The historical town hall is one of the most important sights of the city of Cologne. The town hall arbour is particularly well known. This porch was built by Wilhelm Vernukken in the 16th century and is a typical Renaissance building. At that time, the city council always met for speeches at this place to make the latest decisions known.
On the balustrade of the upper floor there is a relief showing the fight of the mayor Hermann Gryn with the lion. This is supposed to represent the victory of the citizens over the church for the city rule.
At the beginning of the 15th century the Cologne guilds erected the town hall tower. 130 stone statues adorn the late Gothic tower, which is 61 metres high. Every hour the tower clock strikes and the place Jabbeck, a wooden carved grimace, shows his tongue.
When the town hall was rebuilt, remains of the Roman praetorium were found. This can also be visited today. It was the seat of the Roman governor of Lower Germania. The town hall served more or less the same purpose for over 2000 years.
In the center of the town hall there is a piazetta, which is 900 square meters in size 12.6 meters high. This is dominated by the ceiling painting "Wolke" by Hann Trier. It is framed by the adjacent buildings. In the west there is the Hansasaal and the Laube, in the north the Rathausurm and the Löwenhof and in the east the rooms of the mayor. In the south is the administrative area.
The Hansasaal was the day-care centre of the Hanseatic League and served the Council as a courtroom and representation room. After the war, it was completely rebuilt in its high Gothic style. On the south wall there are sculptures of the "Nine Good Heroes" and opposite there are 8 prophets.
At 9.00 h, 12.00 h, 15.00 h and 18.00 h you can listen to the glockenspiel of the town hall tower clock.
How to get there
The historical town hall is in the Portalsgasse, in the old town.