Attendorn’s Gothic town hall was built around 1350, making it the oldest and southernmost Hanseatic town hall still in existence today. The ground floor was designed as an open market hall in the Middle Ages, whilst the first floor accommodated a hall that was used for court hearings, council sessions and festivities. The building façade is segmented by pointed arcades on the side facing the market and on one gable end. Both gables are built in a prestigious stepped design.
The building was used for a variety of different purposes since the second half of the nineteenth century, for instance as a local court until 1879. In 1909, the town granted the Association of Local History permission to use part of the building for the Association’s collection. In the first half of the twentieth century, the old town hall was threatened with demolition several times because of its dilapidated state.
It was not until the 1960s that plans were made to rebuild and renovate the building as a museum for the District of Olpe and the town of Attendorn. After reconstructing the Gothic facade and refurbishing the interior in a modern reinforced steel-concrete style, the building was opened to the public in 1967.
The static structure implemented at the time was preserved during the building’s retrofit in 2006/07. The outside and inside staircases, the floors and the building’s Gothic envelope were not changed. The entire arcade area on the ground floor was equipped with glazing. An additional floor was installed in the tall attic across the entire length of the building, resulting in a total of 5 floors and one mezzanine floor, covering an area of 740 square metres.
All floors, from the basement to the attic, are now connected by a passenger and cargo elevator, making all levels easily accessible for people with walking difficulties.