Oelser Gymnasium

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The Oelser Gymnasium (also Gymnasium illustrious Oels ; also Herzogliches Gymnasium Oels ; from 1886 Königliches Gymnasium zu Oels ) was a secondary school in Oels in the Silesian Duchy of Oels . This was a fiefdom of the Crown of Bohemia since 1329 , which came to the Habsburgs in 1526 . Older than the high school Oelser were in Silesia only founded in 1563 Elizabeth High School in Breslau and was founded in 1569 Gymnasium in Brieg . The Maria-Magdalenen-Gymnasium in Breslauwas not established until 1643, the Liegnitz Knight Academy in 1708.


After Duke Johann von Münsterberg-Oels , who was a great-grandson of the Bohemian King Georg von Podiebrad , intended to set up a Latin school under the influence of humanism and the Reformation , he bought a small house in Oels in 1556. The theologians Zacharias Wittich and Andreas Keppich taught there .

Duke Johann received suggestions for founding a grammar school from Superintendent Melchior Eckhart . For this he built a school building on the site of the Latin school, which was inaugurated as a princely school on December 5, 1594 . You should as a high school illustrious the Lutheranism spread and train the next generation of the civil service. The patronage of the school was the responsibility of the duke, the city of Oels and the Protestant church . Most of the rectors were clergymen , most of the teachers were part-time church employees. There were five classes and five teachers. The school did not initially lead to university entrance qualifications .

After Karl II , a nephew of Duke Johann, died in 1617 and the Thirty Years War broke out in 1618 , the Duchy of Oels and the school got into difficult times. War, plague and other calamities affected the school so much that in 1647 it had only 47 students who were taught in three classes. When the Münsterberg branch of the Lords of Podiebrad went out with Duke Karl Friedrich I in 1647, the Duchy of Oels fell to his son-in-law Silvius I Nimrod (Württemberg-Oels) , who also promoted the school. After his death in 1664, school conditions deteriorated again. Although his successors succeeded in securing Protestantism to some extent, the pressure of the Jesuit Counter-Reformation emanating from Emperor Leopold I as sovereign of Bohemia was also detrimental to the school. In 1676 Silvius II. Friedrich (Württemberg-Oels) took over the government of the duchy and with it the patronage of the school. From 1682 the grammar school consisted of six classes; at the same time she was given the right to prepare her students for university studies. Since she did not have the financial means to implement this privilege, she could not use it for the next few decades. In 1688 the grammar school was taken over by the city of Oels.

At the beginning of the 18th century, Pietism strengthened the evangelical element. As a result, interest in the Oelser Gymnasium also grew, to which private donations and inheritances, including the Hahn Foundation , have now been allocated. When the school building was destroyed by fire in April 1730, it found accommodation in the ducal castle.

The financial situation improved after Count Joachim Wenzel von Kospoth bequeathed 150,000 Rhenish guilders to the grammar school in his will of March 3, 1727 with the approval of his brother, Count Carl Christian . On July 3, 1736, the sovereign, Emperor Charles VII , confirmed the Kospoth Foundation, which was to come into force in 1730. After a delay, the imperial chancelleries in Vienna finally agreed with the restriction that the Liegnitz Knight Academy should receive 20,000 guilders from the Kaspoth heir and 6000 guilders should be paid as a fee for the imperial confirmation. The foundation was supposed to support 12 noble and 14 middle class students as well as sick students. 1100 guilders were used for better salaries for teachers. The school could now continue to work, but had to be content with the modest title of seminar . Since then, she has commemorated her salvation with a ceremony at the end of each school year. When the town hall, which was also destroyed by the fire, was rebuilt, the school was temporarily relocated to the new building in 1737 after seven years in the castle.

From 1742 under Prussian rule

Patron of the school: Duke Friedrich Wilhelm with the Order of the Black Eagle

After the First Silesian War , Silesia fell to the Kingdom of Prussia with the preliminary peace of Breslau in 1742 . Subsequently, the financial situation of the grammar school improved thanks to the support of King Friedrich II. However, harassment occurred again in the Seven Years' War . Under the rector Christian Gottlieb Jachmann (1716–1776), the school again received the privilege of granting immediate university entrance qualifications. However, the Silesian Wars reduced the number of pupils from 164 to 84.

In 1768 a new schoolhouse was built on the site of the former Latin school. After a 38-year hiatus, the school had its own building again. Under Ephraim Gotthold Dominici, who was rector from 1776, it flourished and gradually reached the number of pupils in the other large Silesian grammar schools. In 1777 it received a new school library and from 1780 the first regular school news appeared. In 1776 six and in 1789 21 students went to the university.

