Tarnów – town hall

History

    The first mention in the sources written about the town hall in Tarnów dates from 1448 and 1463. Originally it could be a wooden or wooden-brick building, which together with the whole building of the city within the walls, was destroyed in the fire in 1494. In place of it was formed two brick buildings standing side by side in the center of the market square. They acted as the seat of the magistrates court and the municipal authorities. Between the buildings was a 3 meters deep “pit of the villains”. It was framed well, which most likely served as an urban prison.
   
In the first quarter of the 16th century, separate buildings were merged together and the floor was added. This remodeling was still in late gothic style. In the middle of the 16th century began the most important reconstruction and expansion of the object, which owes its present appearance. The town hall was enlarged with a western section and topped with a high, brick, attic wall, and in the south-east corner of the building was added a avant-corps, which contained a staircase. The tower was raised to a cylindrical part and a porch was placed on it, where the watch guard was supposed to alert of the fire and the enemy.
   
In 1792 the town hall building was again completely destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt but with significant changes. In the years 1889 – 1892 was renovated and rebuilt in the spirit of historicism. Then, in the years 1962-1968 and in the first decade of the 21st century, complex revalorization was under way.

Architecture

    Two side-by-side buildings of the town hall from the end of the 15th century were brick-made, one-storey and without basement. One of them was on the north-west side of the square clock tower, and between them was a 3 meter depth down the prison pit. Reconstruction from the beginning of the 16th century merged into a whole different separate buildings. The new late gothic building has also gained a floor.
   The quadrilateral part of the tower, up to the oblique frieze made of bricks, is one of the oldest parts of the town hall. Raised in the 16th century with a cylindrical part, it reached a height of 28 meters. At its top there is a porch, suspended on the corbels, where the guards were watching.

Current state

    Today the town hall has been preserved in the renaissance style of the mid 16th century. The building contains many elements from earlier gothic buildings, among others the lower, quadrangular side of tower, the walls in today’s east bay, the old entrance portal and the cellars. Also, the “pit of the criminals”, now glazed, is visible from the market square on the north side. Today the Town Hall is the seat of the Regional Museum in Tarnów and is open to the public. Price list and opening hours are on the official website here.

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bibliography:
Krasnowolski B., Leksykon zabytków architektury Małopolski, Warszawa 2013.
Website it.tarnow.pl, Ratusz.