KAGER, Johann Matthias
(b. 1575, München, d. 1634, Augsburg)

Decoration of the Golden Hall

completed 1643
Rathaus, Augsburg

The Augsburg Rathaus was designed and built by Elias Holl (1615-20). The Goldener Saal (Golden Hall) is the most impressive of the Rathaus's rooms, and one of the most important cultural monuments of late German Renaissance. The Hall covers an area of 552 square metres with a ceiling height of 14 metres, and is richly adorned with large doorways, magnificent murals and a coffered ceiling. The interior of the Hall was designed by Johann Matthias Kager, and was not completed until 1643. The numerous ceiling paintings and murals were executed according to a concept of the Jesuit Matthäus Raders (1561-1634) and designs by the Flemish artist Peter Candid (1584-1628).

The Hall was badly damaged by bombing during the war. When the Rathaus was restored after the war, the Goldener Saal was not repaired to its original state, but left with a wooden ceiling, small doors and white plastered walls. It was used until the 1980s as an exhibition space. In the early 1980s, the council decided to renovate the Goldener Saal for the upcoming 2000th anniversary of the city in 1985. The room was redecorated according to historical drawings and photographs, starting with the basic reconstruction of the coffered ceiling, together with the painted ceilings, the floor and the doors. On 9 January 1985, the Hall was re-opened close to its former glory. Supported by numerous donations and the active interest of Augsburg, the murals and extensive gold jewellery that had once decorated the Hall were reinstated over subsequent years, and the hall was reopened a second time in 1996.

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