The Town Hall wasn’t always located in this place. There are records from 1466 that refer to the existence of two municipal buildings, named Old Palace and New Palace. From 1509 there is another mention of the purchase of another bulding. The location of these three buildings was in the Old Square, nowadays called Largo Antero de Quental.
The current building of the Town Hall received royal authorization for its construction in 1538, here at the New Square, nowadays the Vasco da Gama Square (Praça Vasco da Gama). Originally, the ground floor area, where three arches stand out, was open. The access to the first floor is made by a staircase that allows the access, through a corridor, to the old “Town Hall’s Chamber”, where the councilors met, and to the “Audience Chamber”, where meetings were held open to the population. This room still preserves the judge’s bench, where a painting of the Queen D. Maria II was later added.
The Pillory of Vila do Conde was transferred from the Old Square in 1538, to the vicinity of the new Town Hall. However, the very next year, a popular uprising destroyed it. The pillory you can now see was built in 1582 and was placed in the Praça da Ribeira (Riverside Square), next to the Ave river and the shipyards. It was only transferred to this location in 1913. In Manueline style, it has a twisted shaft, in the form of a rope, and the sword of justice at the top, made in iron, wielded by an arm that comes out of the top spike. It has an octagonal base and a royal coat of arms on the capital.
Address: Praça Vasco da Gama – Vila do Conde