The Francke Foundations in Halle, founded in 1695 as a Pietistic social and educational work by August Hermann Francke, are today still a modern educational cosmos closely connected with their history. They feel bound to a double heritage: the responsibility for the salvation and lasting preservation of the building ensemble and the historical collections as well as the task of continuing the ideas and traditions of their founder into the future. Today we see ourselves duty bound to do justice to both the material and idealist heritage that has been passed down.
Since the revival of the Foundations in 1992 institutions, which have close connections to Francke's ideas and work, have been settled into the historical buildings.With their 40 partner institutions the Foundations today are a unique centre of cultural, scientific, educational, social and Christian institutions, a complex with kindergartens, children’s creativity centre, schools, a House of Generations, a youth workshop, a bible centre, traditional commercial enterprises, archives, libraries, museums, university and non-university research facilities and much more. Today over 4000 people again learn, teach, work and live in the Francke Foundations.
The Francke Foundations annually hold their own cultural and scientific year long programmes that comprise around 100 events – exhibitions, lecture series, scientific conferences, concerts, festivals, and children's and family occasions. The themes in these years are often at the boundary point between current socio-political discussions and the traditional substance of the Foundations' work. The Foundations are in charge of the city theme years "Halle an der Saale – Answers from the province 2000-2006", in which the entire range of cultural, scientific, social, educational, religious and other social groups from the City of Halle take part. 2005 is devoted to the theme "Family and Community" under the title "relative:ly". As their contribution to the city's 1200th anniversary in 2006 the Francke Foundations will emphasise the international aspect of Halle's city history. The title for the city-wide theme year will be "The world instead of the province". Within this framework the Foundations will be celebrating their own important anniversary: "300 years of the Danish-Halle mission – 300 years of cultural dialogue between India and Europe 2006".
In the Francke Foundations educational cosmos all the educational steps from the day nursery up to university level are represented. The Foundations themselves have their own museum facilities and maintain an active exhibition life. Additionally they administer the "Study Centre August Hermann Francke" and together with the Martin-Luther University the Interdisciplinary Centre for Pietism Research as well as a children's creativity centre, three day nurseries, a primary school youth club and four other schools also based on the estate. The gaining of social skills as well as an all-round cultural education with focus on musical education, intercultural experiences and the learning of old and modern languages characterise the school programme in the Foundations. Pupils and students, educational, cultural and scientific practice are linked to one another across many levels in many different ways. A "House of Generations" in which pupils and older people live and learn together, was opened in January 2005.
The centre for cultural education suitable for children in the Foundations is the Children's Creativity Centre "Krokoseum" in the Historic Orphanage. Museum and cultural educational programmes on offer here are primarily for children up to the age of 12 and for families. Participation projects are carried out in co-operation with the City Children’s Department.