Orneta – town hall


   The town hall, or actually a municipal building associated with trade, was built in Orneta after 1359. In the town’s act of foundation, that was renewed at that time, there was mention of existence of merchant house in the middle of the market. In its place in the following years, the seat of the town council was built. The construction of the building was completed in 1376, and the current shape was given to it until 1384. At the beginning of the 15th century, the block of the town hall was covered with huts, which before 1614 received the form of a small houses.
After the construction disaster in 1721, when part of the eastern façade collapsed, a renovation was carried out, during which the interiors were transformed, covering them on the first floor with polychrome ceilings. In 1777 the seat of the municipal police was added to the town hall, so that the entrance to the first floor was moved from the north to the south. In 1907-1908, the gables, roof and windows of the building were renovated, while in 1920, the interiors were rebuilt and a new entrance was made with stairs to the first floor from the east. During World War II, the building was seriously damaged. From 1955, part of the surrounding small  houses began to be dismantled. In 1968-1978 conservation work was carried out, as well as renovation.


   The Gothic town hall was built of bricks on a rectangular plan, 40 meters long. It received two floors, basements and an attic. The cellars were covered with vaults and divided into a series of chambers with their own loading openings. In the ground floor there was a large, single-space market hall with meat stalls and bread benches. The first floor had official and representative functions. It used to be the seat of the jury and council rooms as well as the mayor’s chamber. The building was covered with a gable roof, supported on its shorter sides on Gothic stepped gables.

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Pawlak R., Polska. Zabytkowe ratusze, Warszawa 2003.
Rzempołuch A., Przewodnik po zabytkach sztuki dawnych Prus Wschodnich, Olsztyn 1992.

Website leksykonkultury.ceik.eu, Ratusz w Ornecie.