There is a palatial building in the district of Parsch that could easily be mistaken for a manor of the Prince Archbishop - an impression that is supported by a big coat of arms above the entrance. A wrong impression, that is. For two reasons; firstly, because that building is not as old as it appears to be at the first glance; secondly, because it is a school and not a palace.

A fine school, that is: The Borromäum, a Catholic private school for boys. Its origins go back to 1840, when a secondary school for boys was founded by the Archdiocese of Salzburg. In 1848, the name Borromäum was first mentioned; it was developed with the intention of educated gifted boys and ideally transform them to priests. The original site at Gaisbergstraße 7 was soon too small for the project. Archbishop Cardinal Schwarzenberg purchased the Primogeniturpalast at the Dreifaltigkeitsgasse (today parts of this Baroque building are incorporated into the Mozarteum) in 1846. The Archbishop of Milan, Carlo Borromäo was chosen as a patron of the school.

The Borromäum in the 20th Century

By 1900, some 200 boys were enrolled at the Borromäum and the facilities were again too small. Five years later, the Dukes of Arenberg (note our article on Schloss Arenberg) sold parts of its parks. Some tracks were purchased for the construction of a new school building and an associated chapel. The building was planned by the architect Matthäus Schlager and the Bishop Balthasar Kaspar in historicist, neo-Baroque style. It was opened in 1912.

WWI and the Nazi period (which saw the dissolution of many church structures and an aggressive wave of secularisation) were rather unpleasant periods for the school. Since the end of WWII, the Borromäum is legally a private school with a boarding option. The Borromäum is regarded to be a prestigious school with an emphasis on the humanities, classics and religion.

Hidden Treasures of Salzburg

Borromäum - Official website of the school

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