Under Gottlieb Leehr (1744-1816) the grammar school celebrated its bicentenary. In the same month, on December 14, 1792, Karl Christian Erdmann (Württemberg-Oels), the last Duke of Oels from the Württemberg family , to whom the school owed a lot, died. In his will he provided the means for the establishment of a new teaching position. The duchy and patronage over the grammar school were now transferred to the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg , initially to Duke Friedrich August . In 1806 he was followed by his nephew, the "Black Duke" called Friedrich Wilhelm von Braunschweig-Lüneburg-Oels . In 1809 in the Bohemian town of Nachod , which was then owned by the Duchess Wilhelmine von Sagan , he had his free corps , the Black Band , set up for the fight against Napoleon in Oels Castle. On June 16, 1815, the Black Duke was killed in the battle of Quatre-Bras .

In 1795 the von Seydlitz-Grapow Foundation was established. In 1809, the former student and vice rector of the grammar school, Karl Ehrenfried Günther († 1826), became the rector's office. In 1810 the first school laws were passed. In 1813 Günther called himself "Director of the ducal high school" for the first time. Nine high school students died in the Wars of Liberation .

On the occasion of the hundredth birthday of Alexander von Humboldt on June 14, 1870, the Humboldt Foundation was established in favor of the grammar school, which now had 406 students . Although the school building was not expanded until 1862, there was a considerable shortage of space. New teaching positions had to be created and the admission requirements for students tightened. In 1886 only 302 pupils attended the grammar school.

When the Oels Consistory was abolished in 1882, school supervision was transferred to the Prussian Provincial School College of the Province of Silesia in Breslau. The once dominant influence of the dukes of Oels came to an end; the adjective “ducal” was retained in the school. In the high school board of trustees established in 1830, the superintendent still represented the government in Breslau ; but as early as 1835, the royal Prussian district administrator took over the chairmanship of the board of trustees, which also included the ducal chamber director, the mayor of the city and the grammar school director.

End of the era of the Dukes of Braunschweig-Oels

In 1884 the house of Braunschweig-Oels went out with Duke Wilhelm, who had ruled for fifty-three years. The feudal possession of Oels fell to Prussia and on February 11, 1885, it was transferred to Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm as a feudal throne , who also took over the school patronage. Nevertheless, after disputes with the throne administration and the city of Oels, the grammar school was taken over by the Crown of Prussia on April 1, 1886 . The ducal became a royal high school.

Last school building

Savior of the school: The Kospoth

After the 300th anniversary of the school had been celebrated in 1894, a new building was decided in view of the pressing lack of space and other inadequacies. On November 1, 1903, the new school building with the school yard and outbuildings at Oelser Wilhelmsplatz was occupied. In architectural style, it was based on the Oels castle. The city provided the building site. The construction costs amounted to 399,996 marks. On a large window in the auditorium , important events in the history of the school were depicted in stained glass : in the upper middle field the coat of arms of the Counts of Kospoth and on both sides the half-length portraits of the founders, Count Joachim Wenzel and Karl Christian von Kospoth , below the scene in a two-part main field the battle of Quatre-Bras: Duke Friedrich Wilhelm, the patron saint of the school, falls fatally hit by his horse. The lower end of the window was divided into three parts and showed the Oelser on the left, the Prussian coat of arms on the right and the inscription in the middle : Fridericus Guilelmus Brunsvigiae Dux gloriosam pro patria mortem occumbit XVI. the Junii AD MDCCCXV. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. ("Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Braunschweig, dies the glorious death for the fatherland on June 16, 1815. It is sweet and honorable to die for the fatherland.")




Sources and literature

  • To the public examination of all classes of the Oelsnischen Gymnasium… invite… . Oels 1835–1851 ( digital copy born 1841–1844; 1847; 1851)
  • To the public examination of all classes of the Gymnasium zu Oels ... invites you sincerely . Oels 1852–1854 ( digitized from 1853)
  • Program of the high school in Oels . Oels 1855-1875; 1881; 1884 ( digitized from 1856; 1858–1860; 1863–1866; 1869–1871; 1874; 1884)
  • Moritz Rehm: History of the high school . In: Program of the Gymnasium zu Oels, born 1860, pp. 1–34 ( digitized version )
  • Annual report of the high school on oils . Oels 1876-1880; 1882-1883; 1885–1886 ( digitized version 1885–1886)
  • Annual report . Oels 1887–1915 ( digitized version 1887–1911; 1915; supplement to 1912; 1913)
  • Leopold Brock: The new high school building . Ludwig, Öls 1904 ( digitized version )
  • Wilhelm Eltester: On the history of the high school to Oels in Silesia . Groß Wartenberger Heimatblatt 1958 (see individual references)

Individual evidence

  1. Groß Wartenberger Heimatblatt (February 1958) (PDF file; 1.4 MB)
  2. a b Groß Wartenberger Heimatblatt (March 1958) (PDF file; 1.6 MB)
  3. ^ Lothar Noack: Christian Hoffmann von Hoffmannswaldau (1616–1679)
  4. Groß Wartenberger Heimatblatt (April 1958) (PDF file; 1.6 MB)
  5. Groß Wartenberger Heimatblatt (May 1958) (PDF file; 1.5 MB)
  6. ^ Dukes of Braunschweig-Oels in the Oels district
  7. Groß Wartenberger Heimatblatt (August 1958) (PDF file; 1.4 MB)