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Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is a school of magic that is the main setting of the Harry Potter fantasy novels by J. K. Rowling.

Template:HP School Hogwarts is a boarding school set in a castle by a mountain lake. Although its precise location is not specified in the books, the author has said it is in Scotland.[1] Hogwarts is reached by a train called the Hogwarts Express.

No apparating (Appearing and Disapparating) is possible on the school grounds, although adults seem to show up by means other than the school train; perhaps they use brooms or Floo powder, or simply apparate to a nearby location and walk. The school has strong charms around it to repel "Muggles" (non-magic people). Electronic devices do not work on Hogwarts grounds; there is too much magic in the air.

Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, is an elderly, white-haired gentleman with a droll (some might say silly) sense of humour and twinkling eyes. He always seems to know what's going on at the school and takes a special interest in Harry. He carries no course load, but formerly taught Transfiguration. Dumbledore is the only wizard whom Lord Voldemort, the villain of the series, fears. This makes the school a safe haven from his clutches. There are 12 school governors who have the power to suspend the headmaster by voting. Lucius Malfoy was a school governor until he was fired after using blackmail to make the other governors agree to suspend Dumbledore.

The motto of Hogwarts is "Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus", which in Latin means "Never tickle a sleeping dragon". J. K. Rowling said she wanted a practical motto for Hogwarts, since so many schools have less pragmatic ones such as "Reach for the stars".

The Deputy Headmistress is Professor Minerva McGonagall, rather severe in aspect, but respected by the students. She teaches Transfiguration and is head of Gryffindor house.

Several professors make up the Hogwarts faculty, each specialising in a single subject (see subjects). Other staff positions include that of school nurse, caretaker, and gamekeeper/groundskeeper. The school grounds feature a Quidditch pitch, the lake, the Forbidden Forest, and at least three greenhouses. Hogwarts is divided into four houses; Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.


Subjects and Grading


For a list of subjects, see Hogwarts subjects.


Students who take the O.W.L.s, a set of standardised tests for fifth years, and N.E.W.T.s, a more advanced exam regimen for seventh years, are graded based on the following scale:

  • O = Outstanding (Perfect)
  • E = Exceeds Expectations (Fine)
  • A = Acceptable (last passing grade)
  • P = Poor (Below average)
  • D = Dreadful (Flunking)
  • T = (According to Fred and George Weasley) "Troll" (Extremely Poor) or terrible which is the correct name for this grade.

In their first four years, however, students need only to pass each of their subjects before advancing to the next level the following year.

School Year

There is a magic quill at Hogwarts that detects the birth of a magical person and records his or her name. Every year, Minerva McGonagall sends letters to the people on the list turning eleven, inviting them to Hogwarts. If for any reason a letter does not reach its intended recipient, owls will continue delivering letters until the person receives one (as was Harry's experience in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone).

The letter contains a list of supplies, including spell books and cauldrons. The person who receives this letter is expected to go to Diagon Alley to buy them. Letters to muggle-born wizards are delivered by special messengers, who explain the Wizarding World to them.

Term begins on September 1. Students travel to King's Cross station to board the Hogwarts Express, which takes them to Hogwarts. First year students go with the gamekeeper, currently Rubeus Hagrid, to small boats, which magically sail across the Hogwarts Lake. The older students travel up to the castle in carriages pulled by thestrals, magical beasts which are visible only to those who have witnessed death.

The older students arrive first. When the first years arrive, they are greeted by the deputy headmistress, Minerva McGonagall, who tells them about the Houses. The first years then file into the Great Hall. Upon entering, the Sorting Hat sings a song that describes the four Houses. The Sorting Hat sings a new song each year, and has been known to offer advice in its lyrics in times of trouble. Once the song has finished, the hat is placed on each student's head, and it announces the House for which they are suited. After the Sorting is finished, a start-of-term feast begins.

