Bochum Rathaus

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Bochum City Hall was built from 1927–1931 and was designed by architect Karl Roth as a modern office building, but in the Renaissance style, reflecting the industrial era’s middle class, inventions and discoveries. There were statues of bronze and stone, and in the city council chambers, a bell tower. The ornate décor gave the “Nazis” an excuse to hound the then-mayor, who was of Jewish descent, driving him to suicide in 1933. Most of the bronze statues were melted down for the war effort and the stone carvings were damaged by the war, save for some small lion’s heads over the entrance. Also left undamaged are two themed courtyard fountains made by August Vogel, the “Fountain of Beauty” and the “Fountain of Happiness”, as well as Augusto Vasaris’ florentine main entrance, which displays the motto, In Labore Honos (In labour lies honour). In 1951, a set of 28 chimes was installed, manufactured in Bochum. Known for their clarity of tone, they are the first cast steel chimes in the world. In front of the city hall is a large bell that was made by the Bochum “Verein für Bergbau und Gusstahlfabrikation AG”, (Association for Mining and Cast Steel Manufacturing). Displayed at the 1867 Paris World’s Fair, it has a diameter of 3.13 metres (10.27 ft) and weighs 15,000 kg (16.53 US tonnes). It was damaged during World War II and can no longer be rung.

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