The word „Burse“ comes from the Latin „Bursa“ and stands for community coffer. The Burse was built from 1478 to 1482 as a students' home and study shortly after the foundation of the university. The humanist and reformer Philipp Melanchthon taught there until his appointment to Wittenberg in 1518 (commemorative tablet).
From 1803 to 1805 the building was transformed into the first medical clinic in Tübingen; the modifications were done in the style of Classicism. One of the first patients was Friedrich Hölderlin, who was released as incurable after 231 days of therapy on May 3, 1807.
With the advancing medical development the clinical centre turned out to be too small. In 1972 – after a thorough reconstruction of the building – students and professors of philosophy and art history returned to this place of the „free arts“.