Scholars' school of the Johanneum

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Scholars' school of the Johanneum
Coat of arms of the learned school of the Johanneums.svg
Coat of arms of the Johanneum
type of school high school
founding 1529

Maria-Louisen-Strasse 114

place Hamburg
country Hamburg
Country Germany
Coordinates 53 ° 35 '23 "  N , 10 ° 0' 23"  E Coordinates: 53 ° 35 '23 "  N , 10 ° 0' 23"  E
carrier State
student 850 As of 2019
Teachers 70
management Inken Hose, Jens Bangert

The Johanneum  - to be more precise, the learned school of the Johanneum  - is a humanistic grammar school in Hamburg , which was founded in 1529 by Johannes Bugenhagen . This makes it the oldest grammar school in Hamburg.


The Johanneum was founded by Johannes Bugenhagen , the spiritual envoy of the reformer Martin Luther . In 1528 he came to Hamburg to give the city an Evangelical Lutheran church order , the Erbarn Stadt Hamborch Christlike Ordeninge . On May 24, 1529 , the Johanneum first opened its doors as the “Latinsche Schole” in the building of the secularized old St. Johannis monastery , on the site of today's town hall market . The actual classrooms were in half-timbered buildings in the inner courtyard of the monastery. Initially, the Johanneum was a school for scholars . Later, a second branch, the community school , was devoted to the training of the sons of merchants and tradespeople.

Scholars' school of the Johanneum in the old St. Johannis monastery (until 1840), next to the grammar school and city library
The new Johanneum on Domplatz, built by Carl Ludwig Wimmel , around 1840 (painting by the Suhr brothers )

New building at Speersort

In 1826 the order for the new school was awarded, but it could not be carried out due to lack of money. From 1838 to 1840, the new building at Speersort was finally built on the site of the cathedral , which was demolished in 1806 and where the nucleus of Hamburg once lay, the so-called Hammaburg . At the same time, the medieval Johannis monastery was demolished. The imposing neo-classical new building based on designs by Carl Ludwig Wimmel (* 1786; † 1845) and Franz Gustav Forsmann (* 1795; † 1878), which can be entered from the south through the main entrance, had two wings that lead to today's Domstrasse through arcades connected. The construction was based on competing designs by Alexis de Chateauneuf (* 1799; † 1853) and Carl Ludwig Wimmel.

In the Johanneum the patriciate of the city ​​republic of Hamburg was educated humanistically , important scholars and authors of the early Enlightenment worked here ( Hermann Samuel Reimarus , Barthold Heinrich Brockes , Michael Richey , Johann Albert Fabricius and others), Georg Philipp Telemann and Philipp Emanuel Bach were cantors here, and this created a lasting tradition and reputation . The Johanneum survived the great fire of 1842, which caused numerous buildings all around to go up in flames.

The school today
School entrance

New construction at Maria-Louisen-Strasse

In 1914 the Johanneum moved into the current building complex designed by Fritz Schumacher in Maria-Louisen-Straße, while the old building was now used entirely by the Hamburg State and University Library . The old building was largely destroyed in the bombing raids on Hamburg in 1943 , the remains (including the arcade) were removed in 1955 for road widening (in 2005 the foundations were exposed again during archaeological excavations on Domplatz). The entire Johanneum complex in Maria-Louisen-Strasse with the Schumacher buildings has been a listed building since 1979 . The Bugenhagen monument in the courtyard, created by Engelbert Peiffer , has been a listed building since 1958.

In 1948, three years after the end of World War II , a group of students from the Johanneum visited London . Frederick Wilkinson, the headmaster of the Latymer Upper School , was convinced that only if young people get to know one another, understanding, reconciliation and thus lasting peace in Europe can be brought about. In this spirit he initiated the student exchange that has taken place every year since then. Later Godolphin and Latymer School was added. In addition, there is a young tradition of exchanges with schoolchildren from Greece. There is also an orchestral exchange with the two London partner schools. Since 1982 there has also been a hockey exchange with Magdalen College in Oxford . In 1989 the Johanneum was one of the first schools in Hamburg to set up a school exchange with Poland .

Always well endowed, it still houses an important historical library that is also accessible to research. In cheering competition with the 250-year-old Christianeum , which came to Hamburg with Altona in 1937 , it maintained high standards. Even today it still represents a humanistic and educated civic claim and you can or must take your Abitur in the ancient languages Latin or Ancient Greek . The study trips in the school year of the Abitur must also lead to ancient sites.

