Brief history – The Gothic town hall stood on the square since the Middle Ages, but it ceased to be suitable and in the years 1731 – 1744 it was replaced by a magnificent new building. From the place where you are, you can only see its tower, but definitely do not hesitate and go to the square. There you will also see a unique Plague Pillar.
The picture gallery in the town hall – you can visit the Baroque and Gothic chapels, an exhibition of old art in the Polička region, or the family picture gallery of the Hohenems family. Who else was fortunate enough to be personally married in the Vatican by a pope of the Medici family (well, he was the brother of the groom’s mother) with Charles Borromeo’s sister (we can see him as a ‘saint’ on the Plague Pillar and still alive in one painting). The gallery of modern art presents a number of local artists who have achieved national fame – let us mention at least the painter Zbyšek Sion and the photographer Veronika Bromová.
She-dragon – a statue of St. George (killing a dragon) was rather unusual in the Baroque period in the urban environment and can be explained perhaps thanks to the counterpart statue of the archangel St. Michael (defeating the devil) – as the defeat of the devil in all his forms – and in general as the victory of the true faith (the Catholic one in 1727). It is interesting that St. George does not kill a dragon, but a she-dragon – well, when you meet a she-dragon, it is good to have a George at hand…
A well planned square – in the Baroque period all the structures on the square were thoughtfully laid out. The basis was the massive tower of the Gothic town hall which was used as the centre of the new Baroque building. In the axis of the tower and the entrance to the town hall the Plague Pillar was erected and symmetrically on both sides of it the two fountains with statues of St. George and St. Michael were placed. This composition is best seen when you enter the square from Masaryk or Tyrš Streets.
A note for any attentive pilgrim – all the panels have a tiny graphic motif in the header next to the name, which is not an end in itself – the ground plan of the square with individual objects is depicted here.
Recommended publications (can be bought in the Museum and the Information Center on the square): Polička – Baroque and Gothic Town Hall, David Junek, 2004
- The Town Hall
- Masks at the Town Hall (a total of 61 reliefs create a gallery on the façade)
- The Town Hall Chapel
- The painting of St. Barbara with a terrifying story from 1512
- The Old and Modern Art (Feast, Tournament, Church, Hanych, Sion, Bromová)
- The Plague Pillar