Cranach the Elder purchased the property from the heirs of the first rector of the University of Wittenberg, founded in 1502, doctor Martin Pollich of Mellerstadt (around 1455-1513). Under the reign of Cranach the Elder, the construction of the side wings followed in 1540, which were first meant to serve as workshop buildings. A few years later the south wing was built, which took over the workshop. In 1550, Cranach the Elder left Wittenberg. The house in the Schlossstraße 1 was taken over by his son Lucas Cranach the Younger.
Martin Pollich of Mellerstadt operated the Wittenberg pharmacy in de Schlossstraße. In 1520, Cranach the Elder took over the pharmacy franchise. The pharmacy was located on this property until the 1540s. Cranach’s youngest daughter Anna married pharmacist Caspar Pfreundt, they took over the house at Markt 4 and started the pharmacy there. In 1799 the Cranach pharmacy was moved to the Schlossstraße 1 again, where it still is today.
In the 16th century, young artists for the European courts were educated in the Cranach workshop. The Cranach Foundation took up the idea of education and, in 1996, the painting school; a children’s and youth art school was founded. As an external exposition project, the workshop buildings were renovated from 1997 until 2000. The front building was converted into a hostel and inaugurated in 2009. Such as in the Cranach era, you can educate yourself artistically and live in his house at the same time. The renovation of the Cranach houses was made possible by federal, state and municipal funds. The German Foundation for Monument Protection and the Lotto Toto GmbH Sachsen Anhalt have supported the preservation of the Cranach houses with their funding. In 2005, the Cranach houses were declared as buildings of national importance.