The coeducation began late in the Johanneum. Individual girls were admitted to the upper classes earlier, but it wasn't until 1977 that the first girls started school.

There are currently two active theater groups in the Johanneum. Furthermore, concerts of the orchestras and choirs take place every six months, the summer and Christmas concerts. Since 2004 the Johanneum had the school newspaper, "Der Chauffeur", which has since been discontinued. To this end, the new school newspaper “Humanistic Manifest” was published at the end of 2011 and was also canceled. Meanwhile the magazine "Johanneum" appears regularly, and the Res Gestae annually.

Additional information

Forum Johanneum

The Johanneum received a large new building thanks to a donation of millions from a patron . It is a three-story building with a total area of ​​2200 square meters that contains art and music rooms, a cafeteria, a theater rehearsal room and a sports hall. The Forum Johanneum was officially opened on May 24, 2007 as a new building.
There is an inscription in ancient Greek on the south facade. Translated it means: "All people naturally strive for knowledge" and is a quote from Aristotle 's metaphysics .

The step house

In the summer of 2015, work began on building another new building on the school premises. It replaces the eight provisional classrooms built in container construction that have been set up between the main building and the forum since summer 2008. The step house is a three-story building with a total area of ​​1460 square meters. It houses twelve classrooms as well as five differentiation rooms and, after the opening ceremony on November 17, 2016, eight classes moved into on November 24, 2016. The name “step house” was created as an allusion to a special design feature of the building: the terraces (“steps”) of the large external staircase are provided with sayings in various languages, including the language of mathematics. The conception and order of the sayings symbolizes the course of the languages ​​taught in school. In addition, mathematics with the Pythagorean theorem forms a bridge between the ancient natural philosophers and the present day.


The cantor of the Johanneum has not only been the school's teacher since it was founded, but also responsible for music at the Hamburg churches . The students of the Johanneum were obliged to sing in church. The first known Cantor Johannei was Eberhard Decker, who held the office from 1580 to 1605. He was followed by seven cantors until 1822, when the office was revoked. The most famous among them were Georg Philipp Telemann , who held the position for 46 years, and his successor Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach .


The main library of the school (Bibliotheca Johannei) comprises more than 55,000 volumes with an important old stock . The oldest book is a Latin Bible - incunable from 1491. The old library is divided into two areas:

  • A scientific library . The foundation was laid by foundations and donations from well-known Hamburg private scholars with an abundance of first-class editions and commentaries by Greek and Latin authors. Some authors are represented in a complete series from the cradle prints of humanism up to the present day.
  • A literary library . The basis is Greek and Latin literature ; in addition, there is the German with a focus on the Weimar Classic . The Weimar Goethe edition is available as well as the national edition of Schiller's works. It also includes first editions and final editions by Herder , Wieland and Jean Paul . The English , French , Italian literature  - each in translation as in the original editions - has a strong presence.

The library was under renovation until the summer of 2008, as the library should be more accessible to schoolchildren - previously it was only accessible to high school students. Since October 2007 the old library and an old art hall have been converted into the new library. Construction has now been completed after some delays and was inaugurated on November 11, 2008.

The so-called new library now contains manuals for all subjects, including the following reference works: the Real Encyclopedia of Classical Studies , the Encyclopædia Britannica , the French Encyclopedia by Diderot and d'Alembert , the General German Biography , the Lexicon of the Middle Ages , the German dictionary of the Brothers Grimm , the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae or Kindler's New Literature Lexicon .

Forum Johanneum

Based on the forums in the Roman Empire , Forum Johanneum is the name of a continuous series of lectures at the Johanneum, in which many well-known people have appeared as speakers, including:

Realgymnasium of the Johanneum

The Realgymnasium emerged in 1834 from the citizen school established within the scholarly school, had been a Realschule since 1831 and was designated as such from 1866 onwards. The school was initially located in front of the Steintor and in 1905 a new building was built on Armgartstrasse. In 1937 the name was changed to “Oberschule for boys on Armgartstrasse”. In 1950 it was merged with the grammar school in St. Georg.


