An historic school,

Over 350 years of history

For 350 years the Joachimsthalsches Gymnasium was one of the most prestigious schools in the German educational system. Its story began in 1607, when Prince Joachim Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg set up a foundation. Established as a boarding school for gifted boys in need of financial support, the Joachimsthalsches Gymnasium became one of the leading educational institutions in the German-speaking lands. Over time, this traditional academic school evolved into a pioneer of modern teaching methods. In the 1650s, after the Thirty Years’ War, the school moved to Berlin. Then, in 1912, it moved to Templin in the Uckermark region of Brandenburg. However, political developments after the Second World War eventually led to the breakup of the foundation and the school. Only the buildings remained.

You can find a detailed history of the school in the exhibition catalogue Dic Cur Hic. Sag, warum du hier bist. Joachimsthal – Berlin – Templin. 400 Jahre Joachimsthalsches Gymnasium published by Research Library for the History of Education at DIPF, (exhibition design: Dr Jonas Flöter).

Link to the PDF document (German only, 2 MB) »


Prince Joachim Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg sets up an educational foundation in Joachimstal to create the Joachimsthalsches Gymnasium. It is modelled after similar schools founded by princes in Saxony.

The school is badly damaged during the Thirty Years’ War. From 1656, classes are held in rooms at the Palace in Berlin.

A new school building opens on Burgstrasse in Berlin, next to the River Spree.

On the occasion of the school’s 100-year jubilee, King Frederick I names the school the “Royal Joachimsthalsches Gymnasium”.

The school moves to Berlin’s Wilmersdorf district, into premises at Kaiserstrasse 1–12 (now called Bundesallee). Today, those buildings house the music department of the College of Fine Arts.

The school moves to Templin. In the early years of the 20th century, the town fathers were pursuing the goal of making Templin a “city of education”.

The school ceases to exist in its traditional form established back in 1607. Instead, it is continued as a state grammar school called Landesschule Templin.

The Landesschule closes and the Institut für Lehrerbildung, a teacher training college, opens at the site.

The Joachimsthalsches Gymnasium foundation is dissolved and its assets are transferred to public ownership.

The Institut für Lehrerbildung moves out of the premises. A nursery school teacher training college occupies the premises from 1988–91, then a college for social professions until 1992, and then the Märkisches Oberstufenzentrum vocational school until 1996.

The State of Brandenburg sells the buildings to a private property management company.

The foundation Gebäudeensemble Joachimsthalsches Gymnasium Templin is founded and purchases the property.

Notable former pupils (selection)

    • Wilhelm Dilthey, philosopher and theorist of the human sciences
    • Georg Büchmann, classical philologist, author of Geflügelte Worte [Winged Words]
    • Friedrich von Bodelschwingh, director of the Bodelschwinghsche Anstalten Bethel charitable foundations
    • Ernst von Harnack, resistance fighter against the Nazi regime, executed in 1945
    • Carl Diercke, geologist, author of the Diercke-Schulatlas, among other atlases
    • Karl Ploetz, creator of Der große Ploetz, an encyclopedia of world history
    • Carl Friedrich Zelter, composer and music educator
    • Achim von Arnim, poet
    • Julius Springer Jr, publisher of scientific books and journals
    • Arved Deringer, co-founder of the international law firm Freshfields, Bruckhaus, Deringer
    • Erwin Panofsky, art historian, author of Meaning in the Visual Arts