Salzburg ES History

Opened: 1945
Closed: 1955

Salzburg Elementary School opened in 1945 as a K-8 school. High school students attended Linz High School and lived in five-day dorms. The military provided health services including dentistry to the school. They also provided school supply services.

By the 1949-50 school year, there were nine teachers at the school including the German teacher. There were two classes for kindergarten and first grade, one class for second through fourth, and a fifth-six combination class. The original school building was a converted royal stable area just west of the city.

During the 1950-51 school year, the school principal was Erika Turin and the teacher for the third grade class was Ms. G. Sherves.

The 1952-53 yearbook provided a description of the school. The school and playground arc were within the wall surrounding the Schloss Klessheim. The building was originally used for stables and garages for the Schloss and was remodeled as a school.

Schloss Klessheim had a history dating back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Documents showed that the original name of the area was Klessshof or Klessheim. In 1690, the Archbishop Ernest Graf Thun, who had great architectural plans for the city of Salzburg and the surrounding areas became one of the region’s most important architects and obtained Klessheim from the former owner, Fabrizius.

First the Archbishop thought of setting up a pheasant preserve, but Fischer von Erlach, the famous Austrian architect, who was called from Vienna, advised him to have a palace built. In 1700, building of the castle, which the archbishop first called Favorita, was begun. When the Archbishop died, the castle had not been finished. His follower, Franz Anton von Harrach, showed great ambition to go on and ordered two Italian stucco-workers who painted the frescoes.

Still the building was not finished until Leopold Anton Firmian was appointed Archbishop. Thinking ambitiously of the power of his house, he tried to complete the castle. He commissioned another architect who built the staircase and the big driveway, and a sculptor who made from white marble the four-lying deer with the stars in their horns, part of the archbishop’s coat of arms. These were placed at both sides of the driveway. Furthermore, he had them make two marble fireplaces, coat of arms on both sides of the castle, the guard house with the tower, and a few additions in the interior. He set up the farm and a formal garden. Archbishop Firmian was first to use Klessheim as a summer place. Finally, the castle was surrounded by a wall with little guard towers. After the castle was turned over to the state, it was used by other members of the nobility.

In 1813, the small road which leads from the city to the castle was built. In 1866, Emperor Franz Joseph gave the castle to his brother, Ludwig Victor, who made very little architectural change. In 1880, the so-called Winterhouse (Kavalierhouse) was built. This is now used as an American Officers’ Club.

Since 1921, Klessheim has been in the possession of Land Salzburg. In 1940-1941, the Winterhouse was partly rebuilt. During the time of “nationalism” several receptions and political conferences took place at the castle. Among these was the famous conference between Mussolini and Hitler. Since 1945, the castle has been used for balls, receptions, and official banquets. The whole estate is like a fair-sized community. Many tiny cottages are scattered throughout the grounds. Some of these are occupied by Americans and some by Austrians.

The principal for the 1952-53 school year was Katherine Stewart. The school had a combination seventh and eighth grade and one class per grade for fifth and sixth grade. There were two sections each of third and fourth grade. Second grade had one class and there were three first grade classes. Kindergarten had two sessions for the morning and afternoon classes. Class sizes ranged in enrollment from twenty-nine to thirty-nine students except for the afternoon kindergarten classes which were twenty-two and twenty students.

For the 1953-54 school year, there were eleven teachers for grades three through eighth and eleven teachers for grades kindergarten through second grade. The principal was Katherine Stewart. Class sizes ranged from thirty-one students in the eighth grade to 148 first graders. During the year, the students were involved in learning German folk dancing from the host nation teacher. The school held an annual spelling contest. There were Christmas parties with Santa and the kindergarten had a rhythm band.

Katherine Stewart was the principal for the 1954-55 school year and Mary Key was the assistant principal. There were thirty-nine faculty and staff for the students in grades kindergarten through eight. By 1954 the four buildings for the school were formerly the garages, stables, laundry, carpentry shop, and servant’s quarters for the schloss (castle) on the grounds. The school included buildings in Reidenburg and Klessheim. There were over 900 students in the school complex, with almost 600 in the primary grades.

The school closed in 1955 with the withdrawal of the occupation forces.


Information from yearbooks in the AOSHS archives and school yearbooks

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