THE FRANCKE FOUNDATIONS
In the heart of Halle’s city centre stands a well-preserved and unique building ensemble made up of some 50 structures. The historical orphanage was built in 1700. It contains the cabinet of curiosities and natural artefacts, considered to be the oldest museum space in all of Germany. The "Francke cabinet" on the ground floor of the historical orphanage provides visitors with an overview of August Hermann Francke’s life and introduces them to the history of the Francke Foundations, stretching all the way from its establishment in 1698 to the present day.
Toward the close of the seventeenth-century, the historical library was constructed (1726-1728). It is considered to be the oldest preserved functional secular library building in Germany. The library’s Baroque repository contains some 35,000 writings from the sixteenth through nineteenth-centuries. Some Reformation-era manuscripts are also archived here, including a letter by Martin Luther.
The historical ensemble of buildings located on the campus ground behind the orphanage is constructed largely in the timber-frame style. It truly is a special type of open-air museum and includes one edifice which is over 330 feet (100 metres) long, making it the largest timber-frame house in Europe.
August Hermann Francke (1663-1727) was one of the most significant representatives of Pietism, a religious movement within German Protestantism. Two hundred years after the advent of the Lutheran confession, acting at the behest of the Danish King Frederick IV, August Hermann Francke would establish the first Evangelical Lutheran mission to what was then the Danish colony of Tranquebar in southern India, known today as Tharangambadi. Numerous pastors from Halle were dispatched to the far-reaches of the earth by Francke and his successors. Their task was to spread the Lutheran doctrine as well as the ground-breaking reformatory ideas which the Halle-brand of pietism had picked up and developed upon. As a result, Lutheran schools and orphanages based on the Halle model were opened in locations stetching from Scandinavia across the eastern edge of Central Europe to far away Siberia. Francke had already sent the first Lutheran pastor to Moscow by time the seventeenth-century had ended. The emissaries from Halle were able to exert a notable influence on Petrine Russia. In 1741, the pastor Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg was dispatched to Pennsylvania in North America to take care of the Germans who had emigrated to that colony. Today, the man, better known as Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, is held in great esteem throughout the continent and is honoured as the patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America.
Historical orphanage with cabinet of curiosities and natural artefacts, orphanage cabinet, Francke residence with info centre and Francke cabinet, exhibitions, library of Baroque facades and cabinet exhibition, Tues.-Sun. 10.00-17.00
Program for children and families, Mon.-Thurs., Sun. 10.00-18.00, Fri. 10.00-14.00
Franckesche Stiftungen zu Halle
Geschäftsstelle Haus 37
06110 Halle (Saale)
Phone: +49 (0)345 2127400read morecollapse