Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium Heilbronn

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Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium Heilbronn
type of school high school
founding 1950
place Heilbronn
country Baden-Württemberg
Country Germany
Coordinates 49 ° 8 '34 "  N , 9 ° 13' 37"  E Coordinates: 49 ° 8 '34 "  N , 9 ° 13' 37"  E
carrier City of Heilbronn
student about 520
Teachers about 50
management Frank Martin Beck

The Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium Heilbronn is a high school in the city center of Heilbronn . The roots of the school go back to the urban Latin school of the 15th century, which was shaped by the spirit of humanism from around 1500 . The school was converted into a grammar school in 1620, was called the Karlsgymnasium from 1827 to 1938 and since 1950 has been named after its best-known student Theodor Heuss , the first Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany. The current school building, from 1956 to 1958 according to plans by Peter Salzbrenner built, stands as a cultural monument under monument protection .


Latin school

The Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium as the city's oldest grammar school goes back to the city's Latin school. Their origins are largely in the dark. Compared with the Latin schools in some places in the near and far area, evidence of such a school in Heilbronn is also relatively late. The earliest evidence of a Latin school comes from a foundation of Anna Nyppergin from 1431, which decreed that the Latin schoolmaster should hold a chorum on the occasion of an anniversary, i.e. sing with his students. The school was in close connection with the town church, i. H. with the Kilian's Church , and the schoolmaster received one sixth of the attendance as the most important part of his salary , i.e. H. of the budget available for the vicars at the city church. For this, the schoolmaster and his choir had to accompany the services several times a week.

The first schoolmasters in Heilbronn are likely to have been clergymen, but from the second third of the 15th century at the latest, the position was also filled with married people. The old schoolmaster Nikolaus Züdel, called Meister Niklas, who first appeared in the Heilbronn document book in 1424 and was the first schoolmaster known by name in 1445, was a married cleric. He also exercised the office of notary. The change from clerical to secular headmasters is likely to be related to the change from a church to a city school, which took place around that time, perhaps in connection with the establishment of a preacher position occupied by the city at Kilian's Church in 1426. The appointment of clerical offices by the city or the conversion of the church school into a city school is part of a process with which the imperial city of Heilbronn evaded the influence of other rulers, in this case the diocese of Würzburg .

The schoolmaster ( rector ) appointed annually by the city chose himself two assistants ( baccalaureate and locat ) and instructed the students in a joint class in the Latin of the Middle Ages including the recitation of liturgical chants.

The oldest surviving school regulations date from around 1470. Together with a request from schoolmaster Konrad Wegner for a larger teacher's apartment, they form the oldest sources on the school. The school, in which the teacher's apartment was also set up, was originally located in Grüningergasse, which was also called Schulgasse from 1478.

In 1492 Konrad Költer was appointed the fourth rector of the Latin school by the Heilbronn City Council. Under Költer, who in 1493, when the school in Heilbronn was idle due to a wave of plague, continued his education in Heidelberg again , the spirit of humanism entered the Latin school and the school gained importance beyond the city. During Költer's 35-year term in office, the botanist Leonhart Fuchs and the four reformers Philipp Melanchthon , Johannes Oekolampad , Erhard Schnepf and Johann Lachmann attended the school. At the end of Költer's term of office, in 1527 the city council appointed the scholarchate as the city's supervisory body, the four to ten members of which were half intellectual and half secular. In 1534 the school was on Hemmerlingsgasse.

Greek lessons were introduced from 1527 to 1533 under Költer's successor, Kaspar Gretter . Gretter was one of the supporters of the Reformation in Heilbronn and became court preacher in Stuttgart in 1543. Gretter's successor in Heilbronn was Count Dionysius, who later became rector of the University of Heidelberg. Melanchthon's pupil Johann Lauterbach , who held the office from 1567 to 1593, was also one of the important rectors of the late 16th century .

In 1544 the Latin school was relocated to the former Heilbronn Franciscan monastery on Hafenmarkt, and as the number of students continued to grow, there were already three classes in 1570 and four in 1586 , and in the early 17th century there were several trains in one class for the first time. In the course of time, the teachers were no longer appointed by the rector, but by the city council. The rector himself taught the top class, the rectors of the 15th and 16th centuries were also cantors at the Kilian's Church .

