Your official city guide to Bydgoszcz

Town Hall

Town Hall

Description

The Bydgoszcz Town Hall is the heart of the city. Together with the town church (Fara), its walls and gates have always been one of the foundations of the medieval city. The current City Hall building also has a nearly 400-year-long history. Initially, it was associated with the Jesuit Order and their college. The first Jesuits arrived in Bydgoszcz as early as 1616. In 1649, thanks to the economic support of Bishop Kasper Działyński (founder of the famous Calvary in Pakość among others), the Chancellor of the Crown, Jerzy Ossoliński (mayor of Bydgoszcz), and wealthy citizens who had previously acquired property and houses in the western side of the market, the Bydgoszcz Jesuits built a two-towered Baroque church. Earlier, in 1637 the Jesuits had bought a house next door for educational purposes. Initially a small school, it later turned into a so-called "residence", which in 1674 was given the title of College. The large College building (now the Bydgoszcz City Hall) was built in the years 1644 to 1653. The College was designed primarily for the children of the local gentry and burghers of Bydgoszcz, Gdansk and Braniewo. The new expanded building of the College was completed in 1695. The Jesuit College, which is de facto the first higher institution in Bydgoszcz, was a very important educational and cultural centre for the entire region. In addition to the typical scientific and educational activities, the College was home to recognized music groups and theatrical productions were also performed. From around 1623, a fully professional theatre group was present at the College, for which a special room with a stage was allocated, which could sit about 300 people. The room remained functional until 1822, organizing municipal theatre performances on the former Carmelite monastery premises (in the area of today's Teatralny Square). An occasion that remained in the memory of the great College was the visit of King Stanisław Leszczyński. On 29 September 1734 in honor of the king, a great feast was held, at which college professors praised the royal guest in verse and prose, the college group held a concert, and a Jesuit march-band was organized. According to modern criteria, such "events" would not qualify as "artistic", but certainly loud and inspiring.
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