The House of Ascania was one of the most prominent dynasties in the Middle Ages. After their enfeoffment in 1180, they made Wittenberg their ducal seat. The site where a Franciscan monastery was once founded as the final resting place for the Ascanians by Duchess Helena (St Elizabeth’s daughter-in-law) in the mid-13th century is now home to the town’s reception area for visitors.
The building complex includes Stadthaus (a venue and conference centre built in the 21st century) and a tourist information centre. The neighbouring buildings date back to various eras before and after Martin Luther’s time.
The Historical Town Information Centre presents the Ascanians’ history up to the death of Elector Rudolf II in the very place where his tomb was discovered in 2009. It explains the Ascanians’ impact on their territory extending from Brandenburg to Saxony.
The Council Archive, a department of the Municipal Collections, preserves important documents, valuable prints, historical maps of the town, and other archival documents from centuries past. The display in the old Franciscan Monastery Church is augmented by original documents in the Council Archive pertaining to Rudolf II.