French high school Berlin

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French high school Berlin
Entrance to the French grammar school
type of school high school
School number 01Y07
founding 1689

Derfflingerstraße 7
10785 Berlin

place Berlin Tiergarten
country Berlin
Country Germany
Coordinates 52 ° 30 ′ 12 ″  N , 13 ° 21 ′ 19 ″  E Coordinates: 52 ° 30 ′ 12 ″  N , 13 ° 21 ′ 19 ″  E
carrier State of Berlin
student 800 (2019/2020)
Teachers 114 (2019/2020)
management Ilka Steinke, Mrs. Gacel

The French Gymnasium Berlin - or Lycée Français  - is the oldest public school in Berlin. It was in 1689 by Elector Friedrich III. founded by Brandenburg for the Huguenot refugees from France . The grammar school always managed to keep French as the language of instruction, even during the Nazi era .


Original building on Niederlagstrasse in Berlin-Mitte

The French Gymnasium Berlin was founded in 1689 for the children of the Huguenots who immigrated at the invitation of the Great Elector .

In the 18th century, the Collège was able to establish close contact with the Academy of Sciences through respected leaders such as Jean Henri Samuel Formey (director from 1737 to 1739) or Jean Pierre Erman (1766–1824), who were sometimes educators of the Prussian princes . Towards the end of this period, the school's old library, which was enriched by a legacy from Prince Heinrich , was set up. The number of students increased considerably, from 35 in 1766 to 208 in 1809. From 1701 to 1873 the grammar school shared the Palais Wangenheim in Niederlagstraße on Friedrichswerder in the immediate vicinity of Französische Straße with the French town hall . In 1873 the grammar school moved into a new building on Reichstagufer 6. The students were mostly children of diplomats and business people. The proportion of pupils of Jewish origin was relatively high at around a third.

During the National Socialist era, the French grammar school was subject to the same measures as all schools, without completely losing the climate of tolerance. In 1935 all Jewish and in 1942 all so-called “ half-Jewish ” pupils were expelled from school. French remained the language of instruction, and for a while, connections with France were maintained, for example in the form of school trips.

At the end of the war the school building was destroyed. As early as May 1945, teaching in makeshift quarters was resumed. After the war, the French military government founded its own school in Berlin. In the course of the great politics of the time of the Schuman Plan , the directors of the two schools, Fouilleron and Hartig, prepared the merger of their institutions from February 1952. At the start of the 1952 school year, the French joined the German students in the building on Zeppelinplatz in Wedding ; September 22nd is considered to be the date of the merger made official by the April 24th 1953 treaty. In the same year, classes began in the new, modern building on Kurt-Schumacher-Damm in the Allied settlement of Cité Pasteur .

The story of the following years is the story of a progressive development of the merger, for example with the first simultaneous school year for German and French students in 1973, the alignment of the school duration up to the Bac and Abitur in 1977 and the expansion of the merger to the last integrated subjects, English and Latin. The Collège Français has resided in Derfflingerstraße ( Berlin-Tiergarten ) since 1974 .

School profile

Memorial plaque at the level of the previous location on the bank of the Reichstag

The school is located at Derfflingerstraße 7 in the Tiergarten district in the Mitte district . Most of the approximately 800 students are of German or French origin. There are also francophone students from around 25 nations. The lessons are based on the French curriculum. Students can acquire both the Baccalauréat and the German Abitur in French or German. The school owns many books from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

The French state pays the French staff, which consists of 30 teachers, and provides teaching materials. The 50 teachers who are subject to German administration receive their salaries from the State of Berlin. Compared to other French schools, the French Gymnasium is the only school that is subject to German state law.

Journalistic project "Bad Wolf"

The school is involved in the award-winning journalistic project Grand méchant loup - Bad Wolf , in which the participants are encouraged to work like reporters. The material created, such as articles, reports, illustrations, interviews and photos, is posted on the associated website by the Böse Wolf editorial staff or the students themselves.

Former teachers (alphabetical)

300 years of French high school, postage stamp 1989

Former students (chronologically by year of birth)


  • Christian Velder: 300 years of the French grammar school in Berlin. Nicolai, Berlin 1989, ISBN 3-87584-254-5 .
  • Johannes ES Schmidt: The French Cathedral School and the French Gymnasium in Berlin. Student memories 1848–1861. Edited and commented by Rüdiger RE Fock. Kovac, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-8300-3478-0 .
  • Program d'invitation à l'examen public du Collège Royal Français. Berlin, 1837-1878/79; 1881-1882; 1884; 1886-1887; 1889–1890 ( digitized ).
  • Programs du Collège Royal Français. Berlin, 1880; 1883; 1885; 1888; 1891 ( digitized version ).
  • Anneliese Bödecker, Thomas Dunskus (ed.): Students remember the French grammar school 1940–1950. Stapp Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-87776-120-8 .

Web links

Commons : French Gymnasium (Berlin)  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d French grammar school. In: Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family, August 30, 2019, accessed on March 15, 2020 .
  2. a b Niederlage-Wall-Strasse . In: Karl Neander von Petersheiden: Illustrative Tables , 1801, p. 198. “French Consistory and Gymnasium No. 1; French Town Hall No. 2 ”.
  3. ^ History of the French grammar school. In: Retrieved March 15, 2020 .