During the time of enlightened absolutism, the development of education became a state duty. The philosophers of the Enlightenment began to deal with the question of the education of elite women and that played an important role in the nation-building process. Educational reforms initiated by Catherine the Great and Maria Theresa established state educational systems in Russia and in Hungary. The first state-financed higher education institute for women in Europe was opened in Russia. Similar schools in Hungary only appeared a century later. This article compares Russian and Hungarian boarding-schools for noble maidens, focusing on the beginning of these elite institutes and the secondary-level education ensured by them. This essay is dedicated to the memory of L.N. Semenova.
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