In 1505, Elector Frederick the Wise appointed painter Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553) to his court in Wittenberg. He initially resided in the castle. In 1511/12, he purchased two adjacent houses on the market square (Markt 4 and 5), where he started a family (Lucas Cranach the Younger was born here in 1515) and built up a successful workshop. In around 1518, he sold the property on the market square and acquired the buildings at Schlossstrasse 1.
In 1550, pharmacist Caspar Pfreundt (Cranach’s son-in-law) purchased the property and ran the local pharmacy here. Subsequent owners included Johann Friedrich Benjamin Thomae, the Mayor of Wittenberg, who oversaw its conversion to late-Baroque style after purchasing it in around 1771.
A local society has campaigned for the renovation of the buildings associated with Cranach with the local council since 1989. During preliminary archaeological investigations, precious ceiling paintings from Cranach’s workshop were discovered in the front building. The first construction phase was finished in 1998, and refurbishment was completed nine years later.