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Bauska Town Hall

Bauska, Latvia

The Town Hall in Bauska was built at the beginning of the 17th century and by the year 1740 it was the largest Town Hall in the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia and also one of the largest in all of Latvia.

In the year 1609, Bauska was granted its seal and with that the rights of a town. In 1615, Duke Friedrich of Courland conferred to Bauska the privilege to construct a town hall. In the centre of market square there was already a small one-storey Town Council building, constructed in the end of the 16th century. It was made bigger and higher and after one year the new building was ready for occupancy by the Town Council.

It was a two-storey brick building with an arcade in the extended eastern end, with a tower with cupola and steeple constructed in the timber frame and infill construction. Facades were modestly decorated only by volutes in the lowest part of the triangular pediments and by some corner rustification. In the 17th century the Bauska Town Hall was the largest in Kurzeme.

The Town Hall basement was in fact a wine cellar and on the first floor level were the quarters of the servant to the Town Council, and … the Town Scales. On the second floor - the Council meeting room and work space for council officials.

The ringing on the Bell Tower was a signal to the townspeople announcing important events. During the second half of the 19th century the Bauska Town Council had insufficient funds for renovations to the building, thus, in 1852 the damaged tower was dismantled. In 1871 the second floor of the building was also dismantled and the remaining space was rebuilt and leased out for shops.

The Town Hall has remained in this modest appearance until the present day. The Bauska Town Council has launched a new project with the expectation that by the year 2012 the Town Hall will have been completely renovated. After restoration work has been completed, visitors will be able to enjoy the new tourist attraction “Weigh and Measure Bauska”. The Bauska Tourism Information Centre is located in the building.

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