ratusz w Srokowie
Ratusz w 2023 r. Fot. Lesnydzban, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Baroque town hall in Stroków. Renovation has restored its historic appearance

The Baroque town hall in Srokowo, a village located less than 14 km from the border with the Königsberg region, is one of the most valuable monuments in the area. The building was constructed in the 18th century on the foundations of an older structure destroyed by the Tartars. In 2013, the renovation of the monument’s façade was completed, during which it was restored to its Baroque appearance, somewhat obliterated during previous modernisations.

The town hall in Sroków was built from the foundation of Jan Zygmunt in 1608-1611. It was soon burnt down during a Tartar invasion, after which it was rebuilt in 1772-75 according to a design by the builder Fetter. The result was a rectangular building with balanced proportions. The two-storey building was set on high cellars and covered with a mansard roof with dormer windows. In 1817, a tower in neo-Baroque style was built in the middle of the ridge, designed by the architect Strobbe. The lowest, square part of the tower is surrounded by a balustrade forming an observation deck. The façade decoration of the building is quite modest, with rustication on the ground floor. On the south wall of the town hall is a cartouche with the coat of arms of Johan Sigismund with the inscription: “VGG Johan Sigismund M.V.C.F.Z. Brandeb P.Z.I.C.B.V. Herzog”, which translates as “By God’s grace, John Sigismund Margrave and Elector of Brandenburg and Pomerania”.

Town Hall in 2023. Photo by Lesnydzban, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

ratusz w Srokowie

Right next to the town hall is a small brick and brick granary, dating from the second half of the 18th century.The three oak trees planted in front of the town hall have their historical roots in 19th-century German history. The first was planted to mark German unification on 18 January 1871, the second, called the Peace Oak, to mark the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 and the third in 1888 as the Kaiser Oak. Only two trees remain today.

The destruction of the growing town came with the last two major wars. During the First World War, the arcaded townhouses at the market square were destroyed. This hampered the development of the then German Drengfurt. The buildings, raised from the rubble, were destroyed again in 1945 during the occupation of the town by the Red Army. Losses were estimated at 60%. The Baroque town hall and neighbouring buildings luckily survived.

Srokowo town hall before and after renovation. Photo: Janericloebe, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons and Google Maps

In 1946 the town was incorporated into the newly formed Olsztyn Voivodeship in post-war Poland and was classified, due to its destruction and small size, as a village. The German-speaking population of the town was displaced to Germany. In 1950 the historic name of Dryfort was replaced by Srokowo, thus commemorating Stanisław Srokowski (1872-1950), a geographer and author of numerous scientific works on East Prussia.

Srokowo town hall before and after renovation. Photo Antekbojar, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons and Google Maps

In late 2012 and early 2013, the authorities carried out a renovation of the historic town hall. During stratigraphic work, its historic colour was established and the previously white windows were painted green. The cartouche with the coat of arms of John Sigismund was also restored. The renovation restored the building to its former baroque appearance.

Today, the town hall houses the municipal office and the registry office.

Source: mojemazury.pl, srokowo.warmia.mazury.pl

Read also: Architecture in Poland | Curiosities | History | City | Monument | whiteMAD on Instagram

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