Laurentianum Gymnasium Arnsberg

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Laurentianum Gymnasium Arnsberg
In the foreground the A-Bau, in the back left the N-Bau
type of school high school
School number 169833
founding 1643

Klosterstrasse 26

place Arnsberg
country North Rhine-Westphalia
Country Germany
Coordinates 51 ° 23 '31 "  N , 8 ° 3' 54"  E Coordinates: 51 ° 23 '31 "  N , 8 ° 3' 54"  E
carrier City of Arnsberg
student 672
Teachers 61
management Beate Nordmann

The municipal high school Laurentianum ( Laurentiano Norbertinum ; now also Staatliches Gymnasium Laurentianum ) is a municipal high school in Arnsberg . The school was founded in 1643 as the monastery school of the Wedinghausen monastery. Not least, it was an important factor in the Counter Reformation in the region. In the course of the Catholic Enlightenment at the end of the 18th century, the school became a state institution. In the 19th century and well into the 20th century, the Laurentianum was a state high school in ancient languages. Today the school is a municipal high school.


Medieval forerunners

The Premonstratensian Monastery in Wedinghausen was founded in the 12th century and soon after its founding was not only a religious but also a cultural center, initially in the county of Arnsberg and after its end in 1368 the Duchy of Westphalia . Just a few years after it was founded, a nationally known scriptorium emerged . Caesarius von Heisterbach mentioned the monastery clerk Richard von Arnsberg , who came from England and who died in Wedinghausen around 1190. Around 1210–1236, “Ludovicus scriptor” was a talented scribe and illustrator, from whom a two-volume Bible has been preserved. A monastery school already existed in the Middle Ages, because the sources mention a rector scholarum for 1398 . What is unknown, however, is the fate of the school over the centuries that followed.

Close cooperation between Laurentiuskirche and school (in the background)

Founding and school life in the early modern period

In connection with the Counter Reformation on the one hand and with the revival of monastic life in Arnsberg under Abbot Gottfried Reichmann on the other hand, the Laurentiano Norbertinum was founded on November 1, 1643. The name connects the patronage of the monastery church, St. Laurentius , with the name of the founder of the Premonstratensian Order, St. Norbert . This was preceded by lengthy negotiations between the abbot and the convent of the monastery and the city of Arnsberg with the aim of establishing a higher school. In addition to Latin, Greek and other subjects of humanistic education, art and music were capitalized.

Immediately after the school was founded, the monastery brothers and their students began performing comedic plays in the Arnsberg town hall every year. The grammar school thus continued the older traditions of the secular city school. First reports of performances by the grammar school exist for the year 1644. In 1714 a separate auditorium was built. This institution of the "Wedinghauser Schaubühne" is documented until 1774. Similar to today's programs, sketches of the play's content were printed for the performances. Most of these perioches have been lost. Today only a few copies exist. Since the time of Abbot Michael Reinhartz (1663–1688), who determined that only those who could play at least one instrument were admitted to the monastery community, operas were also performed. At the time of Abbot Norbert Bicker , the school became a full-fledged grammar school with the establishment of the top two classes.

In the following centuries the school was the only secondary school in the Duchy of Westphalia, along with the Petrinum grammar school in Brilon . Towards the end of the 18th century, Franz Wilhelm von Spiegel tried to reform the higher schools in his area of ​​responsibility, first as Landdrost for the Duchy and later as Chief Minister of the Cologne Electoral Government in Bonn in the spirit of the Catholic Enlightenment . For the first time, binding curricula were introduced. In 1712 the Laurentianum became the first full grammar school in the Sauerland region of Cologne.

