Chojna – town hall

History

   The original building on the site of today’s town hall was the merchant’s house mentioned in the document from January 6, 1409. It was a simple building on a rectangular plan. Inside, there were warehouses, a merchant hall, and most probably separate rooms for the town council.
   In the years 1433-1461, the merchant’s house was expanded and renamed to the town hall, the main seat of the municipal authorities. The interior of the basement and the first floor were then adapted to new, more complex functions. In 1433, the town’s documents mention the premises of the mayor of Chojna, and in 1461 it is clearly said about the taxes paid in the town hall.
   After 1702, probably due to damage caused by fire, a general renovation and reconstruction in baroque forms was made. The walls of the first floor were pulled down, leaving only gothic gables. Regothisation of the facade was made in 1883 and reconstruction after war damages in the years 1977-1985.

Architecture

   The original merchant’s house from the first half of the 14th century was a two-storey rectangular building with basement, with dimensions of 38.3 x 13.7 meters. Interiors were covered with flat, timber ceilings. Also in the cellars the ceiling was reinforced with a row of wooden pillars. The entrance was located in the northern part of the west façade. In the interior, which divisions are unknown, there were warehouses in cellars and on the first floor, and a merchant hall on the ground floor. There were probably also separate rooms for the city council.
   
In the years 1433-1461, the building was extended southwards by one span, that is by 9.30 meters and closed by a new south elevation with a rich decoration. In the basement, rib vaults were installed, and the rooms on the ground floor and first floor were covered with flat ceilings, which were supported on the ground floor by a row of timber poles. At the end, a new north façade was built with partial preservation of its former ground part. In the Middle Ages, the lower parts of the longitudinal elevations were covered with stalls. After finishing the work, the square in front of the town hall was paved and then the Roland sculpture was placed on it.
   
Finally, at the end of the Middle Ages, a rectangular, brick building was erected, on foundations made of stone and granite blocks, measuring 47.60 x 13.70 meters. The facades were pierced with windows with pointed and semicircular arches. Each part had a different decoration. The most impressive was the gable from the market side, vertically divided by polygonal buttresses, horizontally with two inter-story cornices and belts of friezes. Additionally, the buttresses were covered with stripes of friezes decorated in blendes and wimpergs. The main entrance and the entrance to the basement, as well as three windows, were pointed and finished with wimpergs. On the first floor there were three biforas with rosettes, while the middle part of the gable had pointed windows and side windows decorated with wimpergs. From the north side, the entrance to the building was decorated with a pointed portal which archivolt had theme of zigzag-shaped bricks. On the sides of the entrance there were two pointed windows.

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bibliography:
Architektura gotycka w Polsce, red. T. Mroczko i M. Arszyński, Warszawa 1995.
Pilch.J, Kowalski S., Leksykon zabytków Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, 2012.
Webpage zabytek.pl, Ratusz Chojna.
Webpage encyklopedia.szczecin.pl, Ratusz (Chojna).