The Francke Foundations
Educational cosmos on a historical site
The foundation of the Francke Foundations goes back to the Lutheran theologian and pedagogue August Hermann Francke (1663-1727). Rooted in deep piety, inspired by Christian conviction and driven by pietistic energy, he founded a school for the poor and an orphanage more than three hundred years ago at the gates of the city of Halle an der Saale. Within a few years this developed into a tripartite school system for all social classes, for boys and girls. August Hermann Francke thus began to use the means of education to eliminate social grievances and to improve the society of his time in a Christian sense.
Since the reestablishment of the Francke Foundations as a foundation under public law in 1992, we have been preserving and caring for the cultural heritage founded by August Hermann Francke:
On the one hand, this is achieved by preserving the unique ensemble of buildings and the traditional cultural-historical collections, which are mainly grouped together in the archive, the library and the Kunst- und Naturalienkammer. On the other hand, this is achieved by reviving the ideas and basic concerns of August Hermann Francke in a contemporary form. In the foundation's own facilities we offer cultural, scientific, social and educational activities aimed at all people at home and abroad. In addition, the foundations also form the roof for several dozen other institutions, each of which independently continues some aspects of Francke's traditional heritage on the foundation's premises. This also includes institutions that consciously strengthen Christian life in the Francke Foundations.
Today, the Francke Foundations once again have the potential to provide answers to current social challenges with their cultural education programmes closely interlinked with scientific work and a wide range of social activities. These are surprisingly similar to the problems during Francke's lifetime. Even today, the focus is on questions of social participation, educational justice and intercultural coexistence, to name just a few examples. Thus we will continue to orient our work towards the ideas of the founder August Hermann Francke and develop educational offers for all social groups, independent of social and cultural origin as well as age and gender, in order to stand up in this way for a cosmopolitan and democratic society.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Müller-Bahlke
Joachim Gauck as the Federal President
on the occasion of the 350. birthday of August Hermann Franckes on 22 March 2013
»Today we experience the Francke Foundations as an institution preservating the tradition in making us active. Here you feel the courage to tackle current socio-political challenges, and you are amazed that they are the same, at least often, as they were in Francke's day: Education, participation and social balance, which teaches us to use our own possibilities«.
Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters
during her visit to the Francke Foundations (2015)
»With the financial support of the federal and state governments, the goal of restoring this important cultural institution to its former glory is within reach. The fact that we have succeeded in making this historic cultural lighthouse in Halle shine again is further proof of cooperative and constructive cultural federalism«.
Minister for Culture in Saxony-Anhalt, Rainer Robra
»With the Francke Foundations, we have a unique ensemble of cultural and scientific institutions at our disposal in the heart of Halle, in which the educational ideal of its founder is still being tied to today. It was therefore particularly important to the state government to preserve the material and immaterial heritage of August Hermann Francke and make it fit for the future«.