Grammar school 1620 to 1827

On October 23, 1620, the five-class Latin school was converted into a six-class grammar school. The plans of the Heilbronn syndic, Kaspar Heuchelin, originally envisaged the addition of two classes to the Academic Gymnasium , but on January 15, 1620, the city council only decided to establish an upper class. With the conversion of the school, a new principal was appointed and a new, more extensive curriculum was drawn up. In the course of time, clergymen had been ousted from the city's scholarchate, so that the grammar school was given purely secular supervision.

The wars and epidemics of the 17th century led to a stagnation in development. The rector Christoph Lutz (in office from 1627 to 1634), who was honored as poeta laureatus but was addicted to drinking and neglecting his duties, was also unable to contribute to the development of the school. In 1636 there were only 26 students left. Only after the end of the Thirty Years' War in 1648 did the number of pupils rise again, and under Rector Gabriel Lassenbrand (in office from 1654 to 1692), to whom the first printed Heilbronn school regulations from 1675 go back, pupils from many parts of Germany attended the school again.

The school experienced a further boom under the rector Gottfried Hecking (in office from 1718 to 1743), who became known as the author of numerous educational and philosophical writings and whose commitment was linked to renewed hopes of expanding the school into an academic high school. Other important rectors in the 18th century are: Georg Samuel Bernhold (1720–1760), who wrote a Latin-German lexicon, and his foster son Johann Rudolf Schlegel (1729–1790), who published on historical topics, reformed the teaching and promoted the secondary school concept in Heilbronn. Schlegel certified that “the local grammar school is not a pure grammar school, in which only students are to be prepared, but is mixed with a trivial school in which people are taught who are not actually of the learned class, but to scribes, traders, artists , School holders and craftsmen are intended ”.

If between 1720 and 1760 there were mostly more than 160 students at the grammar school, the number of students declined noticeably from 1785, despite the growing population. Under Schlegel's successor, Jakob Melchior Weisert (1740-1801), the grammar school was reduced to five classes again in 1790. Rector Weisert and Preceptor Treudt drew up reports in which they identified the migration of qualified teachers to better paid pastors, social problems and general inflation as causes for the decline in students. From a later point of view, the aging of the staff at that time was also considered to be unfavorable for the development of the school.

The high school in Heilbronn in a view by Johannes Läpple

In 1802 Heilbronn became part of Württemberg , and after the administrative restructuring, the grammar school, which had been in the imperial city until then, became a royal Württemberg grammar school in 1806, which was subordinate to the higher education department in Stuttgart. In 1823, the Württemberg school authorities planned to transform the school into a lyceum, whereupon the Heilbronn council decided to expand the institute into a school that also met the Württemberg high school requirements.

Karlsgymnasium from 1827 to 1938

On April 24, 1826 the foundation stone was laid for a new building, which was occupied on October 29, 1827. The Carolinum or Karlsgymnasium , now named after the Württemberg crown prince Karl , offered seven high school classes and two real classes. Until 1843, an extension of Teacher Real classes, library and natural science collections was already incurred in 1851 also was boarding a school affiliated boarding school in Deutschhof opened, which in 1852 in the Carmelite convent house next to the St. Nicholas Church was housed and in 1869 moved into a new building at the school. A gymnasium was also built in 1865.

In 1873 the secondary school was spun off into its own secondary school ( today's Dammrealschule ). From 1879 there were so-called B trains at the grammar school, in which the modern foreign languages ​​French and English were taught instead of Greek.

Change to Karlstrasse

The building on Karlstrasse, built in 1880, around 1902
Commendation for the later eponymous student Theodor Heuss (1892)

In 1880 the school moved into a new building that had been built in 1878 on Äußere Karlstraße , where the grammar school is located today. The motto was carved on the central tower of the school: MUSIS - PATRIAE - DEO (free: For the arts, the fatherland and God). In the stairwell, the motto Ora et labora (Pray and work!), Borrowed from the Benedictines, was applied, which the Heilbronners preferred for unknown reasons to the formula non scholae sed vitae (not for school, but for life we ​​learn), which is otherwise common at high schools had.

