The Town Hall is located in a house built in 1797 by the merchant P.R. Harder; with its early-classicist decor, it was one of the most prominent houses in the city at the time it was built. In 1804, the Russian czar Alexander I stayed in this house during his visit to Pärnu. In 1839, the house started to function as the town hall and the old medieval town hall was torn down. As the City Duma, a new governing organ for the town needed its own rooms, a new art nouveau building with neo-baroque details was completed in 1911 to the north side of the town hall. These days, the City Duma - today the City Council - building is often mistaken to be older than the Town Hall because of its looks!