The Mill Gate, Słupsk
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The building constitutes a valuable example of a Gothic city gate - a component of a medieval defence system. It is one of the two surviving city gates in Słupsk. Originally, both gates were examples of the same type of gatehouse with decorative flourishes in the top section and a pointed arch gateway on the ground floor level.

History

The boundaries of the medieval city of Słupsk were designated in the location privilege dating back to 1310. The construction of the brick fortifications around the city started in 1325 with the erection of the lower levels of three gates: the Mill Gate, the Holstein Gate and the New Gate.

The Mill Gate was designed to control the access to the city from the east. The ground floor level of the gate, topped with a pointed arch and featuring a wooden top section, was most probably built in years 1325-1329. Between 1365 and 1370, the gate was extended upwards, although the building still lacked the back section facing the city and thus remained an open structure. During the 15th century, the structure became an enclosed one through the addition of the western facade, the only open section being the gateway itself. During the 18th and, in particular, the 19th century, the medieval fortifications have started to lose their initial significance and were slowly starting to crumble. The gate, which had stood abandoned for quite some time by then, was restored in the 1870s and then in 1908. During the spring of 1945, the gate was destroyed, losing its roof, ceilings and parts of its gables. In 1951 the structure was protected from the elements by means of a makeshift tented roof. In 1968, the building was donated to the Museum of Central Pomerania; following a comprehensive restoration and adaptation in 1980, the structure now houses conservation workshops and a photographic studio.

Description

The Mill Gate is positioned on the south-eastern corner of the city walls, in an area between the Słupia river which flows to the north-east of the gate, the Mill Canal (Kanał Młyński) flowing to the north-west and the Rynek Rybacki (Fish Market) street which is located to the south-east. The Castle Mill, the Richter Granary and the Castle of The Pomeranian Dukes are located in the immediate vicinity of the gate.

The gate is a Gothic building,

the shape of its floor plan approximating that of a square (dimensions: about 9 x 10 m), with a gateway positioned on the east-west axis, allowing pedestrians and vehicles to pass through the gatehouse. The first floor entrance is positioned in the southern facade, on the outside of the building; a set of straight flights of stairs lead alongside the southern wall, facilitating access to the upper sections of the building. The building takes the form of a simple, five-storey tower with a steep gable roof clad with ceramic roof tiles, its roof ridge positioned on the east-west axis. The gate opening on the eastern side of the tower is flanked by two buttresses.

The building is made of brick, its ground floor walls being approximately 1.5 metres thick. The bricks forming the tower walls differ in appearance, demonstrating the fact that they were frequently repaired and modified over time.

The eastern facade is symmetrical, with a single-axis ground floor section featuring a pointed-arch gate flanked by a pair of buttresses. The surface of the facade above is partitioned by five recesses taking the form of slender blind windows topped with segmental arches, spanning across four storeys of the tower. The three middle recesses contain dual windows on the first three storeys and single windows on the uppermost storey. The facade is crowned with a tall, two-storey gable with pinnacles and slender pointed-arch blind windows. The western facade features a similar design, the differences including the absence of the buttresses on the ground floor level as well as the presence of a broad, pointed-arch blind window spanning across three storeys of the tower, flanked by two narrower recesses. The northern facade follows a three-axis design on its uppermost level, with three windows set into recesses topped with segmental arches. Each of the lower levels features a pair of narrow window slits. The roof features four roof windows which are a modern addition. The southern facade is obscured by a two-storey connecting section on the ground floor level, its structure based on the preserved sections of the former defensive wall. The final storey features three windows set into recesses, while the lower levels are illuminated by window slits in an irregular arrangement.

Limited access to the historic building. The building can only be viewed from the outside.

Complied by: Teofila Lebiedź-Gruda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 03.09.2014.

Bibliography

  • Stachlewski W., Słupski przewodnik turystyczny, Słupsk 2000.
  • Szpilewski S., Zabytki Słupska, Słupsk 2000.

General information

  • Type: defensive wall
  • Chronology: XIV w. (lata 1325-1329, 1365-1370)
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Dominikańska 8, Słupsk
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district Słupsk, commune Słupsk - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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