Old Town Hall (004QR2)
Old Town Hall
The Old Town Hall entered recorded history in 1317. In Martin Luther’s era, a replacement town hall was erected to the north of its predecessor between 1521 and 1535. Having already fallen to rack and ruin by 1563, the necessary repair work along with a number of additions took another ten years. The result was a freestanding Renaissance building housing both the town’s administration and commercial activities, with merchants and craftsmen offering their wares for sale in special vaults. The upper storeys contained the council archive, the council chamber, the tax office and the scribe’s office. There was also an armoury as well as a tavern selling food and drink. Consequently, this prestigious building was the scene of political gatherings, bustling trade and merrymaking. But it was also the local seat of justice, for the cellar contained the town prison and a torture chamber, while executions took place in front of the town hall’s portal. The four square stone flags on the market square show where the scaffold once stood.
Nowadays, the Old Town Hall contains the large town council chamber, the historical mayor’s office and a registry office for weddings, and is also the headquarters of various charitable organizations. In 2000, the local authority moved into the New Town Hall.