- "Durmstrang is a school for young witches and wizards. The school has a dubious reputation, and is known to put a lot of emphasis on teaching the Dark Arts."
- —Durmstrang introduction[src]
Durmstrang Institute (Cyrillic: Дурмстранг) was one of the three largest wizarding schools in Europe (the other two being Hogwarts and Beauxbatons). Located in the far north of the continent, the school was willing to accept international students from as far afield as Bulgaria. Having existed since at least 1294, Durmstrang was one of the three schools that competed in the Triwizard Tournament, and was notorious for prominently featuring the Dark Arts in its curriculum.
Durmstrang did not admit Muggle-borns, but certain students might not necessarily have shared this prejudice - in 1994, Viktor Krum attended the Yule Ball with Hermione Granger, who was Muggle-born and would not have been admitted at Durmstrang.
Durmstrang, like Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was a castle, though their castle was not quite as big as Hogwarts Castle. The castle was four storeys tall, and fires were only lit for magical purposes. It had very extensive grounds, and was surrounded by lakes and mountains. In addition, the school was Unplottable; Durmstrang concealed its whereabouts from plain sight. The institute was said to be in the far north of Europe.
Durmstrang was founded during the Middle Ages by the great Bulgarian witch Nerida Vulchanova, who served as the first head of the school. She was succeeded after her mysterious death by Professor Harfang Munter, who established Durmstrang's reputation for emphasising martial magic as an impressive part of its curriculum.
Around 1294, the Triwizard Tournament was established as a friendly competition between Durmstrang Institute, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Beauxbatons Academy of Magic. But in 1792, a Cockatrice went on a rampage and injured the Heads of all the schools. The Triwizard Tournament was then suspended indefinitely, only restarting in 1994.
In the 1880s or 1890s, Gellert Grindelwald was accepted into Durmstrang Institute. Although the school was oriented towards the Dark Arts, Grindelwald's experiments in dark magic were considered too dangerous for the students. After a certain amount of time, Durmstrang could no longer ignore Grindelwald's dangerous studies, and expelled him. Before he was expelled, he carved the calling card of his obsession, the mark of the Deathly Hallows, on a wall of the school; this mark stayed there long after his defeat, so, considering the opposition to Grindelwald in the school, it can be assumed he magically embued the mark so that it could not be removed. Grindelwald was marked as the best student in the school's history.
At some point after 1981, Igor Karkaroff, after being acquitted as a Death Eater by betraying information to the British Ministry of Magic, rose to the position of Headmaster of Durmstrang and became immensely unpopular in this position, and several students were removed from the school by their parents for his ruthlessness. He insisted on an environment ruled by fear and intimidation from his students, leading many to view him as egotistical and unprincipled. During his time as the school administrator, some students copied Grindelwald's symbol onto their books and bags to impress others, but were "taught a lesson" (presumably in the form of retribution) by those who lost family members to the Dark Wizard.
1994-1995 Triwizard Tournament
- "Slowly, magnificently, the ship rose out of the water, gleaming in the moonlight. It had a strangely skeletal look about it, as though it were a resurrected wreck, and the dim, misty lights shimmering at its portholes looked like ghostly eyes. Finally, with a great sloshing noise, the ship emerged entirely, bobbing on the turbulent water, and began to glide toward the bank."
- —The Durmstrang ship arrives at Hogwarts[src]
The Durmstrang delegation arrived at Hogwarts for the Triwizard Tournament by ship, an enormous vessel in which they slept during their stay in Scotland. The Dumstrang students sat at the Slytherin table during their meals in the Great Hall.
Bulgarian Quidditch Seeker, Viktor Krum, attended Durmstrang, and was still in school during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup. That same year, the school participated in the recommenced Triwizard Tournament. Karkaroff brought twelve students with him to Hogwarts to put their name into the Goblet of Fire. However, it was Krum who was chosen as the Durmstrang representative. Karkaroff full-heartedly supported Krum with tremendous amounts of bias, both as a judge towards the champions and as headmaster to the students.
As Krum was a celebrity, he was often followed by Draco Malfoy and other students who wanted autographs and the prestige of being close with him. Krum mostly ignored these advances, but formed a close friendship with Hermione Granger, who was a Gryffindor student. They continued communication after the Tournament through letters.
Karkaroff fled after Lord Voldemort rose again. It is not known who took over, or whether the school's reputation improved or worsened due to this. However, none of the students appeared to be too concerned by this, as Karkaroff was unpopular among the school, especially when he had his students row the ship while he rested in the cabin during their arrival.
