In the space between the Main Building and the English House a building was constructed in 1710-11, on the ground floor of which is the refectory or main dining hall. Since its construction it has served this purpose uninterruptedly. From 2003 on it has been run as a student mensa by the Student Union Halle.
The Student Union Halle (Studentenwerk Halle) originated in 1931 from the unification of the Academic Dining Halls (Akademische Speiseanstalt) with the Halle Student Assistance (Hallesche Studentenhilfe e.V.). Since German reunification, the Student Union in collaboration with the universities is once again largely responsible for providing students with an attractive academic environment. The Student Union Halle is responsible for the social, economic, medical and cultural support of students attending the universities in the region.
The cooperation between the Student Union Halle and the Francke Foundations goes back to the early 1990s, when the Student Union was responsible for one of the child-care facilities, which the Foundations later took over. Likewise, the establishment of a student hall of residence in Houses 8 and 9 was a joint project of the Evangelical Seminary, the Francke Foundations and the Student Union Halle. The handover of the Francke Foundations’ Historic Dining Hall to the Student Union as its operator in 2003 was thus a logical process. Francke’s ideas and activities in support of students and the needy find attractive continuation with the Student Union and its social concerns. At present, true to the Student Union’s philosophy "… Here for you …," about 800 varied and healthy meals are sold daily.
Beyond providing lunches, the Historic Refectory enjoys great popularity and is gladly used for numerous events, ranging from sightseeing and working lunches to family celebrations.