The B trains were spun off as an independent secondary school in 1905. If the number of pupils rose from around 400 to over 600 between 1850 and 1900, it fell back to around 400 with the outsourcing of the B train and continued to decline after 1919 through the formation of general elementary schools and competition from other Heilbronn high schools and grammar schools. In 1938 the Karlsgymnasium was temporarily merged with the boys' middle school and converted into the Karlsoberschule .

Rector from 1898 to 1911 was Friedrich Dürr (1843–1926), who was remembered as a chronicler of Heilbronn's history . The rector Wilhelm Nestle (1865-1959), who was in office from 1913 to 1919, was an important expert on Greek philosophy .

During the air raid on Heilbronn on December 4, 1944, the school building, which at the time was used as a hospital with the wounded, was destroyed. All teaching materials and most of the historical library that had not been outsourced were destroyed by flames.

In the immediate post-war period, the war-ravaged city initially only had the United High Schools , which taught in temporary accommodation. The old-language classes, which were in the tradition of the Karlsgymnasium, were temporarily accommodated in the Böckinger Alleenschule , and after the restoration of a wing of the building then in the building of the Robert Mayer Oberschule . The Robert-Mayer-Oberschule was completely rebuilt by 1950, at the same time the decision was made to divide the united high schools housed in it into independent schools according to new and old language speakers.

Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium since 1950

Detailed view of the new high school building

On September 16, 1950, the old-language train of the United High Schools received the name of one of its most famous students, Theodor Heuss, who was in Heilbronn for the inauguration of the Robert Mayer school building and the Rose School . Heuss was touched and impressed because he had been in the "dungeon" twice in his old school, and in his celebratory speech he defended the idea of ​​humanistic education in ancient languages. In 1951, 335 students in twelve classes attended the school. The number of pupils at the Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium, which was still housed in the premises of the Robert-Mayer-Gymnasium, rose continuously, so that in 1955 the municipal council decided to build its own school building on the site of the destroyed Karlsgymnasium.

The 32-year-old Stuttgart architect Peter Salzbrenner won the architectural competition for the new building, for which 46 designs were submitted . Today's school building on Karlstrasse was built from 1956 to 1958 based on his designs. At the inauguration on March 29, 1958, the namesake Theodor Heuss was present again, who awarded the first head of the new school, Karl Weiß , the Federal Cross of Merit. The Mayor of Heilbronn, Paul Meyle, emphasized that the THG was the 13th school built in Heilbronn after the war and that all schools that were destroyed by the war had been restored. The building is reminiscent of Mies van der Rohe's buildings in individual aspects and is now under monument protection as a cultural monument. The entrance hall of the grammar school was adorned with the Horace quote “Nil sine magno vita labore dedit mortalibus” (Nothing has ever given mortals to mortals without great effort), which had once been above the entrance to the school's boarding house, built in 1869.

From 1960 to 1969 the Romanist, former NSDAP member and head of the German Institute in occupied France, Karl Epting, was director of the school. 1964 to 1967 the number of pupils rose from 620 to over 950 pupils through the establishment of an assembly train. The assembly train was then affiliated to the Justinus Kerner Gymnasium Heilbronn , which meant that the number of students fell to around 800 by 1970. It is now around 520 students. In 1965/66, the so-called clasp was built between the main building and the gym as an extension .


The only entry profile since the 2006/2007 school year begins in class 5 with Latin and English . As a third foreign language, from year 8 onwards there is the option of choosing between French and ancient Greek . Instead of a third foreign language, you can also choose the subject NWT .

For the Greek students of the ancient language train, French lessons are also offered so that several modern foreign languages ​​can be learned in the ancient language profile. In addition, these students should have the opportunity to receive a certificate from a European Gymnasium . The prerequisite is learning two old and two modern foreign languages; one at a time must be retained until graduation . NWT students can also take part in the French study group.

