The Grammar School ‘Hohe Schule’ (‘High
School’) was founded in 1574 by the Losenstein family. This was an
important family in Upper Austria that since the 12th century was
called after their possession Losenstein in Upper
Austria. The first plans for this school were made by Christoph
II of Losenstein. In 1536 he had inherited the castles Schallaburg and
Weißenburg from his uncle, the knight Sebastian of Losenstein, one of the
first followers of the new Lutheran teachings. In 1532 he had installed a
Lutheran preacher on the Schallaburg. Christoph II married a daughter of a
Polish princess, Christina, countess of Montfort. She was lady-in-waiting of
the queen. Christoph was highly esteemed at the Austrian court and got the
titles of royal and later imperial counsellor of Ferdinand of Habsburg.
For Christoph of Losenstein the castle Schallaburg
in Lower Austria was best suited for becoming the centre of his possessions,
because of his frequent visits to Vienna.
He extended the castle Schallaburg and acquired the rights of the parish church of Loosdorf. He planned the rebuilding of
this church, which had suffered much under the Turkish invasion in 1529. He
also planned the building of a Lutheran grammar school in order to prepare
the youth of the nobility for the university. He couldn’t realize the latter
plan by himself, because he died unexpectedly in Prague in 1558.
His two sons inherited his possessions. The younger
one, Hans Wilhelm, inherited the castle Schallaburg with Loosdorf along with
other estates. He went on to renovate the castle Schallaburg and the
of Loosdorf in
Renaissance style and then built the Grammar School ‘Hohe Schule’, which was
finished around 1574. In 1582 he got the honorary title of treasurer and in
1588 that of chief court marshal of archduke, later emperor Matthias of
Habsburg. In 1591 he got the title of imperial counsellor. However, all these
titles were without real influence.
of all his building activity Hans Wilhelm of Losenstein got into
financial problems and from 1580 on he had to sell some of his
properties. In 1592 the ‘Hohe Schule’ turned from a private school into a
public school. In 1601 Hans Wilhelm died and was buried in the parish church of Loosdorf. The tombstone of his grave
that he designed himself depicts him as a knight.
both his marriages remained without children, his nephew Georg Christoph
inherited the castle Schallaburg with the huge debts of 120,000 guilder. He
married Anna of Stubenberg. Her father, a very wealthy Styrian count with
much possessions, paid out all the creditors. Georg Christoph died young and
Georg of Stubenberg took over the castle Schallaburg with Loosdorf, which
from then on was managed from Styria.
In 1617 Matthias,
emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, archduke of Austria, king of Bohemia, etc.,
etc., was forced to appoint his cousin Ferdinand as his successor. Ferdinand
was less tolerant to the Lutheran teaching. In 1618 a Bohemian uprising
meant the beginning of the Thirty Year War. Although this war was fought
elsewhere, in 1619 the castle Schallaburg - and probably the school too - did
suffer from plundering by imperial troops that had relieved the monastery of
Melk that was besieged by rebellious protestant noblemen from Upper Austria. Because of this and other plundering the
archives of the Schallaburg on the ‘Hohe Schule’ were lost. The new emperor
Ferdinand II and the Catholic cause ended as victors. In 1627 the grammar
school in Loosdorf and other Protestant schools had to close by imperial
Stubenberg, the owner of the Schallaburg and the school sold his possessions
in Austria in 1660 and
because of his Lutheran belief. The ‘Hohe Schule’ has changed owners several
times, but it remained in the possession of nobility until the beginning of
the 20th century.