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Middleburg Town Hall

Zeeland, Netherlands, Counts and Countesses of Holland and Zeeland on the facade of the Town Hall in Middelburg

On April 21, 1452 was the first stone of the Town Hall of Middelburg. It would be a combination of a hall, meat market and Cloth Hall. This combination of features was very common in the Middles Ages. The Town Hall contains many Gothic features and belongs to the late Flemish Brabant Gothic. The most striking features are the tower and the beautiful facade with its Gothic windows, red and white shutters and sculptures.

The genius of famous architect Mechelen Keldermans plays an important role in the construction, as many as eight members of this family in the 15th and 16th centuries with the work involved as architect, stonemason and stone supplier. The Flemish influence is reflected in the lavish decoration, the tower - a belfry - and sculptures (25 counts of Holland and Zeeland and countesses) on the facade.
In 1458, the first city council has been meeting in City Hall. This does not mean that the town hall then was finished, there will follow many construction phases. In 1492, the first expansion with the construction of a large new hall (Cloth), today's civic hall. The 16th century is marked by further expansion of City Hall. In 1512, the tower at the town hall built around 1560 until its present shape. After numerous internal and external alterations and embellishments, the town hall and the annex on the east side finally completed in 1784.

In the 19th century found numerous repair works. In 1884 began the most comprehensive restoration under the direction of the architect Pierre Cuypers. Here the facade overhaul. After the completion of the facade in 1912, the town hall, takes the place for a city museum and the municipal.

Then begins a fateful day for the city of Middelburg: May 17, 1940. While the rest of the Netherlands on May 14 after an invasion by the Germans surrendered the province of Zeeland was ordered by the government through fighting. The city is located in the line of fire to lie. Three days after the bombing of Rotterdam, a large part of the historic heart of Middelburg destroyed by shelling and aerial bombardment. This, for many unexpected attack, take the City Hall, there remains only a silhouette on walls blackened. The spire, the roof and the whole interior will be lost.

Soon the restorations was started. The Gothic facades are restored and a new section added in suitable style. After years of rehabilitation, among others H. Van Heeswijk and A. van der Steur, the Town Hall on August 18, 1950 by Queen Juliana festively reopened. The restoration of the exterior below takes many years to complete.

During the rebuilding after the bombing, in addition to the outside, were made the inside underway. In the so-called Gothic part of the city hall is the old style interior decorated with antique furniture, tapestries and paintings. This can be seen in the hall, wedding hall, the former chamber of the mayor and aldermen, the council chamber and civic (former Cloth Hall).

Since 2004, the board of the city of Middelburg a new Council office in operation, designed by Thomas Rau (Rau & Partners). The old town hall complex is now used by the Roosevelt Academy. In addition there are regular weddings and place the meat hall used for exhibitions of Visual Arts Foundation Middelburg.
That the Middelburg Town Hall in 2007 on the second place finisher in the election for the most beautiful building in the Netherlands says much about the fame and beauty of this monument.