Francke built the Hallesche orphanage on a busy trade route south of Halle in 1698. The three-storey building, visible from afar, has a plinth floor, an open staircase and a spacious two-storey mansard roof with tympanum. It adapted the architectural language of the Stadtpalais and is the nucleus of Francke's reform work. The basic structure of the future school town is inscribed here: The printing works, laboratories and storage facilities were on the ground floor, the bookshop and pharmacy opened their doors on the reception floor and the living and classrooms of the pupils were on the upper floors. High double-winged windows illuminated the interior and adorned the clearly structured front. The mansard roof in the lower roof offered space for the orphans as a dormitory, later the Kunst- und Naturalienkammer, the famous »Wunderkammer« was set up here. Already in the 18th century there were public guided tours through the chamber. Visitors and pupils marvelled at the model of the Solomonic temple exhibited here.
Colored copper engraving before 1750
It has been proven that the building was equipped with a mansard roof for the first time in the region. This roof construction creates an additional floor and thus allows optimal use of space. The restrained decoration of the front of the building was a style-forming feature of a Baroque movement that was characterised by a sober, sober style as an expression of Pietist Protestantism.
Model from the Cabinet of Artefacts and Natural Curiosities
After the orphan boys had moved to the newly erected buildings at Lindenhof in 1734, the former dormitory was redesigned as a Cabinet of Artefacts and Natural Curiosities. The collection of models illustrates the visual lessons at Francke's schools. Among them is a fold-out model of the orphanage.
View of the orphanage 1992
The Historical Orphanage was in a state of ruin at the beginning of the German reunification process. The windows were missing the panes, the house was full of pigeon droppings and the wood was badly damaged.