Here you find yourself at the central entrance area to the Francke Foundations. 4,000 people come and go here every day. They live, learn or work here.

The square is dominated by the Historic Orphanage to the east. To the south, along the road leading through the 'Black Gate'  into the Francke Foundations, you will see the only remaining historic buildings of the Amtsstadt Glaucha outside the gates of Halle: the inns Zur Goldenen Rose – ‘The Golden Rose’ and Zum Raubschiff – ‘The Robber Ship’. This is where August Hermann Francke had been pastor at the Georgenkirche since 1691 and where he had chosen his building plot for the Glauchsche Anstalten, the later the Francke Foundations.

Today, the Historic Orphanage is once again restored to all its former glory, looking just as it did 300 years ago. After the Second World War, the East German regime allowed the buildings to decay. In the end, after decades of neglect, the rain came through the roof right into the ground floor. It seemed as if the fate of the buildings was sealed. However, in a remarkable rescue action from 1993 to 1995, the Historic Orphanage was saved and restored.

When you look up at the Orphanage façade, you’ll notice a triangular pediment at the top in the centre. The banner stretching along the base of the pediment is decorated with golden letters. This is a quotation from the Bible, and it tell us quite a lot about Francke himself. He took considerable pains to ensure that his Orphanage was plain and simple, with no unnecessary architectural frills or embellishments. The pediment is the only decorative element. It shows two eagles flying upwards towards the sun. In their claws, they hold a banner with a quotation from the Old Testament Book of Isaiah:

Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles.

Jesaja 40,31

The gateway here is known as the Schwarze Tor, the ‘Black Gateway’. This was the main entrance to the Institutions’ complex. Not that long ago there really was a large gate here which was closed at night. The building to the left of the archway was the former inn called Zur Goldenen Rose – ‘The Golden Rose’, there Francke later moved in with his family.

Learn more about the Franckes Home and its residents.

As you can see here, Francke was not exactly able to draw on unlimited funds for his Orphanage project. While the front façade and sides are brick-built, the back of the building and inner walls are half-timbered – the cheapest way to build at that time. The spaces between beams and joists were filled with rubble and straw and plastered over.

Chapter selection

Entrance Franckeplatz

Linden Courtyard


Educational Architecture

Exhibition information

Logo - Bundesregierung (Medien und Kultur)
Logo - Freundeskreis der Franckeschen Stiftungen
Logo - Sachsen Anhalt (Kultusministerium)