::           Opening The Town Hall Tower 17.11.2012          

Spheres, stars and cockerels

6

Source: A. Dobkiewicz

A flag which was hung on the Town Hall Tower before its gilding.

In the course of the whole history the finial of the tower's cupola was embellished with various kinds of elements. Probably in the Middle Ages when the tower was covered with a simple hip roof on its roof there were some embellishments, probably in the form of spheres with a small spike.

In the half of the 16th century the sharp-sided roof of the tower was crowned with a spike on which „a cockerel” was placed. In 1559 it was replaced with a spire on the top which survived until the great gale of the 28th December 1612. During the renovation of the tower in 1734 on the 31st July Johann Maisel, carpenter's apprentice, placed a sphere on the spire containing various kinds of documents. They were subject to destruction during the fire of the tower caused by bombing the town by Austrian armies in 1757. When the tower was reconstructed in 1765 on the top a gilded flag with Prussian eagle and the following inscription „Sic cedit nunquam nec soli, nec orbi”(It yields to neither sun nor the world”) was placed. It was the form of expressing municipal councillors' thanks to Frederick II, the Prussian king, who financially contributed to the renovation of the tower. In 1822, on the occasion of plastering works on the tower a copper tin with coins and various kinds of documents was placed in the renovated sphere on the cupola's spire. In the manuscript document drawn up by municipal councillors we can read: „In 1822 at the opportunity of performing plastering works of the town hall and town hall tower it was stated that the time took its toll on the sphere and flag. Therefore, a star, flag and sphere which did not contain any souvenirs from the past were taken down form the top of the tower and repaired on the 12th October and today, on the 14th October, with God's help placed again where they were supposed to be. The upper part of the sphere was again made of copper by the local resident and coppersmith Karol Krzysztof Henkl. The sphere, flag and star were again gilded by Ernest Bogumił Reuter – local resident and senior brazier. The photos as well placement were taken with courage, competence and artfulness by the resident of Boguszów and the roofer Franciszek Klumm who however decided to settle in Świdnica. (…) We believe that our descendants wished that we mentioned at least several events from the town's history and contemporary times so to the sphere we are placing the following” (…).The document in the sphere included, apart from others, the information on total population, occupations, military units deployed in Świdnica, schools and public utility buildings, full names of craftsmen and munucipal councillors were specified as well. The tin in question survived until 1967. After the tower collapsed it was found and passed to the Museum of Old Commerce in Świdnica. At night on the 2nd January 1855 the gale blew off the Prussian eagle from the flag. On the photographs from the beginning of the 20th century the tower's spire is still embellished with sphere, flag and star, on one photograph preserved from this period there can also be seen a cross. It must have embellished the tower relatively short. On the photographs taken after 1945 it is no longer there. After some time a star went missing as well. In 1967 when the disaster occurred on the tower's spire there were only the sphere and flag.

Source: Marek Furmankiewicz - „Historia i plany odbudowy wieży ratuszowej”, „Rocznik Świdnicki 1998”, Heinrich Schubert - „Szkice z historii miasta Świdnicy”, iconography made available by the Museum of Old Commerce in Świdnica.

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