The secondary and post-secondary schools that provided essential education to just a small percentage of the male population in the first half of the 19th century played an irreplaceable role in the formation of the future elites in early modern society in the Czech lands. The Bishop's Seminary (founded in 1804), the Philosophy Lyceum (1803) and the Piaristicke Gymnasium (1762) became a strong attraction for young people from Ceske Budejovice, where the schools were located, and from all of Southern Bohemia and the surrounding areas, who were longing for a higher education. Between 1800 and 1848, 4909 boys studied at the gymnasium, most of whom were from families of tradesmen and architects, and there was also a large proportion of boys from families of teachers. Between 1803 and 1846, 2556 students of the Philosophy Lyceum enrolled in the first year of study, mainly from tradesmen and agricultural families. The lyceum's catchment area was very similar to that of the gymnasium. The social and territorial composition of the theology students (1618 in total) was very similar to that of the Philosophy Lyceum, which was also from where it received the most students.