The present Lier Town Hall is the former clothmakers’ hall. In 1740 architect Jan Pieter de Bauerscheit the Younger substantially renovated the building, converting it into Brabant rococo style. It was designed as a large mansion adjacent to the Gothic Belfry. The council chamber is in Louis XV style. Special features worthy of note are the elegant oak spiral staircase, the painted ceiling in the council chamber, the wrought-iron work of art 'Fighting the Dragon' by Louis van Boeckel and a large collection of paintings and antiques.
In 1369 Hendrik Mijs built a Gothic belfry next to the clothmakers' hall. It stands as a symbol of freedom and independance. In the Middle Ages the town’s deeds and freedoms were kept in the belfries, as was the arsenal, and the town council’s assembly room was also to be found there.
Since 1971 the tower has housed a small automatic carillon with 23 bells. Together with 23 other belfries the Lier belfry was recognised by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1999.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.