlus. In grade 10, Italian can be taken as a fourth foreign language. In the course of the return to the G9, there are also changes for the Realschule. With the 2020/2021 school year, French will only be introduced as a second foreign language as an elective in grade 7. Pupils who do not choose French can choose the major subject biology in the natural science-technical focus, the major subject social sciences in the social sciences focus or the major subject music in the musical and artistic focus.

Friendships and close contacts with different partner schools in different countries have existed for a long time. In grades 6 and 9, the school offers a French exchange with the Lycée Privé Saint Paul in Lille . The Italian courses are held in grade 10 as part of an exchange to Italy at the Collegio SS Annunziata in Empoli . In 2008, after a long break, the grammar school was able to organize an English exchange for the students in class 8. Since 2010, a friendly exchange has developed with the partner grammar school No. 1538 in Moscow / Mitino for the Russian students in grade 9. In addition, about 18 students from the 10th grade of the Realschule and the Gymnasium travel to Palestine every year . They live with Palestinian host families, whose daughters attend the partner school, Schmidt's Girls College in Jerusalem .

School projects

Every year at the Ursuline School there is a wind class in which the pupils learn to play a new instrument. After two years there is the possibility of switching to the wind orchestra. On several Saturdays a year, the Ursuline School opens its doors for the homeless and the poor. On these days, the students support the Malteser relief service . In 2007 the school was awarded a prize in the Jugendhilf! Awarded by the “Children for a Better World” association. A project week was held in September 2014 to celebrate the 375th school anniversary.


  • Ursuline School Cologne (Ed. :) Archbishop's Ursuline School Cologne. Festschrift for the 375th anniversary of the Cologne Ursuline School. Cologne 2014 (342 pages; Editing: Norbert Orthen and Angelika Schmitz)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Festschrift of the Ursuline School, Cologne 2014, p. 66 f
  2. Festschrift of the Ursulinenschule, Cologne 2014, p. 261
  3. Festschrift of the Ursulinenschule, Cologne 2014, pp. 72–74
  4. Festschrift of the Ursulinenschule, Cologne 2014, pp. 79–86
  5. Festschrift of the Ursulinenschule, Cologne 2014, pp. 94–96
  6. Festschrift of the Ursuline School, Cologne 2014, p. 96
  7. Festschrift of the Ursulinenschule, Cologne 2014, pp. 101–106
  8. Festschrift of the Ursulinenschule, Cologne 2014, p. 121 ff.
  9. Festschrift of the Ursulinenschule, Cologne 2014, p. 124
  10. Festschrift of the Ursulinenschule, Cologne 2014, pp. 125–130
  11. Festschrift of the Ursuline School, Cologne 2014, p. 168 f.
  12. Festschrift of the Ursulinenschule, Cologne 2014, p. 169 ff.
  13. Festschrift of the Ursulinenschule, Cologne 2014, p. 240 f.