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The Cologne City Hall is rightfully considered the oldest in Germany. According to historical documents, the town hall in Cologne existed as early as the 12th century, and was called the `` House of Citizens ''. Most likely, this house was the first building of the Town Hall, which was later renovated – its foundation became the basis of the current Town Hall, built in 1330.
In the XIV century, a terrible epidemic of plague and cholera broke out in the city. During this tragedy and confusion, violators of public peace destroyed the city block and the synagogue where Jews lived. The quarter was not far from the town hall. Subsequently, a large square grew on this place, and the Town Hall became its main attraction.
More recently, under the building of the Town Hall, during archaeological work, the remains of the Pretorium Palace, which in ancient times belonged to the Roman governor, were discovered. The central part of the square was equipped with a Mikveh – place of ritual ablution of German Jews. Jews performed their rituals around 1170.
The Town Hall wall is decorated with beautiful stone statues and arches that harmoniously fit into the Gothic style of the building. On the ground floor there are sculptures of popes, emperors and kings, on the second floor - – famous townspeople VIII – XVII centuries, on the third floor – famous townspeople XVII – XIX centuries, on the fourth floor – famous townspeople XIX – XX centuries, on the fifth floor – saints and patrons of Cologne.
The five-storey Town Hall tower was built in the 15th century. The lower floors of the tower have a quadrangular shape, and the upper – octagonal. This tower is an old part of the building, which is slightly out of harmony with the architectural elements built after the war.
In the 16th century, during the period of economic prosperity and commercial development of Cologne, a magnificent loggia appeared at the Town Hall. In 1569, a Renaissance gazebo was added to the building. This pavilion is the only element of the Town Hall that survived the war.
During the Second World War, the Town Hall building was seriously damaged. Restoration work began in 1950 and lasted until 1972.
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Topic: Town Hall in Germany, resort of Cologne.