Student co-responsibility (SMV)

In Baden-Württemberg, the elected student council of the students in a school is referred to as student co-responsibility (SMV) . The SMV represents the student body within the scope of the school law possibilities in relation to all other committees of a school such as the general teachers 'conference (GLK), the school conference or the parents (parents' council). In addition, the SMV at the THG tries to improve the everyday life of the students through various events.

Over twenty different events were held in the 2005/2006 school year. This included lower school and carnival discos, a school ball and a cultural evening as well as football, basketball, volleyball and dodgeball tournaments. Traditionally, St. Nicholas Day and Rose Day as well as a Lolli Day are also part of it. The SMV at the THG also tries to carry the school concept forward through targeted events: first aid courses for novice drivers, political discussions, projects for the Eine-Welt-AG or application training seminars. In addition, the SMV participates in many school committees, for example in the round tables, in an addiction prevention initiative, in the school conference, together with the parents' council.

Special features of the grammar school

The Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium Heilbronn was one of the first schools in Baden-Württemberg to teach according to the so-called Biberach model .

It was also a pilot school for media-based teaching at the beginning of the millennium. The school has two computer rooms, several fully equipped media carts, interactive whiteboards and complete wireless networking. Media-supported teaching projects can be offered in all classes and rooms. Safe handling of the media is a topic from grade 5 onwards.

Furthermore, the Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium maintains a regular student exchange with the Heilbronn twin town of Béziers .

The working groups include: Streitschlichter-AG, Sport-AG, Chess-AG, Keyboard-AG, Theater-AG, Informatik-AG, Schulsanitäter-AG and an event technology group. In addition to choirs and orchestras, there is also a parent-teacher-student choir and the chamber choir. The regular humanism lectures in which university professors report on topics of their research are also not only intended for the student body.

Well-known teachers and students




  • Friedrich Pressel: Heilbronn and his grammar school (contribution from 1900). In: From the history of the city of Heilbronn . Historical Association Heilbronn, Heilbronn 1988
  • Ernst Roller: Music maintenance and music education in the imperial city of Heilbronn. Heilbronn City Archives, Heilbronn 1970 ( Small series of publications by the Heilbronn City Archives. Volume 1)
  • Alfred Kolbeck (arrangement): 350 years of high school in Heilbronn. Festschrift for the anniversary of the Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium . Heilbronn City Archives, Heilbronn 1971 ( Publications of the Heilbronn City Archives . Volume 17)
  • Reiner M. Baumann: The Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium - a Heilbronn monument of the 50s. In: Yearbook for the 375th anniversary of the school. Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium Heilbronn 1620–1995. Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium Heilbronn, Heilbronn 1995
  • Dietrich Wintterlin: The ancient inscriptions at the Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium. In: Yearbook for the 375th anniversary of the school. Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium Heilbronn 1620–1995 . Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium Heilbronn, Heilbronn 1995
  • Bernd Röcker: The Heilbronn Latin School and its Rectors before the Reformation , in: Heilbronnica. Contributions to the history of the city , Heilbronn 2000, pp. 59–68.
  • Julius Fekete , Simon Haag, Adelheid Hanke, Daniela Naumann: Heilbronn district . (= Monument topography Federal Republic of Germany , cultural monuments in Baden-Württemberg, Volume I.5.). Theiss, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-1988-3 .

Individual evidence

  1. a b Brief information about the school
  2. Röcker 1995, p. 33.
  3. ^ Roller 1970, p. 22.
  4. Chronicle of the City of Heilbronn 741–1895, p. 172
  5. 100 years of the Robert-Mayer-Gymnasium Heilbronn 1889–1989 . Robert-Mayer-Gymnasium, Heilbronn 1989
  6. Wintterlin 1995, pas.
  7. Perseverance leads to the goal . In: Heilbronn Voice of August 29, 2000 (No. 199). P. 14
  8. Monument topography 2007, pp. 96/97.
  9. Eckard Michels : The German Institute in Paris 1940-1944 - A contribution to the Franco-German cultural relations and to the foreign cultural policy of the Third Reich. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-515-06381-1 ( Studies on Modern History. Volume 46), passim
  10. a b Information brochure of the Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium
  11. ^ William Anthony, A Reunion in Heilbronn

Web links

Commons : Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium (Heilbronn)  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files