Transformation into a state institution and crisis

There was a profound transformation towards the end of the century. Under the Landdrost Franz Wilhelm von Spiegel, the school was transformed from an institution of the monastery into a state institution. However, the pen remained responsible for the costs and financing. From then on, teachers were only allowed to be employed with the consent of the state school commission. The teachers were released from other monastic duties. In addition to accommodation and food, they received a salary of twelve Reichstalers a year. An educational library has been set up for their further education. In addition, the subjects were also laid down. Sometimes there was a significant expansion of the teaching content. The subjects taught were: German, mathematics, soul theory, geography and world theory (i.e. philosophy). In practice, however, the reform has not been as radical. Rather, the situation of the school at the end of the ancien regime turned out to be a serious crisis. Due to a lack of funds, the number of teachers was small, and numerous subjects could increasingly no longer be covered. The number of students also steadily decreased, partly due to the time circumstances.

The school in the 19th century

Historical school flag

After secularization in 1803, the grammar school was initially temporarily closed. "None of the previous teachers could decide to stay under the completely newly designed conditions at the grammar school: some were looking for jobs in the parish office, others preferred to settle for the meager pension that had to be paid to them as clergymen after the Reichsdeputations-Hauptschluss, to withdraw ”, wrote the later director Philipp Baaden in retrospect. After reopening in the same year, the school became a fully state institution. The first prefect of the now secular school was the well-known reform pedagogue Friedrich Adolf Sauer . In this function, he initially served the Hesse-Darmstadt state and, after 1816, the Prussian state. Under Prussian rule, the school was named “Königliches Gymnasium Laurentianum”. So it was not under the control of the municipal administration, but the provincial school board of the province of Westphalia . After the reopening, the old curriculum, as it had been prescribed under Elector Maximilian Franz, initially remained in force. The subject of Greek was added.

At times, the responsible consistory in Münster thought of running the grammar school as a Progymnasium instead of a full institution, because the district government was expected to leave. However, the Ministry of Clergy, Teaching and Medical Affairs in Berlin decreed in 1818 that the grammar school would be necessary as a "secondary school" in the Duchy of Westphalia even when the government moved to Arnsberg. At the same time, a thorough examination of the school was ordered. Konsistorialrat Kohlrausch carried out this revision in September 1819. Although he only found 54 students, he saw a potential that was twice as high. The aim was to develop the school in such a way that the Laurentianum could “stand alongside the best schools in the province”. After a long study trip to the leading high schools in Prussia, Philipp Baaden became director. This introduced a lesson plan according to the regulations of the Prussian teaching administration. Although this was committed to the new humanist ideal of education, the number of school hours devoted to mother tongue lessons was significantly higher than in many high schools in Prussia. In the first decades, the proportion of ancient language teaching was around 40% of the total number of lessons. Even if the old language character was basically retained, its share fell to 30% over the course of the century, while the share of mathematical and natural science subjects rose from just under 14% to 20%.

Equally forward-looking was the appreciation of physical education and the establishment of a swimming pool (which existed for a short time). Director Baaden regarded physical exercises as an important equivalent to the formation of the mind. He saw the school as having a duty to “keep the body healthy and beautiful as the objectification of the 'divine image [it]'”.

A first new building was erected in 1879, which was followed by a further structural expansion in 1900.

The grammar school in the 20th and 21st centuries

At the beginning of the 20th century the school had 278 students and gained considerable importance beyond the city of Arnsberg. Therefore, it was always visited by a number of students from other communities and the catchment area ranged from Fröndenberg in the west to Bestwig in the east.

After November Revolution of 1918 was obtained from the Royal the State College Laurentianum , with little change in the fundamental structure. In 1930 the extension was further increased and a caretaker's building was built.

During the time of National Socialism , the content of the lessons was adapted to the prevailing ideology and teachers were dismissed for political or racial reasons. The Jewish pupils also suffered from repression before they had to leave school entirely. A submission by the National Socialist City Council from November 1936 applied to the High Presidium for a complete reorganization of the higher Arnsberg school system in the National Socialist sense. In this context, the two denominational high schools for girls were closed in favor of a municipal high school for girls. The conversion of the state high school into a modern-language urban high school was rejected.

