As it is shown on old postcards, the City Hall was decorated with huge gilded double-headed eagle, the symbol of Austro-Hungarian Empire. This “bird”, covered with gold, appeared on the roof immediately after building of City Hall was over and “lived” there until 1914. 1903 the bird was renovated, because gold had been washed away with snows and rains… And then The First World War began, and Russian soldiers took the city three times.
On the 2 of September, 1914 Vice-governor of the Bessarabia province Sergey Yevreyinov ordered to remove enemy’s “bird” (That`s paradox, but Russians also have the similar double-headed nonsense on their emblem). So burgomaster ordered the firemen to remove it. But they sabotaged this order and just cover the “bird” with three-colored flag.
Authorities changed several times, and every times it was the same order to remove “bird” from the city hall. But weather helped lazy firemen. It was really cold, so it was impossible to work.
Russian authority hired architect to remove “the eagle” and take it to the province’s police department as valuable trophy. But Austrian army attacked again and Russians forgot about the “bird” in hurry, and firemen had a chance to steal it and take it to the fire brigade building.
When Austrian authorities again settled in the city, firemen immediately boasted their feat. Recovery of “eagle’s nest” on the roof of the tower was the first decision of new magistrate. Also they ordered to make a wooden copy of “bird”.
Tradition of making “eagles” was born in Vienna. So during military times in Austro-Hungarian Empire people collected additional funds for charity. A man could buy nails for wooden “eagles” to give this money for charity to help orphans and widows.
“Eagle” was solemnly set on the previous place only June 16, 1916. But not for long. Russian army seized the city for the third time and took off the “trophy bird”. And wooden copy of the eagle traveled with Austrian army to the Prague.