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Loosdorf is a little town in the district of Melk in the Austrian state of Lower Austria. One of its historical buildings is the Hohe Schule, the first school in Central Europe with a written curriculum, founded in 1574 by Earl John William of Losenstein (Hans Wilhelm von Losenstein), the lord of the castle Schallaburg and Loosdorf. It served as a Lutheran school from about 1574 until 1627. In 1584 John William of Losenstein acquired for Loosdorf the right to organize a market. In 1588 Loosdorf got the right to organize a weekly market, so it got the status of market town (Marktgemeinde). In 1590 emperor Rudolf II, who was also the archduke of Austria, granted Loosdorf the right of having a municipal coat of arms. The left side is red and has a silver diagonal stripe in the middle. The right side is blue and has a standing gold colored panther that is carrying a torch (see above). In 1843 the Austrian Polish count Antoni August Ledóchowski, a brother of the later archbishop and cardinal Mieczysław Ledóchowski, acquired the estate with castle Sitzenthal in Loosdorf. After the early death of his first wife count Anthoni Ledóchowski built a house in Loosdorf and moved there with his second wife, Josefine Salis-Zizers. In 1863 Maria Teresia Ledóchowska was born in this house and later her sister Julia (Ursula) and her brothers too. After the bank crisis of 1873 Antoni Ledóchowski lost most of his capital and in 1874 he needed to sell his house in Loosdorf and moved to St. Pölten. Julia and Maria Theresia attended a grammar school for girls (das Institut der Englische Fräulein), then run by nuns of the congregation founded by Mary Ward. In 1883 the family moved to the estate Lipnica, about 48 km from Cracow. Julia in 1883 became an ursuline in Cracow and was a missonary in Russia and Scandinavia. She founded the Congregation of the Ursulines of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus (Grey Ursulines). Her brother Wladimir Ledóchowski was the 26th general of the Jesuits. Maria Teresia founded a soladity against slavery in Africa, called after Saint Peter Claver. Ignacy became a general in the Polish army. In 1975 Maria Teresia was beatified by Pope Paul VI. In 1983 Ursula Ledóchowska was beatified too and in 2003 Ursula Ledóchowska was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint by Pope John Paul II. One of the last remaining unrestrained rivers in Austria, River Pielach flows through Loosdorf. The meandering river is home to a multitude of wildlife and the rare Huchen, the Danube salmon. Ytong has its Austrian manufacturing in Loosdorf.

Website: http://www.loosdorf.at

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