Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wesel, Germany, values its heritage by reconstructing the Rathaus facade to its former splendor

The honorable Ulrike Westkamp, Mayor of Wesel, Germany, participates in the laying of foundation stone for the reconstruction of the Town Hall (Rathaus). To the right, on stage, is a poster of what the new facade will look like. Barely seen above the heads of the audience is the foundation stone including the cylindrical, brass-colored, time capsule. Inscribed on the stone:

"28 Oktober 2007. Grundsteinlegung zur Wiedererichtung der Flamisch- Gotishen Steinfassade der Rathaus der Hansestadt Wesel, 1455 erbaut- 1698 ernbuert- 1945 zerstort".

[translated: 28 Oct 2007. Laying of Foundation stone for the reconstruction of the Flemish- Gothic stone facade of the Town Hall of Hanseatic Wesel, built 1455, rebuilt 1698, destroyed 1945].

Some of the crowd which attended the laying of the foundation stone for the reconstruction of the Town Hall in Wesel, Germany.

The event took place during the Hanseatic Festival in October 2007. This picture was taken looking toward the southeast corner of the Great Market Square (Gross Markt). For centuries this is where vendors sold food and other goods to the citizens of Wesel. Behind the hand-held banner in this picture was the approximate location (No. 135 Gross Markt) for the residence of my ancestral Gailliot family in the year 1843. The former residence was destroyed in the last months of WW II.

A future view of the reconstructed Gross Market Square by Jaeger Architectural Firm- looking west toward the Willibrordi Dom (already rebuilt in the 1950s). The future Rathaus with cupola and restored stone facade is to the left of the Dom. The former residence of my great, great grandfather, Anton Gailliot, would have been to the far left, just out of view.

Source of the first two images: Mrs. Maria Kerbitz, born de Vries.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this page Bob. It is well laid out and has excellent photos. It was good to get an update on this project. We were in Wesel just a few years back, primarily to visit my brother in laws grave from WW2, and the townspeople were just planning this project. Hard to believe now that the town was 99% destroyed when the Allies crossed the Rhine but the 1950's rebuilt town already has a nostalgic feel to it.