After dinner, the first years are led by a prefect to their common room. The next day, classes begin. Tryouts for House Quidditch teams begin shortly afterwards. Quidditch is a popular wizarding sport, however first years are usually prohibited from joining a Quidditch team. Instead, they receive flying lessons from Madam Hooch.

Halloween is celebrated each year with a feast. The Great Hall is always decorated for the occasion. An important event occurs in each novel during Halloween, with the exception of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Students may go home for the Christmas holidays. The students who choose to remain do not have any classes and are present at the Christmas feast. The Great Hall is decorated for this occasion with Christmas trees and other decorations.

When Christmas holidays end, classes begin again. In Harry Potter's second year, Gilderoy Lockhart organised a Valentine's Day celebration. It was not continued after he left the school. The Easter holidays are not as enjoyable as the Christmas ones, as students are overloaded with homework to prepare them for their exams, which are taken at the end of the year. Students are not allowed to use magic over the summer holidays until they turn seventeen.

In the books, the Hogwarts uniform consists of a plain black work robe, a plain black pointed hat, and a winter cloak with silver fastenings. In the films, students typically wear school uniforms similar to those of the public schools of England (called private schools in the United States.) These consist of open-fronted black robes with a house insignia on the chest. Beneath is worn a grey sweater, white collared shirt, and necktie in the colours of their House. Boys wear long, dark trousers, and girls wear dark pleated skirts and knee socks.


This list of rooms is based upon a list created by the Harry Potter Lexicon[1] (http://www.hp-lexicon.org/), a site which has deduced the location of every room but the Transfiguration Classroom.

Deep Under the Dungeons

The Chamber of Secrets

The Chamber of Secrets is home to a basilisk, which is intended to be used to purge the school of Muggle-born students. The Chamber is entered through Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. The Chamber has several statues of snakes on either side of the walls, and a giant statue of Salazar Slytherin opposite the door. For information on the history of the Chamber of Secrets, (see Early History).


Potions Classroom

Potions is taught in one of the dungeons under the castle. This dungeon is large enough to accommodate a double class. It is colder here than in the main castle, and the surrounding walls contain many jars of pickled animals, which the students find particularly creepy. Ice cold water pours from a gargoyle's mouth into a basin in the corner.

Severus Snape's Office

Severus Snape's Office is adjacent to his classroom. This room is filled with bizarre creatures in jars. Snape has private stores of potion ingredients.

Slytherin Common Room

The Slytherin Common Room is in one of the dungeons, and opens when one gives a password to a blank stone wall. It has a low ceiling and greenish torchlight. The common room is located partially under the lake.

Hufflepuff Common Room

The Hufflepuff Common Room is a room similar to a cellar, down the same staircase that leads to the kitchens. It should be noted that the Hufflepuff Common Room is not a dungeon, but is more like a cellar [2] (http://www.jkrowling.com/textonly/fansite_view.cfm?id=2).


The Kitchens are located directly under the Great Hall, and contain tables that are identical to the house tables in the Great Hall and food must simply be placed on the tables and it magically appears on the tables in the Great Hall. The kitchens are staffed by over 100 house-elves including Dobby (first appearence The Chamger of Secrets and Winky first apperence The Goblet of Fire. To gain access to the Kitchens, one must tickle the pear on the fruit portrait.

Ground Floor

Entrance Hall

The Entrance Hall is entered through double oak front doors that face to the west. The Entrance Hall is very large, and has a wide marble staircase opposite the front door, leading to the first floor. Two other staircases lead to the Hufflepuff Common Room and the Kitchens, while the other leads to the Dungeons.

Great Hall

The Great Hall contains four House tables, one for each House, and a staff table. The ceiling is enchanted such that it imitates the current weather.

Staff Room

The staff room is a long, panelled room, with mismatched dark wooden chairs. There is a wardrobe, which occasionally becomes infested with magical creatures.

