The new town hall in Jablonec nad Nisou (the seat of the Municipal Authority) was built in 1931–1933 and it is an excellent example of the functionalist architectural style.

The most demanding undertaking financed by the town was the new town hall, which (along with the town hall in Ostrava (1925–30) ranks as the most representative interwar town hall building in the territory of the former Czechoslovakia. The monumental, free-standing, four-wing building with a tower and a rectangular extension at the southwestern corner dominates the Peace Square and constitutes one of the most significant dominant features of Jablonec. Until it was built, the Peace Square was used to hold markets, but also as a car park.

The main impulse for the construction was the fact that the old town hall on the Lower Square had long ceased to meet the needs of the modern and dynamically developing town, while efforts at creating a representative centre corresponding to the significance of Jablonec also played a significant role. This manifested itself, amongst other things, in the grandiose competition for the new town centre that was held in 1925 and whose instructions included a requirement for the establishment of a new town hall building. The enlightened mayor, Karl Richard Fischer, made the main contribution to this new and complex approach to the town’s development. This tender was subsequently followed three years later by another public architectural competition with its closing date set as 15.3.1929.  The expert jury, whose task was to evaluate the received bids, consisted of Mayor Fischer, the architect and regional conservator Karl Friedrich Kühn and the architects Robert Hemmrich, Josef Zasche and Josef Ulbrich amongst others. 177 participants took part in the competition, including avant-garde architects such as Hannes Meyer from the Bauhaus, with whom Arieh Sharon cooperated on the design. In the end, no first prize was awarded, while the second prize was shared by Karel Winter from Liberec and Karl Lehrmann and Karl Kotraschke from Mödling and the third prize was shared by Paul Voges from Dresden, Josef Bothe and Fritz Doleschal from Mimoň and the Brno tandem of Heinrich Fanta and Emil Tranquillini. In addition to the aforementioned, other participants in the competition included Viktor Löbl (Prague), Anton Valentin (Vienna), Emil Rösler (Plauen), Fritz Schön (Zittau), Felix Voretsch (Dresden), Leo Kammel (Vienna), Ernst Schäfer (Liberec) and Adolf Foehr (Prague).

At the same time, the new town hall was not only intended to be the seat of the town administration, but was also meant to include premises that would bring the town a profit, such as a café with a terrace, a restaurant, a wine bar, the town savings bank, twenty shops and points of sale for the town electricity company and the town gasworks. The building was also intended to include a cinema, so that Jablonec could finally put to use the projection licence that it already owned, but had not yet used. In the end, the Liberec architect Karel Winter (1894–1964) won, in which decision two factors played the main role. The floor plan and the overall concept that approached Lehrmann’s design and also the fact that the architect was based not far from Jablonec and could therefore be readily available, if needed. Winter’s project passed through the competition and the subsequent realisation with a number of modifications, which are documented in an expansive convolute of plans and studies that has been filed in the town’s building archive. The town hall’s architectural design was influenced by modern purism, albeit with unmissable traditionalist elements. The appearance of the building was inspired by the concepts for Italian gothic and renaissance town halls, which Winter had become acquainted with during a study trip around Italy. The multifunctional building, the interior of which he conceived as both a seat of local government and a venue for social facilities, including a café, a cinema and a restaurant, can thus be considered to constitute a successful example for a contemporary administrative buildings. The most representative area was the ceremonial meeting hall which occupies the second and third floors of the southern wing and was furnished with stylish furniture and a gallery for visitors.  The hall is horizontally divided by bands in the plasterwork that terminate in a geometric pattern that creates a counterpart to the massive frontal relief with motifs of Jablonec industry, a joint work by Karel Winter and Franz Hub. The most interesting and impressive architectural parts of the interior included the additional commercial areas (the wine bar, the restaurant, the café and the cinema) which unfortunately ceased to exist after 1945.  Despite that, however, the town hall has managed to preserve the original layout of its units, its individual elements and a number of details and technical curiosities led by its paternoster lift.

It is therefore a work of Czechoslovak interwar architecture that unequivocally extends beyond the boundaries of the region and rightfully ranks as one of the most valuable buildings of its type due to its art historical qualities.

Town hall tower

In summer, it is possible to head up the town hall tower, which provides an excellent view of the city, or to view meeting rooms which have been reconstructed according to the original designs by the architect Karel Winter. His winning design was selected from a remarkable 177 received submissions. The distinctive rectangular tower (51 m high) and clock have become the dominant feature of the four-storey functionalist structure. On a clear day, it is possible to see the Ještěd Ridge, the Jizera Mountains, the Černá Studnice Ridge, Císařský kámen or Petřín from it. The ascent up the tower includes a possible tour of the meeting rooms, if visitors are interested.

1. 7.–31. 8.
Monday – Friday, 10 am –16 pm
every hour

Information about the tower tours at the tourist information centre:, +420 774 667 677

The Jablonec town hall in the Toulavá kamera program on Czech Television