For over 70 years this city hall has operated as the political and civic center of Aarhus, Denmark, and continues to be a symbolic representation of democracy.
Nicknamed “Quartzopolis,” Reefton was founded after the discovery of rich quartz veins, or “reefs,” in New Zealand’s Inangahua region. Quartz deposits often foretell the nearby presence of gold, as was the case here.
A major discovery was made in 1870, precipitating a veritable gold rush. With the arrival of so many prospectors came inevitable conflicts, and the need arose for an adjudicating authority. That led to the 1872 construction of the Reefton courthouse, which was followed by the appointment of a resident warden to issue declarations of rights and settle disputes arising from the sudden wealth of the region. One would hope this was also the site of lively discussions regarding whether or not to officially rename the town Quartzopolis.
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