Argus Filch's Office

Argus Filch, the caretaker, has an office that contains a filing cabinet with records of every student that Filch has punished. The Weasley twins, and possibly Sirius Black and James Potter, have entire drawers to themselves. His office contains well oiled chains, which he hopes to use again. He briefly got his wish when Dolores Umbridge became Headmistress.

First Floor

Muggle Studies Classroom

This classroom is never a direct setting during the first five novels, though it is frequently referenced.

Defence Against the Dark Arts Classroom

This room contains an iron chandelier. When Professor Quirrell was the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, the room smelled strongly of garlic, which according to rumour, was intended to protect him from a vampire that he met in Romania, whom he feared a visit from.

History of Magic Classroom

This room contains a blackboard, through which Professor Binns, a ghost, enters at the start of class.

Minerva McGonagall's Office

Minerva McGonagall's office is up the marble staircase in the Entrance Hall, and down a hallway.

The Hospital Wing

The hospital wing contains several beds, and School Nurse Poppy Pomfrey's office.

Second Floor

Moaning Myrtle's Bathroom

Moaning Myrtle's bathroom contains the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets. It is opened by speaking in Parseltongue, which causes a sink to open a pipe large enough for a man to slide down. After one slides down this pipe, they find themselves in a tunnel, which leads to the Chamber of Secrets. When Tom Riddle opened the Chamber during the 1940's, a girl named Myrtle was sulking in a stall. When she heard him, she opened the door, saw the basilisk, and died immediately. She is now a ghost called Moaning Myrtle. Her bathroom is now out of order, due to her presence there.

Entrance to Albus Dumbledore's Office

Albus Dumbledore's office is opened when the correct password is spoken, usually a type of candy (Sherbert Lemon and Cockroach Cluster have been used in the past), to an ugly stone gargoyle, which then moves aside. Stone steps move like an escalator up to the door of his office. (See Headmaster's Tower.)

Defence Against The Dark Arts Professor's Office

The Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor's Office faces south, thus the Lake and Quidditch Pitch are visible out the window. When Gilderoy Lockhart was the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, this room was filled with pictures of himself. Under Remus Lupin, it contained creatures that were to be used in class. Alastor Moody, who was actually an imposter, Barty Crouch Jr., filled it with Dark Detectors. Dolores Umbridge had pink frilly doilies.

Third Floor

Trophy Room

The Trophy Room is where awards, trophies, cups, plates, shields, statues, and medals are kept in a crystal glass display. This room also contains a list of Head Boys and Head Girls. The trophy room is adjacent to an armour gallery.

Charms Classroom

This is where Charms is taught, by Professor Flitwick. The Charms Classroom is down the Charms corridor.

Fourth Floor


The library contains tens of thousands of books. The restricted section has books containing powerful Dark Magic that is never taught at Hogwarts, and is only used by students studying Advanced Defence Against the Dark Arts. In order to use this section, a student needs a signed permission slip from a teacher. Irma Pince is the librarian. She guards the books, and has been known to put unusual jinxes in the books, to make sure that they are not mistreated.

Fifth Floor

Prefect's Bathroom

The Prefect's Bathroom is hidden in the fifth door to the left of a statue of Boris the Bewildered. The door opens when given the correct password. In Goblet of Fire this was given as "pine fresh". There is large pool-like tub and hundreds of taps. Moaning Myrtle sometimes comes here to secretly watch prefects take baths.

Entrance to Gryffindor Tower

Gryffindor Tower is entered through a portrait of a fat lady in a pink silk dress on the seventh floor. It can only be entered if one knows the correct password, although in The Prisoner of Azkaban, Sirius Black forced entry, and for a short period afterwards, Sir Cadogan guarded Gryffindor tower. The portrait hole door leads into the Gryffindor Common Room.

Entrance to North Tower

To enter North Tower, one climbs a ladder on the seventh floor through a trap door. (See North Tower.)

Professor Flitwick's Office

Filius Flitwick's office is on the seventh floor and thirteenth window from the right of the west tower.

