Town hall square

Bustling with activity, beautiful stores and the smell of freshly roasted coffee

[Translate to English:] © Foto: Franz Gleiß

If you are in the middle of the pedestrian zone amidst the department stores and restaurants and look towards Melk Abbey, you will find yourself at Rathausplatz.

From here you can reach many other sights in a star shape. Until the end of the Second World War, the main traffic artery coming from Loosdorf in the direction of the Danube was located here.

In 1722 Abbot Berthold Dietmayr donated the Kolomanibrunnen, created in 1687 for the prelate's court of the monastery, to the market. On a column of four water-spouting dolphins stands St. Koloman with staff and pilgrim's hat. The Irish king's son was suspected of being a spy on his pilgrimage to Jerusalem near Stockerau and hanged on an elder bush. The Babenbergs brought his unvestured body to their residence in Melk on October 13, 1014. Until today the Kolomanikirtag takes place on this day.

Town Hall
In the Middle Ages, a tap house and a meat bank were located here. After two fires, the abbot gave the property to the citizens in 1575 for the construction of the Rauthaus. The baroque facade was heavily renovated after the town fire of 1847. On the "Wehrtor" from the time of the First World War, donors to the "Widows and Orphans Fund" have immortalized themselves with nails and copper plates. To the left is the bust of Abbot Alexander Karl (1875-1909), who was particularly supportive of the town.

Judges, council and citizenship
The relationship between the market and the monastery, which was landlord and authority, was often tense. Every year the citizens elected their judge and councilors, who were appointed by the abbot in an elaborate ceremony. The judge was given the lower jurisdiction and was sworn in on the judicial staff. In addition, the written customary law (Banntaiding) was read out on this occasion.

Often the abbot assigned to the market court also land court cases, where the death penalty could be imposed. The gallows were located on the "Kronbichl" outside the town, the pillory - place of punishment of the lower jurisdiction - on the town hall square.

The magistrates and the council had numerous tasks to perform: keeping the wells and the local streams clean, draining the sewage, building, maintaining and defending the walls, organizing security at the gates and at night, holding the weekly and annual markets, checking the weights and measures, collecting various taxes and much more.