The school was founded in 1860 by a young Bochum teacher, Henriette von Noël, as a private school for girls. An extension was built in 1901 and in 1916, the school was named after naturalist, theologian and author, Hildegard von Bingen. There is a statue of Hildegard von Bingen in front of the main entrance.
Today, the school is a public Gymnasium for boys and girls. The Hildegardis-Schule was one of the first schools in Germany to offer French bilingual education. History, politics and geography are taught in French and students may graduate with a French baccalaureat as well as an Abitur. In 2008, the school was certified as a European School by the Ministry of Schools of North Rhine-Westphalia.
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