Free table

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Free table ( mensa gratuita = gratuitous table) was called in the university life of the early modern period to the 19th century, the free student catering, so that an early form of scholarship represents.


As a rule, the Free Tables were based on regional church-denominational foundations , with which the respective students in the territories of the German Reich or the German Confederation that were then considered to be foreign countries were entertained. Originally, the catering was provided by the town houses of the place of study, which gained additional income as a result, later the catering was transferred to inns. Feeding could also take place in special places such as Halle or Helmstedt .

The free tables were financed by foundations such as B. the Nassau Central Study Fund or through income from secularized monastery property , collections or charitable foundations.

Where such foundations still exist today and finance free meals, vouchers are usually issued for the cafeteria .

See also


  • Karl Knoke : History of the free tables at the Georg August University in Göttingen. Hanover 1893.

Web links

Wiktionary: Free table  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Johann Friedrich Heigelin: General Handbook of Foreign Words: In addition to a concise factual explanation. A non-profit manual for all booths. 3rd edition, Tübingen 1853, p. 414.
  2. ^ Wilhelm Ebel: Memorabilia Gottingenis. Göttingen 1969, p. 122.