The City Walls in Poznan

The walls surrounding the medieval city were erected around 1280 in the place of the wood and earthen fortifications built immediately after the settling. The new fortification had a roughly circular shape. The walls were some 1,700 metres long and they walled in an area of ca. 21 hectares. The wall rested on a stone foundation and was made of ceramic bricks laid in Venedic pattern and held by lime – based mortar. Its thickness was between 1 and 1.2 metres. There was a battlement on its top and below it on the inside there was a wooden gallery for the defenders. In its highest sections the wall measured 11 metres. 

Some 35 watchtowers placed every 35-40 metres from one another fortified the wall. Their number and position made the 14th century Poznan one of the best – fortified cities in Poland. The square watchtowers were one storey higher than the wall and they opened toward the city. However, as early as in the first half of the 15th century the watchtowers started to be modified to close from the inside. The watchtowers had names, some from the trade whose members held patronage over them (such as the Tailors Watchtower or the Butchers Watchtower), others, like the Dominican Friars Watchtower, after the people who used them. There were four gates leading into the city: Wroniecka Gate in the north, Wielka and Wodna gates in the east and Wroclawska Gate in the south. Next to the gates there were several doors for people on foot, made in the walls mostly in the 15th and 16th centuries. All we can see today are small remnants of the old fortifications. The only bigger fragment of the older, inside ring of the walls is the rebuilt square watchtower near the old Dominican monastery (in the back of Masztelarska Street).

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