Olsztyn – old town hall

History

Originally, the Olsztyn market served only a commercial and economic role. In the place of the later town hall, there were benches and commercial huts, as well as a town’s brewery. After the town was organized and the mayor’s position was established in 1500, the town hall, the seat of the municipal authorities, was built on the market square. In 1620 it was burnt, as was most of the city. Four years later it was rebuilt, but his face changed completely. The city authorities then occupied the whole first floor of the building, while the ground floor was intended for commercial purposes. During the reconstruction also a tower appeared, serving as a guardhouse. In the second half of the eighteenth century, there was a general renovation of the building, while in 1880 from the Old Town Hall completely disappeared commercial places. During the interwar period, the third, north-east wing of the building stood in the place of the former brewery. In 1945, the Old Town Hall was burnt for the second time. In the years 1946-1949, its reconstruction was carried out.

Architecture

The original building of the town hall was built in the late gothic style as a two-storey building with a rectangular plan. It stood on a three-meter stone foundation, while the walls were built of bricks tied in a Flemish bond. In the middle of the southern façade was a wide entrance to the market hall, illuminated by narrow windows. On the first floor there were two pairs of blendes, originally stained blue and windows from the council meetings chamber. From the opposite, open to the market side, the stalls of shopkeepers stretched along the building. The entrance with a characteristic portal was situated on the east side of the ground floor. It led to the council meetings chamber. The building was warmed with a hypocaustum stove.

Current state

To this day, gothic northern, eastern and southern walls have been preserved, and the gothic façade on the south side. The medieval cellars, located in the south-west wing, have a great historical value. Unfortunately, they are currently unavailable, because after the Second World War they were covered with slag. The building of the Old Town Hall is now the seat of the Provincial Public Library.

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bibliography:
Website leksykonkultury.ceik.eu, Stary Ratusz w Olsztynie.
Website wikipedia.org, Stary Ratusz w Olsztynie.