Weekly markets were originally held in the historic market square, but this role passed to the Salzhof many years ago, in 1926. A new fountain by the Aachen-based artist Bonifatius Stirnberg was installed here in 2003 as a reminder of the bustling markets which were once held here. Its design based on its historic predecessor, which stood here from 1582 to 1835.
The historic market square is surrounded by buildings dating mainly from the 16th century which remain a testament to the town’s great wealth during the Renaissance stemming from the trade in salt.
Am Markt 38: constructed by a wine dealer in the early 17th century, this building has housed the pharmacy Brandes’sche Apotheke since 1792 and is a multistorey brick structure topped with a half-timbered gable.
The town’s most famous son was a member of the Brandes family: Rudolph Brandes (1795–1842) made a name for himself as a scientist and researcher, pharmacist, and co-founder and long-standing senior director of the north German association of pharmacists. His estate, including an extensive scientific library, is kept at the Salzuflen town archive. An obelisk was erected in 1848 in memory of Brandes, who was a friend of Goethe’s. It is not far from the old town, at the junction of Riestestrasse and Rudolph-Brandes-Allee.
Am Markt 34: built in 1564 by the mayor, Johann Barkhausen, this house is one of the most magnificent examples of Weser Renaissance architecture. Particularly remarkable is its five-storey gable, which was added in about 1590 and the facade of which is broken up by numerous round arch windows between pilasters.
Am Markt 32: built in 1530/31 by the mayor, Jobst Giessenbier, the facade of this house has striking similarities with the town hall opposite. The Adam and Eve relief above the entrance to the building is particularly worth seeing.
Am Markt 26: the historic town hall is considered an outstanding monument from the town’s economic glory days. This two-storey late-Gothic quarry stone building was constructed between 1545 and 1547. The stunning Renaissance gable is the result of ‘modernisation’ work in the 1580s; the steps at the front were added in 1859/60. The town hall was used for administrative purposes, official functions, council meetings and legal proceedings. The ground floor originally housed three inns which – along with the large council chamber on the upper floor – were also used for receptions and celebrations (including weddings). Last but not least, fire extinguishers and handguns were also kept here to defend the town, along with the shooting clubs’ banners and the various guilds’ chests.
The upper floor served as a cloth hall, where officials collected, checked and stored the linen produced in the town. Grain tithes were also kept in the town hall’s storage loft. Those days are long gone.
Now, the town hall houses the registry office and the three inns have been replaced by a single bar and restaurant. Since 1977, the town council has met on Rudolph-Brandes-Allee at the town hall, the construction of which became unavoidable following the municipal restructuring completed on 1 January 1969. This merged the old salt town of Bad Salzuflen with the former industrial town of Schötmar and ten other, previously independent villages to create the municipality of Bad Salzuflen.
Am Markt 23: one of the oldest buildings in the town, believed to date from circa 1500. This stone building has had a half-timbered facade added at the front in more recent times, probably in the 18th century. The property was lavishly restored in 2004–05 with great attention to detail. It was originally home to the priest of the Reformed Church community for many years.
Am Markt 25: this solid brick structure was built in 1860 for the local court, which sat here until 1928 (see stop 18). Some of the municipal administrative offices could subsequently be found here (until 1977). The building was used by the town library between 1979 and 2009. Nowadays, this historic house is used as a restaurant.