In 1725, Francke ordered a new building specifically to hold the substantial book collection. Three years later, in 1728, this stone-built house in front of you was completed – the oldest existing purpose-built public library in Germany. In the library hall, we seem to be looking at a stage backdrop in a theatre – which is why it is known as a Kulissenbibliothek, since the shelves at right-angles created a kind of ‘perspective scenery’ known, for example, from the baroque theatres.

[...] with time […] they may grow into a good library / that will prove to be a benefit to the pupils.

August Hermann FranckeSegensvolle Fußstapfen (1698)

Raise the curtain on a grandiose spectacle: books, books, books ... and shelves, shelves, shelves. At first glance, the baroque shelves lined up in a row look as if they were made of precious marble. The arrangement creates the impression that they are theatre scenery on a stage - that is why the hall is called »Kulissenmagazin«.

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Entrance Franckeplatz

Linden Courtyard


Educational Architecture

Exhibition information

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