Renovated numerous times, it was the calling card of the city, with its architecture and interior decoration in the style of Netherlandic Mannerism. Gdańsk City Hall has served many Polish Kings, including Casimir IV Jagiellon, Alexander I and Sigismund I the Old.
The 1556 fire in the building affected its restoration and expansion in the Renaissance style. 1561 saw the erection of the tower cupola, crowned with a gold-plated statue of Sigismund Augustus. This was also the time of the construction of the beautiful, openwork, sandstone balustrade on the top of the eastern wall, with the coats of arms of Poland, Royal Prussia and Gdańsk. The beautiful Jagiellonian eagles decorated the corners of the tower, while the carillon – a group of 14 bells imported from Holland – placed in the cupola was an innovation.
From the end of the 16th Century, the first floor became the representative storey, as it was home to the most important rooms of the Hall – the Great Council Room (also referred to as the Red or Summer room), the ceiling of which was decorated by 25 paintings of Isaac van den Block, and the Great Weta Room, also referred to since its reconstruction during the years 1841-42 as the White Room, which originated from the white colour of the ceiling.
Following the destruction of World War II, after numerous renovations, on 2 April 1970, the reconstructed City Hall was presented to serve as the home of the Museum of Gdańsk’s History, the current Gdańsk History Museum.
The walls of the Hall hosted many great people from the worlds of politics and culture, Presidents and monarchs.
During the tourist season, it is possible to enter the picture gallery of the tower, which provides a great view of Gdańsk. The City Hall tower graces the city with music from the bells of one of the Gdańsk carillons, a replica of the 17th Century instrument.
Also worth visiting:
– Guardhouse No. 1 on Westerplatte
– The Museum of the Polish Postal Service