Parafia Rzymskokatolicka p.w. Chrystusa Króla w Jarnołtowie

PL  14-330 Małdyty, Jarnołtowo 21, tel. 89 758-10-27

Administrator strony: ks. proboszcz Jarosław Janowicz

Jarnołtowo in the life of Immanuel Kant



Immanuel Kant : biografia i życiorys, 4 ciekawostki, znak zodiakuFlaga narodowa[a]Flaga narodowa[a]Flaga NiemiecFlaga NiemiecFlaga Wielkiej BrytaniiFlaga Wielkiej Brytanii

Immanuel Kant left Königsberg without completing his studies at the university in order to work as a private tutor in the countryside. Around 1750 Kant came to Jarnołtowo (in German: Groß Arnsdorf) and was employed as a private tutor on the estate of the landowner of Jarnołtowo, Bernhard Friedrich von Hülsen. Kant taught his three sons: the 13-year-old Christoph Ludwig, the 10-year-old Ernst Friedrich and the 6-year-old Georg Friedrich. He worked here simultaneously with another teacher who taught the boys French. Immanuel Kant stayed in Jarnołtowo until the beginning of 1754. In June 1754 his return to Königsberg was mentioned in one of his articles in the local newspaper. Additionally, a letter from Kant to Christoph Ludwig von Hülsen, written in Königsberg on August 10, 1754, also points to this year. In this letter Kant was informing the recipient that he has sent Latin text and history books as well as two paintings for his younger brother and father. Based on the context of the entire letter and its vitality, it appears that Kant left Jarnołtowo just recently.


The years 1750-1754 as the period of Immanuel Kant's stay in Jarnołtowo were also mentioned in the assessment report on the local church and parish dated January 16, 1855. The original document is kept in the archives of Olsztyn (in German: Allenstein).


Immanuel Kant's stay in Jarnołtowo lasted for several years; the later philosopher established close relations with the Hülsen family for many years. This is supported by the extremely grateful and respectful letters, written by the father as well as by the students. In those letters the former teacher and housemate Immanuel Kant was informed about every family event even after many years. When Georg Friedrich began his studies seven years later in 1761, he moved to his former teacher Immanuel Kant in Königsberg. After one year of study he left the university and went to the officer school. As a farewell to his beloved teacher and supervisor, Georg Friedrich wrote him a letter of thanks, which Immanuel Kant always kept among the collected documents of his private library.


In Jarnołtowo Kant not only taught the sons of the landowner, but also observed rural life and the prevailing social conditions, and it was here that he most likely prepared his future master's thesis (today's equivalent of a dissertation) "On Fire" (in Latin: "De Igne"). He certainly noticed the differences in everyday life between the thralls of Jarnołtowo and the inhabitants of the area around Judtschen in today’s oblast Kaliningrad, where he had previously worked: they had been freed from serfdom and enjoyed the privileges of freedom.


The exact location of the ancient house of the Hülsens in Jarnołtowo, where Kant lived and worked, is unknown. The Hülsen Palace, the ruins of which are still preserved today, was built much later, 16 years after Kant's departure. However, the still preserved walls of the church in Jarnołtowo remember more than just one of Kant’s visits to the church. With great certainty, he also read the inscriptions already created at that time, which were carved into the gravestones resting in the church to this day. A further silent witness of his stay is an old oak tree, the so-called "Jagiełło” oak, which today stands on the territory of the former Hülsen estate.


There is no doubt that his stay in Jarnołtowo influenced Immanuel Kant's later attitude and his thinking. In lectures on pedagogy he liked to recall the experiences and insights gained during his work as a private teacher. Conversely, Kant probably contributed to, and perhaps even led to, his former student Georg Friedrich von Hülsen freeing his thralls from serfdom – out of his own free will.



Translation: Sebastian Meller, Ph.D.

“Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them:

the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.