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Constance Council | city walking tour


Obermarkt, 78462 Konstanz (Deutschland)

average stay: see (30 minutes)

Obermarkt square

Together with Marktstätte (see Ehemaliges Hotel "Zum Goldenen Adler" und Markstättenensemble), this was the most important square in the free imperial city of Constance and a medieval execution site.

Obermarkt is bordered to the north by Haus Zum Egli and Haus Zum Kemlin (The Camel), both documented as taverns as early as 1419. The present name Hotel Barbarossa harks back to the Peace of Constance concluded in 1183 between Emperor Frederick I (Barbarossa) and the Lombard League of Italy. Next to it on the right is a late-Gothic building extending over several storeys. The facade frescoes, painted by Carl von Häberlin in 1906, allude to the Burgrave of Nuremberg being invested with control over the March of Brandenburg in 1417, as observed by Ulrich Richental and described in his chronicle. On the ground floor of the commercial building is a wooden pillar bearing the coat of arms and the name of the man who built it, Haffen von Lindow. Hence its name: Haus Zum hohen Hafen.

The Malhaus and Fischgrat (Fish Bone) dominate the south of the square. First documented as the Gemalhus (House on Execution Square) in 1293, the Malhaus served as the living quarters for England’s chief lay representative, Richard Earl of Warwick, during the Council of Constance, and was an apothecary’s shop from the 14th century. Of particular note is the magnificent late-Renaissance oriel, which originally belonged to Haus Zum Strahl (Rosgartenstrasse 34).

Completing the square to the west are Haus Zum grossen Mertzen with its richly decorated gable from 1601 (the Atzenholz family coat of arms) and, on the other side of the arbour, the Protestant Church (completed in 1873). The remains of the former Chapel of St. Lawrence are concealed in the commercial building to the north-east and to the left of Feuergasse.

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