One of the most beautiful buildings in Gdansk is the Old Town Hall, or the Old Town Hall. It is located near other interesting historical sights – St. Joseph’s Church and the Big Mill. Inspection of the Old Town Hall is included in the program of most walking tours of the city.
At the place where the Old Town Hall is located in Gdansk, there was another building with two tent-roofed half-timbered roofs. It was erected in 1382 by the knights of the Teutonic Order. Later, the building was dilapidated, demolished, and in 1587 the construction of a new building began. It was completed in 2 years.
For many years, the Old Town Hall was the focus of the political, social, and even scientific life of Gdansk. It was there that the famous astronomer Jan Hevelius met when he was mayor of Gdansk. By the way, in addition to being a prominent scientist and famous politician, he was also a fairly successful brewer. It is known that the beer he brewed was often stored in the cellars of the town hall.
In the XIX century the building underwent significant reconstruction, the internal layout was changed. The brick walls of the building, which had been stuccoed for some time to protect the brick from destruction, were cleaned, and the bricks that were in poor condition were simply replaced with new ones. It was assumed that the building will be used as the Wedding Palace, however, the First World War broke out. During this period, various municipal services worked here, including the city senate, the construction police, etc.
Town Hall Architecture
The author of the project was the architect Anthony van Obbergen. The old town hall of Gdansk stands on an almost square (22×24 m) base. It is built of red brick in the style of Dutch mannerism. Perhaps the most recognizable architectural detail is the black turret. The town hall has a two-story basement with barrel-shaped arches. The upper floor was used as a wine and beer cellar, the lower – as a warehouse.
The original interior of the town hall has not been preserved. During the restoration carried out at the beginning of the XIX century, she acquired a portal, which was moved here from another building, located on the same street. This is the oldest of the Renaissance portals preserved in Gdansk.
In the building you can see many other works of art – bas-reliefs, plafonds, murals – dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. The walls of the Meshchansky Hall, in which court hearings were held at one time, are decorated with paintings by Adolf Boy – the cycle of 12 Sibyls. The most beautiful of the halls is considered to be Upper, decorated with Delft tiles. The ceiling in it is decorated with a ceiling with a painting dated to the XVII century. Another bright attraction – a monument to Hevelius – is located right in front of the entrance to the town hall.
Today, the Baltic Culture Center operates in the town hall building. From 2008 to 2016 In the Old Town Hall, large-scale restoration and conservation work was carried out.