Magic Library

When my grandfather turned 70 years old, he invited us (his guests) to visit a boarding school. Strange thing to visit isn’t it?
Well this was not any boarding school, and my grandfather is a historian, so visiting a place packed with history was a natural thing to do.

The Landesschule Pforta is located within the property of a cloister. I did not take a lot of pictures, even though there were many things to photograph on the winter day that we went there. I remember that inside the church there were some decorations that were unusual for the protestant monks that had put them there in the past.

What marked me a lot on this visit was the description of the school life in this boarding school. The students themselves have to ring a bell that marks the end and beginning of class. All students, even the local ones have to live within the school. Of an elitist heritage, it is a rather selective environment. One of the alumni is Friedrich Nitzsche.
In the past when the Abitur  (German final exams taken before University) was far less common the students were allowed to sit their exams in this school when their teachers deemed them to be ready to do so. When the teachers figured that their student was mature enough to move onto university. Taken into account the great presence of immature and very young students in Universities this might not actually be too bad. At that time (if I am not mistaken that was over 100 years ago) the pupils of the school would have to write a final paper in latin, yes in latin, that probably resembles a final dissertation for a current day bachelor’s degree.

All of these little details about the school life, past and present were presented within this library. Packed with old books it seemed magic. My cousin decided then and there she wanted to go there to study, she was very much reminded of Harry Potter. Who can blame her?

magic library, landschule pforta

Does this library inspire you?

© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.

18 thoughts on “Magic Library

  1. Oh I love these kind of places! I would have loved a library with a ladder! I’m happy to live surrounded by many books at home and to also live within walking distance from a public libray. Not as lovely as the one above. What a nice idea from your grandfather to take you on a field trip to this school! Yes the library has a Harry Potterian feel, definitely.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In the past many family reunions or celebrations that were hosted by my grandfather included the visit of some historical place. It is always great to learn new or should that be old things. The school in itself was a rather Hogwartsish too.


  2. Wow! I’m not generally much of a history lover, but this is fascinating! I love how different the society and school structure was compared to school nowadays(american or german). I think this would be quite interesting. It would definitely ensure that students were mature enough to move on to university, which is not nearly as common nowadays. Though, I can’t help but wonder how long a student could be held at the boarding school should they prove not mature enough to advance… :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well back then many people did only go as far as primary school, or if they were lucky stayed in school until they were 14 or so. I think that they did not count schooling in years, same with university when you were considered done they handed you the Doctoral title… You know in Germany a different name for the Abitur is Allgemeine Hochschulreife which means “mature for university/college”. In Switzerland and Austria you finish high school with the “Matura” which definitely says everything, it is a certificate for maturity.
      I think that you can only access this sort of elitist school if you are quite the worker and a mature student too…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fascinating. I can only wonder now where on earth this concept went. It seems like a good system.
        I mean, I look at college graduates here and they’re in and out of a Bachelor’s degree in four years and yet most of them don’t feel as though they’ve learned anything, nor matured, nor become prepared for life. That’s a terrible thought. We should be preparing young people for the lives after school, not just throwing them out as quickly as possible whether they’re ready or not. Perhaps it’s time we start looking at history and learning from it again…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Maybe. I am always scared when I see the 17 year olds go off to university, when all they need is to be a kid… I went to uni at 19, and even though I was ready, I think that maybe I was not mature enough either, it might have been good to take a year to gain experience see things etc.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I understand that. I was that kid that went to college at 17 with some fantasy about what I wanted to do. I graduated at 21 and fell into a hole when I realized that I hadn’t prepared for life afterwards, not realizing all the responsibility I’d need to step up to outside of college, but a year in the real world has taught me that. That year off from school has taught me more than all the time I spent in school, grade or college. I wish it’d been sooner, but I’m happy it arrived late as opposed to never.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I was part of the old kids but did bachelor and master in just one go (5 years) with no idea what I wanted to do, well I had a project and then let go off it/forgot about it. The jobs that I was told I could/should do did not in the slightest interest me or correspond to me.
              I really regretted not doing a gap year at one point, it is a lot more accepted to do one between bachelor and master than after your master degree…
              You’ll avoids a midlife crisis that way 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I learnt so much (and forgot too much) that day.
      The library was the only thing I took a photo of because my phone at the time didn’t do the best quality photos, I sort of think the mediocre quality adds to the charm this time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t even notice it wasn’t a great quality photo. I was too busy wishing I had that library. I’ve always planned (if I ever build my own house) to make sure it had a library like that — floor to ceiling with the sliding ladder. Magic!

        Liked by 1 person

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