History of the Town Hall, Biecz

Ratusz w Bieczu

The town hall was originally Gothic; most likely, it had the shape of a long ground-floor building covered by a tall roof. Back then, its main entrance was located on the west side, as evidenced by the fragment of the door opening that has survived to this day. The town hall had a watchtower with a clock. In the 16th century, the tower collapsed, and a young trumpeter perished in its ruins. It was rebuilt with funds from Marcin Kromer. Following the prevailing Renaissance fashion, the new tower was topped with a dome, and its walls were decorated with sgraffito. The town hall was crowned with an attique and the walls were decorated with bossage. In the 1820s, the eastern part of the building was dismantled, giving it a new facade from the east. In 1903, a fire in Biecz consumed most of the city, including the town hall. During rebuilding, the tympanum was removed and the new lower roof was covered with shingles. A trumpet call is sounded from the town hall tower every day at noon. In the cellar underneath the tower is a dungeon known as 'turma', which held the condemned. Various inscriptions and forms of timekeeping engraved in the walls by the condemned men survive to this day. Above was a cell, where you can see copies of medieval torture instruments.

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