Room of Requirement

The Room of Requirement can only be found by someone in desperate need. The person has to walk around the corridor three times, passing a portrait of Barnabas the Barmy, which comically depicts his failed attempt to teach Trolls ballet, all the while concentrating on what he needs. When he finds the room, it will have what he wants. Albus Dumbledore found the room filled with chamber pots while on the way to the bathroom. Dobby brings Winky here after nasty bouts of butterbeer-induced drunkenness, and finds it full of antidotes and a "nice elf-sized bed". Argus Filch sometimes finds cleaning supplies here. When Fred and George Weasley needed a place to hide, they found a broom closet. Harry learned of this room from Dobby. He used it for Dumbledore's Army meetings, and found it filled with bookcases of Defence Against the Dark Arts materials.


Astronomy Tower

Astronomy Classes occur here. See Astronomy for more information.

Headmaster's Tower

Albus Dumbledore's office is inside this tower, and is entered through an ugly stone gargoyle on the second floor. See Entrance to Dumbledore's Office for more information). Dumbledore's office is a round room with windows, and decorated with portraits of previous Headmasters. There are numerous silver instruments of unknown function, some which seem to be intended for Divination. The Sorting Hat lives in here. When Dolores Umbridge became Headmistress, the office sealed itself until Dumbledore's return.

North Tower

North Tower contains Sibyll Trelawney's office and classroom. The round classroom has walls lined with shelves. (See Entrance to North Tower.)

Gryffindor Tower

Gryffindor Tower is where the Gryffindor common room and dormitories are. The common room has a fireplace and armchairs. There are separate dormitories for girls and boys, which are subdivided by year. Girls are permitted to enter the boys' dormitories, but boys cannot visit the girls', because the founders of Hogwarts felt that boys were less trustworthy than girls. As discovered in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the stair to the girls' dormitories turns into a slide if a boy attempts to go up them. See also Entrance to Gryffindor Tower.

West Tower

The Owlery is at the top of West Tower.

Ravenclaw Tower

Ravenclaw Tower is located at the west side of the castle. This is home to the Ravenclaw common room and dormitories.

The Grounds

Hagrid's Hut

Hagrid lives in a small hut on the grounds, on the edge of the Forbidden Forest.

The Forbidden Forest

The Forbidden Forest is named such as it is forbidden to students, as it home to a variety of dangerous creatures.

Hagrid frequently travels into the forest for various reasons.

The following is a list of beings that inhabit the forest.


There are at least three greenhouses where Herbology classes occur. See Herbology.

The Whomping Willow

The Whomping Willow is a magical tree on the Hogwarts grounds. The tree is violent, striking at those who dare approach it with its branches.

The tree was planted the year a werewolf named Remus Lupin arrived at the school (c. 1971). Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, planted the Whomping Willow to guard a secret passageway to the Shrieking Shack, a building in Hogsmeade. Lupin was smuggled to the house each month at the full moon, where he could transform into his wolf form without risking harm to others.

The tree remained at the Hogwarts grounds long after Lupin left the school. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry and his best friend Ron Weasley flew an enchanted Ford Anglia to Hogwarts, and accidentally crashed into the Whomping Willow, damaging it.

The Lake

The lake is located on the south side of the castle. A number of magical creatures inhabit the lake, including a giant squid, often seen near the surface, a colony of Merpeople inhabiting the bottom, and a population of grindylows.

The Quidditch pitch

The Quidditch pitch is where Quidditch games are held, and where teams practise. There are three golden hoops at each end used for scoring, and stands surrounding it, providing seating for spectators. The referee is often Madam Hooch, the flying teacher and Quidditch coach, but Severus Snape refereed once in Harry's first year, to protect Harry from further curses by Professor Quirrell.


Early History

Hogwarts was founded over a thousand years ago by two wizards and two witches: Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Helga Hufflepuff. Shortly after founding Hogwarts, Salazar Slytherin had a falling out with the other founders. Slytherin wanted to admit only pure-blood students, but the other three founders disagreed. Slytherin left the school, but not before secretly building the Chamber of Secrets. When his own true heir, the Heir of Slytherin, returned to the school, he or she would be able to open the Chamber, unleash a horrible Basilisk, and purge the school of all Muggle-born students.

