, the oldest continuously operating school in austria
a gymnasium is a type of school with a strong emphasis on academic learning, and providing advanced secondary education in some parts of europe comparable to british grammar schools, sixth form colleges and us preparatory high schools. in its current meaning, it usually refers to secondary schools focused on preparing students to enter a university for advanced academic study. before the 20th century, the system of gymnasiums was a widespread feature of educational systems throughout many countries of central, north, eastern and southern europe.
the word "γυμνάσιον" (gymnasion) was first used in ancient greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual education of young men. the latter meaning of a place of intellectual education persisted in many european languages (including greek, german, the nordic languages, dutch, polish, czech, slovak and russian), whereas in english and spanish the former meaning of a place for physical education was retained instead, more familiarly in the shortened form gym.