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New Town Hall

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Former Dominican monastery from the 13th century. served the representative purposes of the estates and for the meetings of city meetings and courts. Today, the Brno municipality and the mayor's residence are located in the New Town Hall. Pay attention to the covered arcade, historical portals, sundials, a fountain with allegories of 12 months and representative rooms.

The New Town Hall (Nová radnice) in Brno is just a common name. In fact, the age of this historical monument is more than seven centuries.

The New Town Hall complex was built gradually, starting in 1297. The oldest part is the corridor, decorated with a cross vault in the Gothic style. He remained from a monastery built by the Dominicans in the early 13th century. From the original decoration of the building only separate fragments, ancient frescoes have been preserved.

Zemsky house

Initially, the town hall was called the Zemsky court or the Zemsky house. In 1348, Charles IV ordered four provincial courts to be merged into the Brno Zemsky Court: the Yennitsky, Znojmsky, Brnyansky, and Iglavsky. At that time, only the western wing was completely completed, and it housed only one meeting room.

In 1419, the Diet of the Czech crown was held in the Zemsky house. The Hussites then adopted a historic decree in which they renounced submission to King Sigismund. In this building there were meetings of the court and the Sejm. Moravian rulers - Margraves - proclaimed here the kings of the Czech Republic.

In the buildings of the Zemsky house many times were reconstructed. In 1578, it was decided to build new halls. They were designed by Italian architects Pietro and Antonio Gabri. New Renaissance-style chambers were created in the north wing. There you could climb the beautiful staircase by Antonio Gabri. In the eastern part of the former monastery garden, arcades and a clock tower were built.

At the beginning of the 17th century, King Ferdinand placed the Royal Tribunal here. The city of Brno was proclaimed the capital of Moravia. In the Zemsky house there was not enough space for representative events and courts.

In 1619, a meeting of the Sejm was held in these halls, at which it was decided to rebel against the Habsburg dynasty. After the memorable battle on the White Mountain, a court was sitting in the Zemsky house, which delivered verdicts to the estates that rebelled against the monarch.

Between 1666 and 1672 a new Tribunal House was built in the monastery garden, but in 1717 it was destroyed. During the 18th century, new features of the then fashionable Baroque style appeared in the complex of buildings of the Zemsky House. During the reconstruction, which in the period 1726-29. carried out by an architect Walrus Grimm, two entrance portals with curly paraphernalia of balconies were created. In 1728, a sundial was arranged in the first courtyard. The sights of that period also included a fountain with an openwork lattice decorated with allegorical images of the twelve months of the year.

In 1784, the entire complex of buildings was transferred to the army and used as a warehouse. After that, it was again necessary to carry out reconstruction. In 1869, the Zemstvo committee bought the buildings, after a while they were given to the Brno authorities. In 1886, the complex was completely restored. The most valuable portals of houses that were demolished in the city at the beginning of the 20th century are still stored in the courtyard.

Photo and description

Having met the name "New Town Hall" on the city map, do not look for a new building in a modern style. In fact, the building of the New Town Hall, which used to be the Zemsky house, has been in existence for more than seven centuries.

As usual with the Czechs, for the construction of the building it was impossible to choose any wasteland, it was necessary to use the existing buildings. So it turned out that the New Town Hall was erected on the site of a 13th-century Dominican monastery. The year of construction of the town hall is 1297. The monastery corridor, the walls of which were decorated with frescoes, was ideally inscribed in the new building. By the way, their fragments have survived to our time and are of great value.

The building of the New Town Hall for a long time (since 1348) was used to conduct court hearings. At first, only one hall was completed, which, however, contained all the judicial representatives.

The year 1419 can be recognized as important not only for Brno, but also for the whole of Moravia. A meeting of Hussites was held on the premises of the New Town Hall, the result of which was their future rebellion. Subsequently, the town hall was also used to solemnly proclaim and honor Czech kings.

Since 1578, the town hall began to be improved: new halls and a clock tower are under construction. In 1728, the complex was complemented by a sundial in the first courtyard and a fountain of amazing beauty, decorated with a wrought-iron grate.

