The office of the city’s reeve was first mentioned in historical records in 1243 as being where the present-day Old City Hall is located. Following the construction of several buildings an organic “city hall complex” was built. Historical records dating to 1343 referred to it as consistorium or magisterial house. Over six centuries the Old City Hall complex was the seat of the city’s administration, the collection of land registry documents known as Moravské zemské desky was kept there and the city jail was located in it for some time.
Due to the rapid development of the city, especially towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the capacity of the building proved insufficient. The city’s administration eventually relocated in 1935 to the nearby Zemský dům at present-day Dominikánské náměstí (square). The terms Old City Hall and New City Hall have been in use since.
The former center of medieval administration has turned into the center of cultural and social life of the city of Brno.
The tower was renovated several times throughout its history. All renovations are mentioned in historical documents. Between 1577 and 1578 the height of the tower increased by 4 meters and the platform was installed. Pietro Gabri and Antonio Silva were the authors of this project.
Coincidentally, the tower was the last part of the Old City Hall to be renovated between 1904 and 1905 when the city administration left it for good after almost 600 years. The height of the tower once again increased, this time by 5 meters. The viewing platform was moved and the Renaissance cupola was replaced with a replica. The present-day height of the tower is 62.66 m. Together with Pilgram’s portal it is widely regarded as one of the most memorable landmarks of the city of Brno.
Should you decide to climb to the viewing platform of the tower, you do not need to count the stairs, as we have counted them for you: 173.