Situated on the banks of the Elbe, Torgau played a key role in the Protestant Reformation. Fortified Hartenfels Castle, the most important early Renaissance palace in Germany, dominates the city. From 1485, it was the principal residence of the Ernestine Dukes, and it houses the first purpose-built Protestant church. Famous residents of the castle, five brown bears, are kept in the dry moat according to a centuries-old tradition. In the 16th century, Torgau was a hotbed of Protestant activity; the Torgauer Bund (Association of Torgau) was founded here in 1525 as a refuge for Protestants.