Today, the city hall of Brno holds meetings in the town hall building, as well as deputies gather to discuss pressing issues.

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The construction of the buildings of the New Town Hall was carried out gradually, in several stages. The construction of its oldest part - the east wing overlooking Vodichkova Street - was begun at the direction of King Charles of Luxembourg in 1377 at the Newest cattle market. Construction continued until 1398.

In the years 1411-1418, under the leadership of Martin Fricek and master Kršice, the southern wing of the town hall was built with a facade on Charles Square. The two-nave Gothic hall of the town hall was built 23 meters long and 11 meters wide, with a ceiling height of 7 meters.

On July 30, 1419, the New Town Hall became the site of tragic events that went down in history under the name First Prague Defenestration. The reason for these events was the decision of the city council of the New City to arrest several Hussites implicated in the riots, who were imprisoned in the town hall. After the Sunday morning Mass, a procession of Hussite parishioners led by the priest Jan Zhelivsky and other Hussite leaders (among whom was Jan ижižka) approached the New Town Hall from the side of St. Stephen’s Church, with the intention of freeing the prisoners. During a quarrel with council members, the stone brought from the window of the town hall fell into the Holy Gifts brought by the Hussites with them (according to another version, the stone fell into Zhelivsky himself). This was a signal to the furious actions of the crowd: bursting into the town hall, the Hussites threw out the window of the city purmmist, the judge and thirteen other council members. Falling from the windows, they smashed on the pavement and were sought by the crowd. It was this action that served as the beginning of the long fratricidal Hussite wars.

The dominant feature of the town hall and the entire Charles Square - the six-story town hall tower - was laid in 1451 on the corner of the square and Vodichkova street. The construction of the tower was completed in 1456. Its height is 70 meters, and the staircase leading to the top of the tower consists of 212 steps. The lower floor of the tower was used as a prison. To the right of the entrance to the tower from the side of Vodichkova Street, at a height of 2 meters from the sidewalk, a reference metal was mounted Prague arshin 591.4 mm long, designed for the needs of market trade.

On the ground floor of the tower was built the chapel of the Taking of the Virgin Mary and St. Wenceslas in the Gothic style, later rebuilt in the Baroque style. Among other things, the chapel served as the last spiritual refuge for prisoners sentenced to death. A fresco on the theme of justice was made on the vaults of the chapel. The top floor of the tower served as the herald's dwelling. The roof and gallery of the tower were reconstructed in 1722-1725 and in this form have survived to this day.

In the years 1520-1526, under the leadership of Benedict Reith, the south wing and the main facade of the town hall were rebuilt in the Renaissance style. However, in 1559 lightning struck the tower of the town hall, as a result of which there was a strong fire, which almost destroyed the town hall buildings. The dome of the tower was later destroyed by a storm. Reconstruction after the fire was led by a German architect and builder Boniface Wolmut. Under his leadership, the western and northern wings of the town hall were built in the Renaissance style, the eastern wing (on Vodichkova Street) was rebuilt in the same style. The hall of the town hall was restored in the Gothic style, however, the ribbed Gothic arch was now supported by Renaissance pillars. The restoration and reconstruction resulted in a four-wing town hall, an arcade courtyard and a tower in the southeast corner.

The New Town Hall served as the residence of the municipal council until 1784, when King Joseph II united the four cities of Prague into one and designated the Old Town Hall as the residence of the new city government. In the building of the New Town Hall, a criminal court and pre-trial detention cells were placed (where, among others, Jan Sladkiy Kozina and the participants of the 1848 revolution were kept). In accordance with the new appointment, in 1806-1811, part of the town hall was rebuilt in the Empire style, designed by Karl Schmit.

In 1905-1906, the reconstruction of the town hall tower with the aim of giving it its original appearance was carried out by architects Antonin Viegl and Camille Gilbert. In addition, large Renaissance windows from the main hall of the town hall and Renaissance coat of arms were restored on the facade of the town hall overlooking Charles Square.

In 1958-1959, the wedding hall of the Prague 2 district was arranged in the main town hall. A more serious reconstruction of the halls was carried out according to the design of Vaclav Girs in 1976-1996, adapting them for the administrative needs of the district.

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