  • Astrid Sänger, Antje Theise, Anja Wolkenhauer: Emblemata Hamburgensia , Verlag Ludwig, Kiel, 2009, pp. 70–73 ( )
  • Christine von Müller (Ed.): Symposium. Commemorative publication for the 475th anniversary of the Johanneum School of Academics , Hamburg 2004.
  • Ralph Giordano : Racism and Militarism in Nazi School Everyday Life . In: I'm nailed to this land. Speeches and essays about the German past and present. Knaur-TB 80024, Droemer Knaur, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-426-80024-1 , pp. 99-107. (Aspects of everyday school life at the Hamburg School of Academics in the Johanneum between 1933 and 1940, described by the former student Giordano)
  • 450 years of the learned school of the Johanneum in Hamburg 1529 - 1979 , learned school of the Johanneum, Hamburg 1979.
  • Fritz Ulmer: Festive report on the four hundredth anniversary of the Scholars School of the Johanneum in Hamburg, May 21-25, 1929 . Lütcke & Wulff, Hamburg 1929
  • Edmund Kelter: Hamburg and its Johanneum through the centuries 1529–1929 . Lütcke & Wulff, Hamburg, 1928
  • Realgymnasium des Johanneum Hamburg: Festschrift for the inauguration of the new school building on Armgartstrasse on October 13, 1905 . Baumann, Hamburg 1905 ( online , SUB Hamburg), contains: Prof. Dr. Fritz Tendering: On the history of the Johanneum high school .
  • Scholars' School of the Johanneum in Hamburg , 1876/77. Meissner, Hamburg 1877 ( online )
  • Friedrich Karl Kraft : On the solemn speech exercises, which ..., chronicle of the Hamburgisches Johanneum from the end of 1827 to the beginning of May 1840 . (Publisher) Theodor Gottlieb Meissner, Hamburg 1860,
  • Carl Bertheau : Report on the secondary school of the Johanneum . (Publisher) Joh. Aug. Meissner, Hamburg 1846,
  • Ernst Philipp Ludwig Calmberg: History of the Johanneum in Hamburg . Verlag J. Aug. Meissner, Hamburg 1829,
  • Johannes Gurlitt , Cornelius Müller (ed.): Hamburg school writings . W. Heinrichshofen, Magdeburg 1829, (contains various speeches and speeches for the introduction of teachers and the leaving of students at the Johanneum)
  • Johann Anton Rudolph Janssen : Detailed news about all the Evangelical-Protestant churches and clergy in the Freyen and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and their territories, as well as their Johanneum (page 355 ff.) , Grammar school, library, and the men employed there . Hoffmann & Campe, Hamburg 1826, ( digitized version of the Bavarian State Library).
  • J. [Johann] M. [Martin] Müller: Historical proof that the Johanneum had and still has a great influence in Hamburg's well-being and fame. An invitation letter ... Jeremias Conrad Piscator, Hamburg 1781, digitized versionhttp: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/1%3D~GB%3DvkJcAAAAcAAJ~IA%3D~MDZ%3D%0A~SZ%3DPP1~ double-sided%3D~LT%3D~PUR%3D (names of numerous students)

Web links

Commons : Schehrenschule des Johanneums  - collection of images

Individual evidence

  1. Text of the first two paragraphs by Insa Gall for the newspaper Welt on Friday, July 8, 2005 Archived copy ( Memento from January 10, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  2. List of monuments of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg , as of April 13, 2010. ( Memento from June 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ; PDF; 915 kB) Monument Protection Office in the Authority for Culture, Sport and Media, as of April 13, 2010. Hamburg 2010, P. 115, list of monuments no. 591.
  3. List of monuments of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg , as of April 13, 2010. ( Memento from June 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ; PDF; 915 kB) Monument Protection Office in the Authority for Culture, Sport and Media, as of April 13, 2010. Hamburg 2010, P. 115, list of monuments no. 459
  4. ^ Insa Gall: Johanneum successful model . In: Die Welt , December 22, 2009
  5. Hamburger Abendblatt of November 22, 2004 ( Memento of June 7, 2015 in the web archive )
  8. Archived copy ( Memento from December 20, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  10. Names of the teachers can be found under: E. Die Realschule des Johanneum , in: Hamburgischer Staats-Kalender to the year 1857 , teaching and educational institutions, Nestler & Melle, Hamburg, p. 69
  11. Festschrift for the inauguration of the new school building on Armgartstrasse on October 13, 1905