The Main Town Hall


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The main town hall is a Gothic-Renaissance building, located at the corner of Dluga Street and Dlugi Targ, dominating the panorama of the Royal Route – the most representative route of the listed part of the city.

The origins of the Town Hall, which from the very beginning was the seat of the authorities of the main Gdansk area, from the 14th century referred to as the Main City, go back to the early Middle Ages. From the mid 15th century it became the center of power for the entire area located on the Motlawa river. It served this function for a few centuries, and throughout this time was the main municipal building. The exact date of the creation of the building is unknown. According to 17th century Gdansk chronicler, Stephan Graua, the construction of the Town Hall was started in the spring of 1327 and completed in December 1336. The Gdansk chronicler did not however provide the source of this information. In the 14th century the Town Hall was probably a small one-storey building constructed as a frame structure from bricks and wood. Reconstruction of the town hall, started in 1946, was a difficult project and is regarded as one of the outstanding Polish post-war conservation achievements. After extensive bricklaying-conservation work, on 2 April 1970, the reconstructed town hall was commissioned to accommodate the Gdansk Historical Museum, which since 2000 has been the Gdansk History Museum. The town hall performed functional and ideological tasks. The latter were reflected especially in the design of its most beautiful interior, i.e. the preserved Great Council Hall (the Red Hall). In this enormous painting-sculpture complex, the creators of the program presented – generally speaking – the moral norms and the rules of conduct for the city authorities. The specific atmosphere of Gdańsk is also created by its bells. In 2000 a new outstanding 37-bell carillon was installed in the town hall tower The carillon was built by the Dutch bells and carillon manufacturer, Royal Eijsbouts in Asten. The Town Hall’s chiming bells are the background and at the same time a sort of rival to events held in the city.

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