Town hall, currently the Wedding Palace, Gliwice
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Town hall, currently the Wedding Palace

Gliwice

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The monument is highly valuable on a regional scale from the historical, artistic, and scientific points of view. The town hall is an integral part of the historic market square in Gliwice, which has retained its original layout. Moreover, the importance of the structure is indicated by its location in the focal point of the square, of which it is a dominant feature.

History

Gliwice is one of the oldest cities in Upper Silesia, it was granted municipal rights as early as in the mid-13th century. The first wooden building of the town hall, functioning as the seat of the town council, was probably built towards the end of the 13th century. The renewal of the town privileges took place in 1465. That event, and the moment of granting a hop trade permit 10 years later, are believed to mark the period when the first brick town hall, neighbouring the town brewery, was built. It performed both representative and administrative functions. As a result of numerous fires, e.g. in 1601, 1711 or 1820, the structure was renovated many times and lost its original Gothic character, replaced with a classical exterior design. Major modifications include: the dismantling of the onion dome of the tower and replacing it with a lantern with a tented roof in 1714 and the full-scale alterations of 1789, including the replacement of the gable roof with a mansard roof, the reconstruction of the tower, and the modification of the interior layout by adding new partitions. The present half-hip roof was constructed at the beginning of the 20th century during the repairs of damage caused by fires. The present shape and interior design are the results of the restoration works carried out at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. The façades were covered with plaster with indentures, an arcaded portico was constructed, and a buttress with a scuplture of the Blessed Virgin of Immaculate Conception was built onto the south wall. Currently, the structure does not function as the seat of the city authorities: it contains Pałac Ślubów (“wedding palace”), Sala Rajców (“the room of the council members”), and a restaurant.

Description

The free-standing town hall building is situated in the central part of the square, slightly more to the east. It is located in the city centre, to the north of the Piast Castle, and surrounded by rows of buildings on all sides.

The town hall was built in the 15th century in the Gothic style. It was modified a number of times due to fires. In the 17th century, it had a Renaissance character. The current, classical design comes from the 19th century. The three-storeyed building, made of brick and covered with plaster, has a rectangular floor plan with an arcaded walkway along the north-east facade. The segmented structure is covered with a half-hip roof. The plaster at the ground floor level has linear indentures. A distinctive feature of the building is the quadrangular clock tower in the north-east part, covered with an octagonal roof with a lantern surmounted by a spire. The building features quadriaxial side façades, decorative elements in the form of lesenes with indentures surmounted by capitals, a buttress with a Late Baroque sculpture by Jan Melchior Öesterreich in the centre of the south-west facade, and two commemorative plaques at the ground floor level. The north-east façade has five axes, with the clock tower located on the central axis. A five-bay arcaded walkway with round arches runs along the wall at the ground floor level. The symmetrical south-west façade also has five axes. The entrace is situated on the third axis and framed by pillars; the opening, defined by a profiled niche, is topped by an arch. The interior was modified a number of times in the past. Its notable features include the half landing staircase in the hall. There are no original fittings and furnishings.

The outside of the building is accessible all year round. The basements contain a publicly accesible café.

compiled by Agata Mucha, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 21-08-2014.

Bibliography

  • Maurer F., Ratusz w Gliwicach, [w:] Rocznik Muzealny, Gliwice 1967.
  • Karta Ewidencyjna Zabytków Architektury i Urbanistyki, Dawny Ratusz, oprac. H. Wiąk-Marzec, 2001
  • Pawlak R., Polska. Zabytkowe Ratusze, Warszawa 2003.
  • Ratusze województwa śląskiego i ziem przygranicznych, red. G. Bożek, Katowice 2000, s. 39.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, red. S. Brzezicki, C. Nielsen, G. Grajewski, D. Popp, Warszawa 2009, s. 263.

General information

  • Type: town hall
  • Chronology: XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Rynek , Gliwice
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district Gliwice, commune Gliwice
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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