Another construction phase began around 1950, which only ended in the 1970s with the construction of a new scientific wing and a new gymnasium.

The grammar school has only existed in its current form as the Laurentianum municipal grammar school since 1974. The school authority is the city ​​of Arnsberg . In 2002, the grammar school was one of the first to take part in the independent school pilot project run by the North Rhine-Westphalian state government. As a result, the school has been given more creative freedom by increasing personal responsibility, which was reflected, for example, in the introduction of new educational concepts or the establishment of a self-learning center.

Holdings of the historical school library in the rooms of the former monastery library

Historical school library

Before secularization, the Wedinghausen Monastery had a library that was extensive for the time. A catalog recorded around 2,700 titles, including the so-called Gero Codex , an early work by the Reichenau School . After the school was founded, the existing predominantly theologically oriented monastery library for the grammar school was supplemented with secular works from philosophy, philology and books from other subject areas. A separate baroque library extension took up the books. This monastery library was smashed after the monastery was closed. Only a few books remained in Arnsberg and formed the basis of the school library that was built in the 19th century. The books with the title “liber monasterii wedinghausani” include a three-volume edition of the “Collection of Ciceroian Vocabulary” by the Italian philosopher Mario Nizolio , printed in Basel in 1548. There is also an Aeneid by Virgil in an edition printed in Cologne in 1628. A German-Latin grammar by Peter Kolin and Johannes Fries from 1541 and 1556 is available in two editions .

During the 19th and first decades of the 20th century, numerous works were added for teaching purposes, which today have considerable antiquarian value. In addition to the targeted acquisition of new works by the school management, the collection was expanded more and more through donations from teachers and former students. The collection now comprises a total of 10,000 volumes on 240 meters of shelves. This makes the historical school library one of the most important collections of its kind in North Rhine-Westphalia . The almost complete tradition of works between the 18th and early 20th centuries is valuable for research into the cultural and educational history of this period.

In the 1960s the library books were stored in the air raid shelter of the grammar school and largely forgotten in the following years. It was not until 1987 that it became known again. The holdings were viewed and cataloged in cooperation with the city ​​archives , but they remained hidden from the public. When the monastery complex was redesigned in recent years, the old library building was renovated. With the support of sponsors, the books were placed in the library in 2006.



School building plan

The school has four buildings and two sports halls. The oldest building is the "A-Bau" (old building), which was expanded in the 1950s with an extension (AN-Bau). The old sports hall was later connected to the A-building by a new building (N-building). The "E-Bau" (extension) was inaugurated in 1978, as was the new sports hall, to which it is the link. However, these two buildings are also separate. Another area to be mentioned is the former auditorium, today's “SchulStadtBücherei” with a self-study center. This area is connected to the “A-Building” by a wing in which high school students can work in peace. The N-building was expanded to include the canteen, which was inaugurated in 2011. The "old sports hall" was rebuilt and the space available was supplemented by additional classrooms on the upper floor (underground building).


The former auditorium of the school was converted into the so-called SchulStadtBücherei after a long period of joint planning between the school management and the city administration. Since then, the school library and the municipal library for the Arnsberg district have been under one roof. Around 30,000 different media (books, newspapers and magazines, CDs, DVDs, etc.) are available for both citizens and students to borrow and view. This is supplemented by a number of internet workstations .

In August 2008, the school city library received the NRW School Building Award.

Self-learning center

Self-learning center

For several years now, the grammar school has had a self-study center (SLZ). This project tries to promote independent learning. The SLZ is divided into three areas. The first is for reading, a second has 20 computer workstations, and a third has work tables for group work. This is supplemented by an event area. The students should be enabled to work on a given problem or task alone. For this purpose, you can also use the books and media in the SchulStadtBücherei as well as the school's own media (audio, video, books, teaching material, etc.).


