amsterdam town hall

Jacob van Campen, Model for the Amsterdam Town Hall, 1648-1650, Amsterdams Historisch Museum

civic architecture

The baroque era witnessed an increase in the building of new town halls and the expansion of existing ones. New independent states emerged throughout Europe, creating a corresponding demand for local self-government. Then, as now, the town hall housed the offices of government and provided a place of assembly. Set in the center of a town, it was likely to be modeled after an urban palace, and it often included a prominent façade and tall clock tower. Large and elaborately decorated, the town hall stood as an imposing symbol of civic pride and identity.

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