Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium in Trier emerged from the Trier Jesuit College, which opened on February 3, 1561. The vineyard holdings came primarily from donations by Archbishop-Electors of Trier Johann von der Leyen and Jacob III zu Eltz (1561-1581).

After 210 years, Pope Clement XIV dissolved the Jesuit Order in 1773. This also meant the end of the Jesuit College. Under Elector Clemens Wenceslaus (1768-1794), it continued as “Electoral Gymnasium.”

Under French administration, the “Electoral Gymnasium” was first called “École centrale,” or as “École secondaire,” and continued as “Collège” in 1811.

The Trier-born philosopher Karl Marx received his school diploma in the Promotionssaula of the school in 1835, now the Great Hall of the Bischöfliches Priesterseminar.

By Napoleon’s imperial decree (1805), the school received the former Jesuit assets, including buildings and vineyards. Later on, the possessions of the institution remained preserved in Prussian times. The French “Collège” was called “Royal Prussian Gymnasium” and renamed “Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium in 1896.

Today, Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium cultivates in internationally renowned steep slopes in Graach, Bernkastel, and Trittenheim (about 11 hectares). The steep slate slopes are planted exclusively to Riesling. On the Saar, near Trier, they farm 13 hectares of vine around Falkensteiner Hof.