Żnin – town hall tower


   Town hall in Żnin was erected in 1447-1500. This building was destroyed during the Polish-Swedish wars in 1656, and then demolished with the exception of the tower, which was damaged in a fire in 1692. In 1692 the tower was damaged by a fire. It was rebuilt, but reduced by one storey. During this reconstruction there was also a pyramid roof with a baroque helmet, which lasted until the mid-nineteenth century. In 1755 a clock was built in the building, funded by mayor Zenon Konwerski. In 1961 a regional museum was established.


   The town hall tower in Żnin received a massive form, erected on a square plan, transforming into an octagon at the height of the first floor. Its storeys are separated from each other by band friezes and a frieze made of diagonally laid bricks. The windows ended with segmental arches, and a round blende was placed on the third floor. Between the first and the second storey there are stepped arches. Originally, the tower had five floors and was ended with an observation platform topped with a battlement.
   The lowest part of the building were cellars with barrel vaults, which in the past served as a prison or jail. There was also a medieval hypocaustum heating system in the cellars. There was a furnace there, from which led a system of internal heating channels built into the walls of the tower, extending along the entire height of the building. These channels were used to send heated air to the upper floors.
   The medieval, wooden town hall building was added to the tower from the north. It was built on a rectangular plan, perhaps three stories high. At the height of the first floor, it was connected by a wooden porch with the town hall tower. 

Current state

   Until today, a Gothic tower has survived from the former town hall, while no visible traces have been preserved of the old wooden building. Its existence is evidenced only by the façade of the tower without window openings. At present, the facility houses the Museum of the Pałucka Region, holding historical and ethnographic exhibits related to the region.

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Pawlak R., Polska. Zabytkowe ratusze, Warszawa 2003.

Website wikipedia.org, Wieża ratuszowa w Żninie.
Website zabytek.pl, Wieża ratuszowa, ob. Muzeum Ziemi Pałuckiej Żnin.