Seal of approval for individual support

On February 3, 2007, the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Jürgen Rüttgers , awarded the Laurentianum the “Individual Funding Seal of Approval” from the State's Ministry of Education and Training. This recognized the numerous teaching and extra-curricular activities of the school for gifted students and for students with special needs.

More seals

In April 2014, then School Minister Sylvia Löhrmann named the Laurentianum grammar school as a reference school in the “Future Schools NRW” network. She recognized the sustainable work in the field of individual support at the Laurentianum grammar school.

In 2016 the Laurentianum was awarded the "NRW Career Choice Seal".

The Laurentianum has been a " School without Racism - School with Courage " since 2017 .

Current school life

The Laurentianum grammar school is a municipal grammar school with an open all-day service. In "joint learning", individual classes are taught inclusive.

English is taught continuously from grade five. In grade six, Latin or French are added as a second foreign language chosen. In French, the aim is to voluntarily acquire the DELF language certificate , and in Latin to acquire the Latinum at the end of the introductory phase. In addition, in compulsory elective area 2 from grade 8, there is the opportunity to learn Spanish as a third foreign language. This means that Spanish is also possible as an Abitur subject. For many years it has been possible to choose a Chinese group as part of the gifted program.

Since the 2017/18 school year, the Laurentianum has been able to choose a bilingual course in which the subjects biology and history are taught in English. The aim is the bilingual Abitur.

Schoolchildren in class 9 or level EF can take part in a school exchange with France. The Laurentianum supports the Brigitte Sauzay program, which is organized by the Franco-German Youth Office and promotes individual student exchanges between Germany and France. The standard length of stay is three months. A long-term exchange with Australia is to be established in Q1, which took place for the first time in autumn 2017.

In the MINT subjects, there are various offers in addition to the lessons, such as working groups (e.g. robot working group) and participation in competitions.

A consortium history has produced in 2001 a comprehensive record of over 500 pages about the higher education system in Arnsberg during the Third Reich. The focus was not only on one's own history, but also on the past of the denominational "higher" upbringing of daughters. Various "generations of students" were involved over a period of about seven years. Sources from the school archive were evaluated, as well as archive materials from the Arnsberg City Archives and the Westphalian State Archives in Münster . The project was scientifically supported by Alexander von Plato from the Distance University in Hagen .

In the past, the Laurentianum grammar school successfully participated in the Federal President's history competition several times.

In the 2012/13 school year, the Laurentianum won 3rd prize in the Germany-wide art competition "Young people interpret art" at the Museum Küppersmühle in Duisburg. The award-winning picture hangs in the SchulStadtBücherei today.

There is a fixed school trip schedule at the Laurentianum. In the test stage, one day in the " Jugendwaldheim Obereimer " (grade 5) and a five-day trip to Borkum (grade 6) is planned and for the middle school in the ninth grade for 15 years a ten-day trip to Jochgrimm , where pupils can learn to ski. In addition, subject-related excursions are regularly undertaken.

The school's association, which has existed since 1975, supports the school and its students financially and materially. Members are parents, former students and teachers. Among other things, the association has had the historic school flag restored, which is now on display in the foyer of the A-building.

There is a partnership with the neighboring Mariengymnasium for the teaching of various subjects of the upper level in order to be able to implement courses in cooperation that only a few students have chosen.

Cooperation partner

The school has various cooperation partners; Among them are the Technical University of Dortmund , the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences , the SchulStadtBücherei, the Arnsberg Art Association, the culture office, the music school, the Chamber of Crafts and the Chamber of Commerce .

