Short chronicle of the Marienheim Foundation

Some ladies of the Marian Congregation "Annunciation of Mary" (Countess Therese Brandis-Gudenus, Philomena von Riccabona, Baroness Johanna Lazarini) decided to found a "Girl's Asylum" in Innsbruck. They wanted to support girls who came  to study to Innsbruck from all parts of the then undivided Tyrol. The girls were to receive "protective shelter and healthy food" in a home. Two basic plots of land in the municipality of Wilten on Grenzstraße (now Maximilianstraße) were purchased for this purpose. A three-storey building was to accomodate 100 girls.

Construction of the Marienheim began. The monastic letter, approved by the imperial-royal governorship of Innsbruck provided that "... from now on and for everlasting times ... this institution ... is non-profit ... but forms a completely independent legal object." The foundation was named "Marienheim".

The building projects were completed and in August the girls were able to move in. The Board of Trustees entrusted the Barmherzige Schwestern von der Kettenbrücke (later Sisters of Caritas Socialis) with the management of the Marienheim. The Marienheim developed into a popular girls' home.    

Since the Marienheim could not live on the girls' payments alone, the neighbouring property was purchased and another three-storey house, the Josefsheim, was built on it as a "retirement house for single elderly ladies, the proceeds of which are intended to provide material assistance and economic relief for the Marienheim.

When the National Socialists took power in Austria, the Marienheim became a Nazi girls' home and the Josefsheim an accomodation for working people. The change of the "foundation letter" was decreed and thus the "Marienheim" became the "Mädchenheim Innsbruck". The house was managed under the supervision of the Reich Governor.   

After the end of Nazi rule, a women's committee took over the management of both houses again in the summer of 1945. Operation was resumed under the most primitive conditions.

The first year of the "Fürsorgerinnenschule" (welfare school) began in the Josefsheim. The school was run by the Caritas, which still rents the Josefsheim for its social vocational school.

The changes made to the monastery letter during the Nazi era were declared invalid by the Tyrolean provincial government and the original monastic letter was reinstated.

The Stöckl building (today's "Villa") was erected and served as a school building for the Fürsorgerinnenschule.

The beginning of the 1950s was also marked by the greatest poverty in the Marienheim. Therefore, the then director of the home, Sister Pia, travelled to the USA and returned with 6 large crates whose contents she had received by "begging".

In the 1960s, not all girls, who wanted to live in Marienheim could be accepted. Therefore, a new building to expand the bed capacity was decided on and completed in 1968. The home could now accomodate 160 girls.

Increasingly, it became more difficult to fill all the rooms, as a modern home was built by the Scheuchenstuhl Foundation and the regionalization on the secondary schools progressed. The girls' home was reduced in size and the rooms were adapted for the "Bundestagesschulheim Innsbruck".

The Marienheim Foundation started a new project. Children of non-German mother tongues are looked after in small groups at the "Lernhilfe der Stiftung Marienheim".

The girls' home was closed because there was no longer a need for places in a home. The board of trustees searched intensively for a meaningful use of the premises which should correspond to the idea of the foundation. Finally, a residential home for relatives of clinic patients was founded.

The offer of the TUTO learning aid is extended. With the TUTO Sprachschatz, an offer for kindergarten children starts. The German language is learned in a playful way, in small groups, making it easier for students to enter elementary school.