Middle History

About three hundred years after the school was founded, the Triwizard Tournament began between the three most prestigious magical schools in Europe: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang. This Tournament was considered the best way for wizards of different nationalities to meet and socialize. The Tournament continued for six centuries, until the death toll became too high, and the Tournament was discontinued.

Recent History

The existence of the school was threatened twice when the Chamber of Secrets was opened. The first time it was opened was in 1942, when Tom Riddle, the Heir of Slytherin and the future Lord Voldemort, opened the Chamber in his sixth year. When a girl named Myrtle was killed, the Ministry of Magic threatened to close the school. As Riddle spent his time away from Hogwarts in a Muggle orphanage, he did not want the school closed, so he framed Hagrid.

In 1992, the Chamber was opened by Ginny Weasley, under the influence of a diary written by Riddle. The diary allowed Riddle's memory to possess Ginny, allowing him to act through her to open the Chamber a second time. Lucius Malfoy had secretly planted the diary in her schoolbooks, with the hope that she would be caught and held responsible, thus bringing an end to Arthur Weasley's Muggle Protection Act. However, Harry Potter discovered the truth, destroyed the diary, killed the basilisk that was living in the Chamber.

In 1994, the Triwizard Tournament began once more, though with several safety measures in place. However, Barty Crouch Jr., disguised as Professor Alastor Moody, entered Harry Potter's name in the Goblet of Fire under the name of a fourth school, ensuring that he would be chosen by the Goblet. He used a Confundus Charm to trick the Goblet into forgetting that only three schools could compete in the tournament. Consequently, Harry became a fourth champion, to the great disgust of the representatives for Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, as well as many Hogwarts students. Crouch Jr. made sure that Harry won the Tournament, having turned the Triwizard Cup into a Portkey, which carried Harry straight into the hands of Lord Voldemort. Harry escaped, but Voldemort succeeded in using Harry's blood in a complex spell, which allowed him to attain a bodily form and defeat certain of Harry's magical protections.

Hogwarts was also threatened when the Ministry of Magic began implementing "Educational Decrees" in 1995, as part of a conspiracy to discredit Albus Dumbledore. Dolores Umbridge, the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, was the centre of this plan. With the Educational Decrees, she slowly took control of Hogwarts, and eventually replaced Albus Dumbledore as headmistress. After she was attacked by Centaurs in the Forbidden Forest and Cornelius Fudge was forced to accept that Voldemort had returned, Umbridge was removed from the school.

Coat of Arms


Shield renaissance, Quarterly, I gules lion rampant face to dexter Or, II vert serpent argent, III Or badger rear-regardant sable, IV azure eagle Or, in fesse couped Or scroll with letter H sable, top riband for the name Hogwarts, base riband for the motto "draco dormiens nunquam titillandus".


  • [1] "Hogwarts ... Logically it had to be set in a secluded place, and pretty soon I settled on Scotland in my mind." Fraser, L., An interview with J.K.Rowling, Mammoth, London, 2000. ISBN 0-7497-4394-8. pp 20-21. Additionally, Rowling mentions that a nest of horrific giant spiders has been rumoured to exist in a forest in Scotland Template:HPF. There is an annotation by Harry or Ron that says "confirmed by Harry Potter and Ron Weasley". This is thought to refer to their meeting with Aragog in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • Template:HPFref

See also

es:Colegio Hogwarts de Magia fr:Poudlard he:הוגוורטס it:Hogwarts ja:ホグワーツ魔法魔術学校 nl:Zweinstein no:Galtvort Hyere Skole for Hekseri og Trolldom pl:Hogwart sk:Rokfort fi:Tylypahka zh:霍格華茲魔法與巫術學院


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