Landesschule Pforta
Logo of Pforta
Schulstr. 12
Schulpforte, 06628
Type Gymnasium
Opened 1543
Rector Thomas Schödel [1]
Staff 48
Number of students 300
Classes 12
Average class size 22
Language German
Color(s) purple, white, black
Yearbook Keilzeit

Pforta, or Schulpforta, is a former Cistercian monastery, Pforta Abbey (1137-1540), near Naumburg on the Saale River in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. It is now a famous German public boarding school for academically gifted children, called Landesschule Pforta. Notable alumni include the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and the German chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg. It is coeducational and teaches around 300 high school students.


  • History 1
    • Monastery 1.1
    • Boarding School 1.2
    • Notable pupils 1.3
  • Architecture 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6



Pforta Altes Schulhaus

The abbey was at first situated in Schmölln, near Altenburg. In 1127, Count Bruno of Pleissengau founded a Benedictine monastery there and endowed it with 1,100 hides of land. This foundation not being successful, on April 23, 1132, Bishop Udo I of Naumburg, a relative of Bruno's, replaced the Benedictines by Cistercian monks from Walkenried Abbey. The situation here proved undesirable, and in 1137 Udo transferred the monastery to Pforta, and conferred upon it fifty hides of arable land, an important tract of forest, and two farms belonging to the diocese.

The patroness of the abbey was the Blessed Virgin Mary. The first abbot was Adalbert, from 1132 to 1152. Under the third abbot, Adetold, two daughter houses were founded under Pforta's auspices, in the Mark of Meissen and in Silesia, and in 1163, the monasteries of Alt-Celle and Leubus were also established in the latter province. At this period the monks numbered about eighty. In 1205, Pforta sent a colony of monks to Livonia, founding there the monastery of Dünamünde. The abbey was distinguished for its excellent system of management, and after the first 140 years of its existence its possessions had increased tenfold.

At the end of the thirteenth and the beginning of the fourteenth centuries, after a period of strife, the monastery flourished again. The last quarter of the fourteenth century witnessed, however, the gradual decline of its prosperity, and also the relaxation of monastic discipline. When Abbot Johannes IV was elected in 1515, there were forty-two monks and seven Duke George of Saxony reported that morality had ceased to exist in the monastery.

The last abbot, Peter Schederich, was elected in 1533. When the Protestant brother Henry, the monastery was suppressed on November 9, 1540.[2]

Boarding School

In 1543, Henry's son Duke Moritz opened a national school in the abbey,[3] appropriating for its use the revenues of the suppressed monastery of Memleben Abbey. At first the number of scholars was 100; in 1563 fifty more could be accommodated. The first rector was Johann Gigas, renowned as a lyric poet. Under Justinus Bertuch (1601–1626) the school attained the zenith of its prosperity. It suffered greatly during the Thirty Years' War, in 1643, there being only eleven scholars. After the Napoleonic Wars ended in 1815, Pforta belonged to Prussia, and then to Imperial Germany.

From 1935 until 1945 Schulpforta was an all-male academy based on the concept of a Gymnasium or "Oberschule". Both the state and the students' parents contributed to the cost of tuition. The name of the school was the "Naumburg/Saale Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalt" or "NAPOLA" for short. Graduates were awarded the standard Abitur and could continue their education at any university of their choice.

It became co-educational in 1949.[4] Today the school is maintained by the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, but still supported by its own Schulpforta Foundation.

Notable pupils


The remains of the monastery include the 13th century gothic church; it is a cross-vaulted, colonnaded basilica with an extraordinarily long nave, a peculiar western façade, and a late Romanesque double-naved cloister. What remains of the original building (1137–40) is in the Romanesque style, while the restoration (1251–1268) belongs to the early Gothic. Other buildings are now used as dormitories and lecture halls. There is also the Fürstenhaus ("prince's house"), built in 1573. Schulpforta was one of the three Fürstenschulen ("prince's schools") founded in 1543 by Maurice, Elector of Saxony (at that time Duke), the two others being at Grima and at Meissen.

See also


  1. ^ Landesschule Pforta: "Inauguration des neuen Rektors" from 31st of October 2012
  2. ^  "Pforta".  
  3. ^ Landesschule Pforta's English website
  4. ^ History
  5. ^ Nietzsche attended Schulpforta from 1858 to 1864: NIETZSCHE'S LIFE IN OUTLINE



External links