Durmstrang was notorious for its acceptance of the Dark Arts, and was known to have educated (and later expelled) Gellert Grindelwald before his ascension as one of history's most dangerous Dark Wizards. Professor Igor Karkaroff, a former Headmaster, was in the service of Lord Voldemort as a Death Eater, but managed to escape punishment in Azkaban by providing the Ministry of Magic with the names of his co-conspirators. Lucius Malfoy, another Death Eater, considered sending his son Draco to Durmstrang (likely because its prejudiced attitude towards Muggle-borns coupled with its sympathetic attitude towards the Dark Arts appealed to the Death Eater), but his mother did not like the idea of him going to school so far away. It was during Karkaroff's reign as Headmaster that the school's reputation worsened, as his insistence of letting an atmosphere of fear and intimidation rule over the school led even parents to withdraw their children from the institute.
The students at the school wore fur cloaks, fur hats, and blood-red robes.
- The pronunciation of Durmstrang is "Doorm - strang".
- "Durmstrang" seems to be a spoonerism for Sturm und Drang, a borrowed German expression meaning "turmoil, ferment" deriving from the name of a highly emotionally driven German artistic movement of the late 1700s, precursor of Romanticism. "Sturm und Drang" literally translates as "tempest and urge" or "charge and rush" but was anglicised as "storm and stress".
Behind the scenes
- In an interview with Accio Quote J. K. Rowling stated that she thought Durmstrang was in Scandinavia, in the far north of either Sweden or Norway. It is, however, depicted on maps featured on Pottermore as being in a more southern location (southern most part of Finland and into Russia right above Lake Ladoga, roughly); whether this is a change in canon or an error on the part of the artist of the map is uncertain.
- Durmstrang could possibly be located in Svalbard as it would make an ideal location for a wizarding school wanting stay hidden from outsiders. This is suported by JK Rowling's statement of Durmstrang being located in Scandinavia as Svalbard is mostly Norwegian territory with a small part of it under Russian jurisdiction, which would fit with the school’s name being written in Cyrillic.
- In the film, the coat of arms for Durmstrang is shown to be a double-headed eagle, and also features the school's name in both Latin and Cyrillic script. This symbol is strongly akin to the two-headed eagle symbol of Tsarist Imperial Russia.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Durmstrang is pictured as an all-boys school. However, it is known from the novel that there was also at least one girl studying at Durmstrang, and most likely other female students by the 1990s. Moreover, Pottermore revealed that Durmstrang was founded by a woman (Nerida Vulchanova). It is unlikely that a female founder would ban female students from her own school (though it is possible a succeeding headmaster could have later made it so). However, despite being co-ed, the film may have made the school all-boys in order to follow the similar pattern with Beauxbatons in the film being all-girls.
- In the book, the hairstyle of the Durmstrang students was not described; in the film, all the Durmstrang students (the majority of which were extras) sported very short buzz cuts, except for Igor Karkaroff's aide and Gellert Grindelwald.
- Hogwarts, with their students wearing robes and house ties, seems akin to a Muggle boarding school. However the manner and dress of Durmstrang, where the boys wear identical uniforms and have one permitted haircut, strongly mirrors that of a military academy in the Muggle world.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the robes of the uniform appear to be a crimson or maroon colour.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (Mentioned only)
- Pottermore (First appearance)
- Wizarding World
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- JK Rowling Book Reading 9 December 2000
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Hermione: "It must be far north because they have fur capes on the uniform list."
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Durmstrang Institute" at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 15 (Beauxbatons and Durmstrang)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 12 (The Triwizard Tournament)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 11 (Aboard the Hogwarts Express)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 23 (The Yule Ball)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 18 (The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 16 (The Goblet of Fire)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 20 (The First Task)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 26 (The Second Task)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 37 (The Beginning)
- The Free Dictionary's definitions of "Sturm Und Drang"
|The Eleven Schools|
|Beauxbatons · Castelobruxo · Durmstrang · Hogwarts · Ilvermorny · Koldovstoretz · Mahoutokoro · Uagadou|
|Academy of Broom Flying · Charm School · Euro-Glyph School of Extraordinary Languages · Merge School of Under-Water Spellage · Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts|
|Objects & Locations: Goblet of Fire • Casket • Golden egg • Hedge Maze • Triwizard Cup|
|Schools: Beauxbatons • Durmstrang • Hogwarts|
|1994-1995 Triwizard Champions: Fleur Delacour • Viktor Krum • Cedric Diggory • Harry Potter|