Town Hall clock tower.

 

Oldest portion of Town Hall (foreground).

 

Elephant Scrafitto.

 

Cross by the Cathedral.

4 December 1997

Guided by Marek Baranski, Kent and I took a side trip Thursday morning. The three of us, along with a driver and Tomasz Wolender, a co-worker of Marek, packed into a mid-sized car and drove north from Szczecin to the town of Trzebiatow. There, we sat in on a meeting Marek had with the town's mayor and preservation planner/officer. Kent and I did not participate directly in the conversation but Tomasz translated parts of the discussion for us.

After about 30-40 minutes, the group broke from the table and began a tour of the recently restored city hall. The oldest portion of the building is a small two story structure on the southern side dating to the 12th century (if I remember my dates and cardinal directions correctly). The building has received several additions over the years and the main entrance to the building now lies on the north side, topped by a gable roof and bell tower. The exterior stucco and windows have been restored very well and we were able to go up into the attic to see the heavy timber roof framing and tower supports. One unusual feature Kent and I noticed throughout the occupied spaces were the floors. Each room's floor level is raised 3-4 inches above the hallway. This small step is visible just behind the door threshold at almost all rooms, ranging from offices to assembly rooms. When we inquired about the condition, our guides wondered why we were so concerned. The best guess Kent and I made was space for electrical conduit. With all those steps, accessibility apparently is not an issue. In fact, the only accessible accommodations I recall seeing during the entire trip were curb cuts in the new city portion of Warsaw.

After touring the town hall, our group walked around a portion of Trzebiatow. We learned that like much of the Pomeranian region of Poland, the city had once been a part of Germany. Geographically, the town is very close to the Baltic, about 10 km to the north. During the summer, the town is very popular as a tourist/vacation destination, especially if the weather is poor for a day or two along the coastal beaches. Our walk included visits to the walls and a tower of the medieval defenses of the city, 15th century scrafitto "graffiti" of a circus elephant, several excellent displays of fachwerk construction and a 14th century cathedral.

 

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