Reconstruction of the Town Hall

Józef Oziębłowski. Town Hall Square in Vilnius. Circa 1835. Lithuanian National Museum of Art

Up to 1781, the Town Hall looked completely different from the present-day view. You could see its clocktower from a distance. However, when it fell, the entire building was reconstructed. For this reason, when we look at the Town Hall today, we see the classicistic building designed by Laurynas Gucevičius.

But the architect had bigger plans – if the most elaborate and luxurious version of the Town Hall designs he proposed had been approved, today the Town Hall would stretch up to the middle of the square and would have a tall tower. However, for financial reasons, the Town Hall was built based on the most modest design, which included a front portico with six columns.

The first floor was used to keep measurement devices and had rooms for guards and clerks, shops and a prison; the second floor had a representative hall of the city governor, a court, a merchant area, treasuries and a big hall with two rows of columns. The prison of condemned men survived until 1840 in the building’s basement.

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