History: Explore the Times of Martin LutherHotel: Wake Up in Front of the Theses Door

Construction of our Building Completed

The building that is known today as the Hotel & Restaurant “Alte Canzley” was built in 1391 as the residence of the provost of Wittenberg.

Times were different 600 years ago. Europe was separated into small, more or less independent territories ruled by dozens of kings and thousands of earls, dukes and other secular potentates. In Western Europe there was one church, the Catholic (the Greek word for universal) Church with its name deliberately chosen to reflect its claim not only on Europe but on the entire globe. This was not an empty claim. In 1494, the Vatican would preside over a treaty dividing the entire, newly discovered world between Spain and Portugal - the Treaty of Tordesillas.

The otherwise rather divided medieval rulers of the territories and the church where united only by one point: The systematic and brutal suppression of millions of people living under their yoke. The strongest weapon the rulers used to control their “subjects” was to keep them illiterate – unable to participate in any meaningful way in public or political life. The second set of weapons used to keep the status quo was applied by the church: deception and pacification. All medieval power lay in the hands of the nobility and the Roman Catholic Church. The simple people could not read or write and were forced to work hard for those in power.

During the 13th to the 14th century most people living in Wittenberg were farmers or craftsmen. In 1293, Wittenberg received the town charter and in 1354 the right to have its own market, a privilege that promised relative wealth and prosperity for the town merchants. By that time the “Black Death” – the great plague epidemic of the 14th century – was ravaging Europe killing 25 million people – including many from Wittenberg.

In 1391 our building opposite the Wittenberg Castle Church was completed and soon thereafter received the name “Thurmpropstei”, as it served as a residence for the provost of Wittenberg. The name was later changed to “Canzley” (Chancellery), due to the fact that the provost of Wittenberg also served as the chancellor to the King of Saxony who resided in the Wittenberg Castle. This Castle is located south of the Castle Church and only 200 yards from our hotel. Parts of the castle have just been restored, including the king’s quarter – and they are awaiting your visit.

In 1412, the year Joan of Arc was born, our building was already more than 20 years old. By the time of the building’s 80th anniversary, the German painter Albrecht Dürer was born. And the most exciting times were still to come …

Experience the fourth dimension – history – in our hotel. We would like to welcome you as our guest!