Like the Munich city hall, the altes rathaus of Neumünster stands as a monument to the great Gothic revival movement that swept through Germany and Austria (and America: see the old city hall in Richmond, Virginia) in the nineteenth century. From a term of contempt, symbolizing barbarity and lack of refined taste, the spirit of Gothic revival celebrates the spirit of Northern European culture and its emancipation from the Greco-Roman civilization that had for so long dominated architectural expression.
The primary material for the Neumünster city hall his brick, both glazed and unglazed — another acknowledgement of the integrity of traditional building materials in the city. The effect is one of great diversity of visual effect within a uniformity of material.
Another acknowledgement of the history of Neumünster can be seen in this mosaic on the front of the building. It honors Saint Vicelinus, who founded his novum monasterium (new monastery) here in 1127, and who did in Neumünster twenty five years later:
more to come...