Plac Jana Pawła II 1
This monumental masterpiece of neo-Renaissance architecture is currently also the seat of Olsztyn’s authorities. The interior of the building can be visited during the working hours of the City Council and from the outside it is worth looking at it even at night as it is attractively illuminated.
The building was built on the site of the 14th century St. Cross church and the surrounding cemetery which were both destroyed in 1806. It was designed by a city architect, Max Boldt (the work was managed by his successor Paul Christian Zeroch ), and built in the years 1912-1915. In the 1920s, the final form was given by adding
a south-western wing.
This town hall simplydraws attention to itself with its three massive, four-storey wings with raised lofts, a large extension, a tower with a clock crowned with a domed cupola in the shape of a double lantern and with its spire. The front entrance has been provided with a richly decorated semicircular portal, which is surmounted by Olsztyn’s former coat of arms and covered with a balustrade terrace. It is well worth noting the sophisticated decorations full of symbolism. They particularly appear on the longest wing, which leads from 1 May street.
On the facade of the second floor, between the windows of the session room, there are five statues embodying civic virtues: justice, wisdom, beauty, strength and urgency. The entrance to the old Mayor’s apartment is decorated with three sculptures symbolizing: a city official, home and family, and warmth and harmony. Themes mounting the triumphs of German arms in 1975, were replaced by decorative copper plates.
The interior of the session room is decorated with, among others, a mural in honour of the 500th anniversary of the Second Peace of Toruń, after which Warmia became a part of Poland. There are also stained glass windows depicting the evolution of the city’s coat of arms.
In contrast to the Old Town Hall, which in the 19th century began to run out of space for the councillors, this very building is called the New Town Hall. Today it houses the City Council, the Civil Status Office and the office of Olsztyn’s President. And from the town hall tower the city’s hymn “Oh, my beloved Warmia” flows daily.