Starting in 1698, the theologian August Hermann Francke had a group of buildings constructed little by little which were originally intended to be a simple orphanage, but which eventually grew into a “school town”. Among the buildings is the largest residential half-timbered house in Europe, dating from 1714
Francke (1663 - 1727), the positive pietist, founded the institution with only a few thalers, to establish an educational and social organization for the poor. During the 18th century the foundation emerges into a European center of pietism and enlightenment.
In Fall 1991 the reconstruction and renovation of the Franckesche Stiftungen began, situated in the heart of the city of Halle. With the reopening of the orphanage, the October of the year 1995, a first climax was achieved in the restoration works. Today, the Franckesche Stiftungen is open to the public as an academic, cultural, educational and social institution which houses a number of cultural and historical exhibitions either on a permanent or nonpermanent basis, and hosts concerts and academic events in the Freylinghausen Room.