Stadhuis (City hall) in Gouda

The city hall (Stadhuis) in Gouda is the oldest gothic City Hall in the Netherlands and was built in 1450. It is located at the main square of the city, the Markt, and is one of the best known monuments of Gouda. The architect was Jan III Keldermans, from the famous Flemish Keldermans family of architects, who were also responsible for several other city halls and churches around the Netherlands and Flanders.

The building can be visited during weekdays given that there are no wedding ceremonies. The interior dates from the 17th and 18th century.

In the Christmas season, the Stadhuis and all buildings surrounding the Markt are lit only by candles during Kaarsjesavond (Candles' evening), an event during which a large christmas tree from the sister city of Kongsberg is illuminated. Thousands of people flock to Gouda to witness this event. In the weeks after that the Stadhuis is turned into art by light projections. This has grown into an event (Gouda bij Kunstlicht) that now not only incorporates the Stadhuis, but also several other monuments in the city, such as the St. Janskerk (Church of St. John).

In the summer, a cheesemarket is held on the square surrounding  the Stadhuis.

On one side of the Stadhuis, there is a carillon which chimes every half hour and at the same time, mechanical puppets depict the ceremony in which Gouda was granted city rights in 1278.

For more information about this building, check out the website of the municipality (Dutch) or the local tourist association (English, French, German)