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Welcome to the
Old Town Hall Arbon

With the change of domicile of the district court, the town hall – property of the city of Arbon – faces a new purpose in the future, a turning point in the 750-year varied history of one of the most photographed old town houses. Architectural history, residents and use of the town hall are a mirror of local history.

Arbon’s old Rathaus

Already in the town charter of 1255, Bishop Eberhard von Waldburg mentions existing gates and moat, which likely included the tower which is the central structure of the old Rathaus. The construction of the town wall can therefore logically be dated to the same period. Investigations of undamaged structural timbers after the Rathaus fire in March 1994 point to the construction of the corner tower with a clerestory around 1310. With a line of sight to the upper gate at the castle, the building served as a watchtower, a residential tower and part of the city’s fortifications.

In 1407, Bishop Albrecht of Constance confirmed to the people of Arbon, “the goods which they use and possess as fiefs from him and the court church, to send them all to their hands”. Mentioned are the Stachermühle and the Bühlhof – both sold by the town to private persons before 1798 – and the Rathaus. The reason for the gift is the loyalty of the town to the bishop during the Appenzell wars and the war damages and costs that the Arboner’s suffered.

A feudal deed in 1566 describes the immediately adjacent building including the Pfisterei (bakery). In 1736 another annex follows which initially served as a Catholic schoolhouse (today yellow facade). At that time, the reformed pupils attended school in today’s Römerhof. In 1792 the new building of the Obergaden with the current City Hall was built. The Rathaus was already mentioned in the 16th century as a city council and courtroom. Over the course of time, well-known names appear as feudatories (tenants) and residents of the Rathaus: The St. Gallen merchants Entgasser, the Blarers of Wartensee, the Arboners Strauss, Stoffel and Mayr.

In 1882, during construction work in the living quarters, the Burgergemeinde (at that time the owner) donated the magnificent tiled stove with its pithy sayings to the Historical Society of the Canton of Thurgau. It can be admired still today in the courtroom of the Historical Museum in the Castle of Frauenfeld. The coat of arms of the Entgassers, discovered during the renovation in 1929, was restored by the painter August Schmid of Diessenhofen. The coat of arms based on the oldest town seal from 1384 on the south facade is also his work. In 1937, the exterior dual entry staircase – in place of the former steep ramp – and the fountain are built. A few years later, sculptures of playing children are added, a bronze sculpture by the sculptor Ernst Heller of Eglisau.

Since the founding of the canton in 1803, the district court has held its sessions in the old Rathaus. From 1926, it was also used for civil weddings, and after 1928, the Arbon local police moved in adding its office and detention center, dissolved in 1942. The Cantonal police took over the locale and remained in the Rathaus until the fire in 1994.

The restoration, which was carried out in cooperation with the preservation of historical monuments, takes into account the current needs of the district court. At the same time, the two neighboring buildings are being renovated. Lack of space is the reason for the district court’s move to the former Saurer administration building in summer 2012. In 2013, Da Vinci Partners LLC, an intellectual property law firm, moved in and still uses the building as its international headquarters.

– Hans Geisser

Learn more about the companies in the old town hall

Da Vinci Partners LLC is a highly trained, multi-lingual team of licensed IP specialists with competencies that allow us to represent our clients directly before a number of national and regional patent and trademark offices, particularly in Europe and the US.

The Da Vinci School offers a program designed to equip the nationally experienced IP agent or attorney with international knowledge of IP in the most significant markets in the world. This knowledge, taught by a highly experienced team of experts, will enable the participant to better serve their client as their client’s needs expand beyond their own national borders.

UFOTECH™ Speed Networking System is the first hardware solution facilitating face-to-face networking by automating the process. As for UFOTECH™ services, we offer computer software for internet-based social networking, complementing our face-to-face networking devices.

You want to spend the night in the old town hall?

Europe’s great fresh water lake, Lake Constance, is only 3 minutes away by foot, an enchanting lake where, in just 5 minutes by foot, you can visit a more than 2000-year-old town, an impressive medieval castle with museum, and the remains of a Roman fortress, see what might be the oldest Church tower in the World, and connect with cruise ships that can take you to Austria or Germany, as well as other locations on the Swiss side of the lake!

Take advantage of our CastleLovers mini-bar in your room, where you will find popular local drinks. And do not hesitate to ask for our CastleLovers restaurant services. Yes, we are happy to serve you local food if you don’t want to venture out of your room one evening.

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hearing from you