Town Hall

sights / Architecture

Town Hall information

Poznań , Poland
Stary Rynek 1
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Poznań’s Renaissance town hall, topped with a 61m-high tower, instantly captures your attention. Its graceful form replaced the 13th-century Gothic town hall, which was consumed by fire in the early 16th century, along with much of the town. It was designed by Italian architect Giovanni Battista Quadro and constructed from 1550 to 1560; only the tower is a later addition, built in the 1780s after its predecessor collapsed. The crowned eagle on top of the spire, with an impressive wingspan of 2m, adds some Polish symbolism.

The main eastern facade is embellished with a three-storey arcade. Above it is a painted frieze depicting kings of the Jagiellonian dynasty, and a clock. Every day at noon two metal goats appear through a pair of small doors above the timepiece and butt their horns together 12 times, in deference to an old legend. Apparently two goats intended for a celebratory banquet escaped and ended up clashing horns above the about-to-be-unveiled clock, much to the amusement of the assembled dignitaries. The clockmaker was duly ordered to add the errant animals’ images to his piece.