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City Hall (Ratusha)

The City Hall is one of the most distinguished buildings in Chernivtsi crowning the main square of the city.

The decision to build a house for the local government was adopted in 1825, but the construction started only in 1843. The place for the new City Hall was selected in the Market square. As that area was very prestigious and, therefore, occupied by numerous private businesses, it was extremely hard to convince their owners to sell the developed land plots. The future construction plot cost the city 8000 florins — an enormous amount of money at the time. 

On 19th April 1843 the first stone was put in the building foundation. The basis was made of natural stone brought from selected areas on the Prut and Dnister sides. The foundation has a special niche with a message to descendants written on parchment. Four years thereafter its opening ceremony became a great holiday to which guests from whole Europe were invited.

In 1880 the building was given No.1 which has remained until now. Immediately after the erection and before 1914 (when the city was occupied by Russian troops), the City Hall was decorated with a huge copper-old double-headed eagle, the symbol of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. However, the Russian troops removed the eagle and took it to Moscow.

On Chernivtsi City Hall two clocks are set — on the tower itself and over the central entrance. 50-meter City Hall tower has a very deep foundation — 6 meters. In the old times, city halls of European cities served as a fire alert. A firefighter was on duty on the City Hall tower. With the help of a red piece of cloth he showed the direction of the city, where there was a fire.

November 12, 2004 a new tradition was introduced in the city of Chernivtsi: at exactly 12 o'clock the trumpeter in the traditional hutsul folk costume ascends a spiral staircase to the tower and plays a snippet of the song's melody "Marichka".

Over the years of its history different flags floated over the tower, coats of arms on the facade have changed many times, in the conference room different languages ​​were spoken, and sentences to criminals were declared. But the primary purpose of this building as the residence of the municipal government responsible for the livelihoods of the city remained unchanged. Multiculture and multilingualism of Chernivtsi is known far outside Bukovyna.