Well-known teachers and graduates




  • Arnsberg's old writings: manuscripts and prints from 7 centuries. Overview of the valuable writings and books of the Wedinghausen monastery and the historical school library of the Laurentianum grammar school . Arnsberg 1988, ISBN 3-87793-022-0 .
  • Festschrift to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Laurentianum grammar school on October 18, 1893. Arnsberg 1893. Digitized
  • Annual report on the Royal Laurentianum in Arnsberg: in the school year. ... Arnsberg born 1830–1915.
  • Walter Wahle: Laurentianum. Essays on the high school in Arnsberg . Arnsberg 1971.
  • Eckhard Kotthaus (final): The higher schools Arnsberg in the Third Reich. Everyday school life at the Laurentianum State Gymnasium, the Evangelical Lyceum and the Municipal High School for Girls (1933 to 1945) . Arnsberg 2001, ISBN 3-930264-36-6 .
  • Norbert Höing: The Laurentianum grammar school in Arnsberg. Part 1: Foundation of the school and its development up to the full establishment . Arnsberg o. J.
  • Norbert Höing: The plays at the monastery high school "Norbertino-Laurentianum" in Wedinghausen in the 17th and 18th centuries. In: Westfälische Zeitschrift Vol. 138/1988 pp. 231–278
  • Helmut Böhm: The Laurentianum grammar school in Arnsberg. Part 3: The royal Laurentianum . Arnsberg 1983.

Web links

Commons : Gymnasium Laurentianum Arnsberg  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Karl Feaux de Lacroix: History of Arnsberg. Arnsberg, 1895 [unaltered reprint Werl, 1983] p. 109f.
  2. cf. Chronological index of the dramas listed here between the years 1694-1772 at the grammar school, together with the names of their authors. In: For the second secular celebration of the Royal. High school in Arnsberg. Arnsberg, 1843, p. 51.
  3. ^ Norbert Höing: The plays at the monastery high school "Norbertino-Laurentianum" in Wedinghausen in the 17th and 18th centuries. In: Westfälische Zeitschrift Vol. 138 1988 pp. 231–278
  4. ^ Karl Feaux de Lacroix: History of Arnsberg. Arnsberg, 1895 (reprint Werl, 1983) p. 497, see also: Norbert Höing: A school regulation of the Arnsberg monastery high school. In: Heimatstimmen Arnsberg, vol. 11/1990, pp. 44–47.
  5. ^ Jens Hahnwald: Philipp (Augustinus) Baaden - one of the last conventuals of the Wedinghausen Monastery and until 1842 director of the Laurentianum grammar school. In: Südwestfalenarchiv, year 2009.
  6. Claudia Bartels: The development of German lessons at the grammar schools in Dortmund, Arnsberg and Wesel in the first half of the 19th century illustrated using the school news from 1815 to 1867. Tübingen, 1991, p. 162.
  7. sportsmanship: The Cultural History of Physical Education and Sport in Westphalia. Druck-Verlag Kettler, 2006, p. 86.
  8. cf. in detail: The higher schools in Arnsberg in the Third Reich. Everyday school life at the state grammar school Laurentianum, the Evangelical Lyceum and the municipal high school for girls (1933-1945). Arnsberg, 2001.
  9. ^ Hubert Hölscher: School system in Arnsberg. In: 750 years of Arnsberg. On the history of the city and its citizens. Arnsberg, 1989, ISBN 3-87793-025-5 , Eckhard Kotthaus (final): The higher schools in Arnsberg in the Third Reich. Everyday school life at the Laurentianum State Gymnasium, the Evangelical Lyceum and the Municipal High School for Girls (1933 to 1945). Arnsberg, 2001, ISBN 3-930264-36-6 , pp. 16f.
  10. a b history ( memento of February 25, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (source also related to entire paragraph)
  11. Manuel Homburg: "What to do with this pile of books?" The project "Historical Library of the Laurentianum Arnsberg High School" In: Südwestfalen Archive, 2003 pp. 253–255, Mayor Vogel: After more than 200 years we are opening the old monastery library in Arnsberg von Wedinghausen new ( Memento from September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 36 kB)
  12. Westfalenpost from August 19, 2008
  13. The Laurentianum. In: December 14, 2015, accessed November 6, 2018 .
  14. About the Friends' Association ( Memento from June 5, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on May 10, 2007 .