Discover at first hand the lifestyle of the 3,000 people in the baroque school town. The school and boarding school buildings for boys and girls are lined up along the Linden Courtyard with the longest half-timbered house in Europe (Long House) and the rooms for Germany's first teachers' seminar, with the oldest surviving free-standing library building in Germany or the building of the world's first Bible institute, the Canstein Bible Institute. The unique architecture made it possible to easily adapt existing rooms to the respective usage requirements.

House 1, Back of the Historic Orphanage

As you can see, Francke’s plans did not stop with the Orphanage. A long row of buildings runs down either side of the courtyard. As the number of orphans grew, so Francke needed extra space to house them. Gradually, he added more buildings, some of brick and some half-timbered.

From old manuscripts and books, we have a rather detailed picture of how the children lived in what was to become Francke’s ‘school town’. In Francke’s view, life was a gift from God. For that reason, he believed, we should treat own lives as something precious, something that should never be wasted. Every minute of every day should be used sensibly and constructively! So in the Francke Foundations, the children’s days followed a strict routine. In this way, Francke wanted to teach the children how to plan their time effectively, and build these habits for a lifetime.

Learn more about everyday life in the Historic Schooltown.

House 27, Ground Floor

The building directly attached to the Orphanage on the other side dates from 1711. It has two large halls – one for prayers and hymns and the other a refectory. The refectory, or dining hall, is on the ground floor. It has a high ceiling, ending just over the second row of windows. The old Bet- und Singesaal – literally, the ‘Prayer and Singing Hall’ – was set on the first floor.

House 27, First Floor

While the refectory on the ground floor provided sustenance for the body, the hall above offered sustenance for the soul.  The old Bet- und Singesaal – literally, the ‘Prayer and Singing Hall’ – was set on the first floor. After all, it served a higher purpose than the refectory. As an assembly hall directly accessible from the Orphanage building, the prayer and singing hall was the place for spiritual edification.

House 25 and 26

Francke desperately needed more space yet again – and commissioned two more houses next to the refectory. Not only were the number of orphans finding a refuge in his Institutions growing rapidly, but the Francke schools were expanding just as rapidly too. By 1706, he had nearly 1000 pupils and, in 1714, only eight years later, nearly two thousand.

House 24

In Francke’s day, the Canstein Bible Institute was housed in the two buildings after the path running across the Linden Courtyard.

The wealthy Baron Carl Hildebrand von Canstein was an enthusiastic follower of Pietism. He was also a close friend of Francke’s and often helped out when Francke needed money for his projects. Since Pietists stressed the importance of reading the Bible in a godly life, Canstein wanted to enable everyone to have their own Bible – a plan Francke was only too keen to support.

House 22

The Historical Library has been located here since 1728.

Select the chapter on the unique book collection below for your tour.

House 8-13

You might be tempted to call this half-timbered building the colossus of Linden Courtyard. The Long House is over 110 meters long with, in some parts, six floors. It was built from 1713 to 1716 and was just as amazing for Francke’s contemporaries then as a skyscraper might be for us today – this is, after all Europe’s largest residential half-timbered house.

House 21

Next to the library, you can see house 21 - another attractive 18th century house.
Originally, this served as an additional refectory. Later, it was used for many years by the Foundation’s administration and finances office.


August Hermann Francke ‑ a passionate educationalist and a church pastor whose faith in the bounteousness of God was unshakable!
When the city of Halle commissioned this memorial, it was those two aspects of Francke’s life and works that they wanted to immortalise. The bronze memorial was made in 1827 by Christian Daniel Rauch, a Berlin sculptor, to mark the 100th anniversary of Francke’s death.

Who was August Hermann Francke? Learn more about the founder of the Francke Foundations.

Learn more about how the school system in the Glauchaschen Anstalten, as the Francke Foundations were called in the 18th century, was structured!

Chapter selection

Entrance Franckeplatz

Linden Courtyard


Educational Architecture

Exhibition information

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