[Rundweg Stadtbefestigung]

Dorsten's History - Station 6: Weigh-house of the town Translation: Lyn

The stone house, erected in 1567, was initially the weigh-house of the town and later, the town hall. The Old Town Hall, together with the Market Place and the Parish Church of St Agatha, have, for many centuries, been the characteristic features of the centre of Dorsten.

As a town residence, the "new" Old Townhall has a unique ambience. The History Station, "Dorstener Geschichte - Stadtwaage" (Dorsten's History - Weigh- house) was officially opened on 19th March. 2002.

The content was worked upon by the history club of the town's grammar school and the local history society, with the support of the Lion's Club of the Hanseatic town of Dorsten. The project was finacned by the "Volksbank Dorsten".

The Aztecs extend their empire in Mexico to the coasts.




A stone house and a weigh-house are mentioned for the very first time in the "Liber statutorum op(p)idi Dursten" (statutes of Dorsten)

The Hanseatic League loses its supremacy in the North and Baltic Sea area.




The oldest building on the Market Place, open to three sides via round-arched arcades, is extended to become the prestigious weigh-house of the town.

The Market Place - an early photograph



The "hiesige alte Rathaus" (local Old Townhall) had been sold and this led to the council's quarters being moved into the town's weigh-house. The "neue Rathaus" (new Town Hall) is then given a hipped roof (Translator's note: Walmdach" is a so-called "hipped-roof" which means a roof with sloping ends and sides) and a classically structured façade. It is also extended towards the Market Place via an arcade entrance.

Robert Bosch invents the sparking plug.




Due to lack of space, the municipal administration moves into the post office , located on the southern side of the Market Place. The treasury department remains, for the time being, in the Old Town Hall.

In violation of the Treaty of Versailles, compulsory military service is re-introduced in Germany.




Dorstens's local history society "Verein für Orts- und Heimatkunde Dorsten e.V" opens a local history museum in the rooms of the former town hall.

Destruction on 22nd March 1945



As if by miracle, the builidng is only partially destroyed by the air-raids of the Allies.

During the post-war period, the house is used, for a time, as a restaurant.

The Cuban-Crisis brings the world to the edge of a nuclear war.




Following the re-opening of the local history museum, in 1957, the exterior of the town's weigh-house is painted blue.



The information centre for the town is established on the ground floor of the house. The upper floor is used as a museum and for exhibitions, lectures, readings etc.

Market Place - Situation up until the beginning of the 1970's




The local bank "Volksbank Dorten", as part of its centenary celebrations, has the façade completely renovated. The appearance of the exterior of the building is reconstructed to that of its appearance in the 19th century.


Daten und Fakten

Eröffnung - 19th March 2002

Adresse - Market Place - Old Town Hall

Geodaten - 51°39'37.3, 6°57'53.7

The Official Opening Ceremony

The Mayor, Mr. Lütkenhorst, the director, Mr Langenbrinck, representing the local bank "Volksbank Dorsten" with interested residents of the town.

Stop for a moment, contemplate and read - take a look at the generational survival and "life" of a building, which has made its mark on the town, like scarcely any other.

Images: On a CD entitled "Die alten Straßen von Dorsten" (The Old Sreets of Dorsten"), Dr. Hartmut Butzert has collated and commented upon 450 old views of Dorsten.