In times gone by, St. Florin’s market where the old Kauf- und Danzhaus (old merchants and dance house) stands was the political and business centre of the city.
The old Kauf- und Danzhaus, together with St. Florin’s church, the Schöffenhaus and the Bürresheimer Hof make up an ensemble of four historic buildings which are among the most beautiful groups of buildings in the city.
The old “Kauf- und Danzhaus” was built in 1419 in the Gothic style and rebuilt in the 17th/18th century. This is when it got its baroque elements. The building burned down in 1944 and was rebuilt in 1961/62. The old Kauf und Danzhaus was home to the Middle Rhine Museum until 2012 (housed in the Forum Confluentes since 2013).
The “Augenroller” can be seen under the clock tower built in 1724; its eyes move to the beat of the clock pendulum and its tongue sticks out every full or half hour. It is a reminder of the robber baron Johann Lutter von Kobern who was executed in St. Florin’s market in 1536. According to legend, he is said to have rolled his eyes and stuck his tongue out at spectators whilst he was on the scaffold.
The Gothic Schöffenhaus was constructed right next to the old Kaufhaus in 1530. This is where the jury of the city court met, their task was to watch over the coins and weights. The city’s stocks stood outside the Schöffenhaus until the 18th century. The house was destroyed in the war but was reconstructed in 1965.
To the left of the old Kaufhaus is the Bürresheimer Hof, constructed in 1659 and which owes its name to its former owners (1714), the Breitbach-Bürresheim family.