Malmö Latin School
Exactly when the original school building of Malmö
Latin School was put up is uncertain, but it was first mentioned
in writings of the 1440s.
It was a two-story brick building with a basement,
situated south-east of St Petri Church, where Själbodgatan
crosses Mäster Nilsgatan.
The building had a small schoolyard surrounded
by a fence, dividing it from St Petri Church and its graveyard.
The building underwent over the years several
major and minor changes and ended its days as a storehouse.
Latin School through the ages
The school was founded since Pope Innocent VII
gave his apostolic permission in a letter on February 15, 1406.
The subjects taught were grammar, dialectics and rhetoric, all
in the Latin language.
No printed textbooks existed at the time, and
parchment or paper were far too expensive to use. Therefore,
all tuition was carried out verbally; the teachers would read
to the students, who learned by listening.
Initially, most of the tuition in Latinskolan
was carried out by priests from St Petri Church, and the students
would, in accordance with directions from the Pope, take part
in the church's service.
Malmö Latin School 1556 - 1706
After the extension, the school building measured
24,5 x 7,5 meters. The ground floor was paved with cobblestone;
the upper floor had a floor paved with clay, and only a few
A large amount of building material from the recently
torn down Franciscan Monastery, located south of Malmöhus
Castle, was used when building the extension.
The previous entrance at the west side of the
building, with a shelter and an entrance hall, became another
room. The entrance door to the entire ground floor was placed
in the north facade, under the timbered external gallery.
The entrance to the first floor, already located
on the north facade, was moved somewhat to the east, whereupon
the external gallery was lengthened.
Malmö Latin School 1406 - 1556
Malmö Latin School was unusual regarding the fact that it
was not located in a cathedral city, such as the nearby Lund,
but in a commercial city. Educational institutions were already
available in the cathedral schools.
Extending the school
During the 400 years that the first building was used as an educational
institution, it went through a couple of major alterations. An
extensive renovation and rebuilding took place in 1556,
in which the building was extended to the east and west.
Thus, the building became bigger and could hold three schoolrooms
instead of one on the ground floor, and there was more room for
accommodations for the teachers on the upper floor.
Malmö Latin School 1706 - 1827
Renovation after the
After the wars in the late 17th century, the school
building was in very bad shape, and in 1697 it was considered
necessary to perform a basic renovation.
However, this was not enough, and a bigger and
more expensive renovation had to be made already in 1706.
This time, the building was entirely re-roofed, and walls, window-frames
and doors were repaired. The building also got more, though
not enough, fireplaces.
The old wooden external gallery on the north side
of the building was torn down and replaced by a built-in staircase.
Latinskolan was not directly affected when the
province of Skåne was transferred to Sweden. The Danish
School Curriculum from 1656 was still followed, and the Danish
language was still used.
Gradually the school became more Swedish, and
in the 1680s the Danish principal was replaced, and the filling
of new teacher posts was controlled.
The school obtain new
In 1826, the old school building was condemned; it was out-of-date
and considered unsuitable for its purpose. The following year,
1827, the teaching activity was moved to a bigger building
at Västergatan-Frans Suellgatan.
The school stayed there until 1879, when it moved to its present
location at Amiralsgatan-Drottninggatan.
One last task for the
So what happened to the old brick building by St Petri Church,
which was used as a Latin School for 400 years? The schoolyard
disappeared, and the building itself was used by the city's fire
service as an extra storeroom.
The building was finally demolished in 1871, after over
450 years in the shade of St Petri Church. Today, there are nothing
left of it to remind us of the time when education came to town.
Rolf Albertsson / 3D-model:
Balyan / Research & Text: