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Medieval defensive walls - Zabytek.pl


woj. dolnośląskie, pow. świdnicki, gm. Strzegom-miasto

Fragments of defensive walls, including the Bird Tower (also known as the Beak Tower or the Sparrow Tower).

The southern course of the walls is mirrored by the reinforced concrete railway trestle bridge from the early 20th century.


The first ring of stone walls incorporating several quadrangular fortified towers was erected in years 1291-1299, replacing an earlier system of earthen and wooden fortifications. Following the period of the Hussite Wars, somewhere around the mid-15th century, a second, outer ring was added, lower than the original ring and accompanied by a water moat. Somewhere around the year 1475, a number of elongated fortified towers were added to the system of fortifications, including the existing fortified chapel of St Anthony. During the Thirty Years’ War, the walls sustained damage, although they were reconstructed some time afterwards. In 1748, the process of gradual demolition of the walls has begun, with the system of fortifications being formally abolished after 1823. After 1810, the now-defunct walls were replaced with promenades. Another surviving section of the walls was dismantled in 1899. The remnants of the fortification system were further damaged during the clashes which took place here in 1945.


The ring of fortifications originally featured a moat filled with water from the Strzegomka river as well as five city gates: the Jawor Gate (northern side), the Wrocław Gate (eastern side), the New Gate (southern side), the Świdnica Gate (south-eastern side) and Grabina Gate (south-western side); unfortunately, none of these gates has survived to the present day. A fortified tower accompanying the New Gate and later adapted to serve as a chapel has managed to avoid destruction and can still be admired by visitors.

The south-western section of both the outer and inner ring of defensive walls, the Bird Tower near Kamienna street as well as a fragment of walls near the Carmelite church, obscured by modern garages, are all that remains of the original system of fortifications. The Bird Tower is a stone structure erected in 1378 at the initiative of a local burgher, Heinrich Eckerhartsdorff, who also provided the necessary funds. It was designed on a rectangular floor plan with an octagonal upper section and is topped with a tall pyramid roof with wall dormers.

The walls may be explored without limits; access to the Bird Tower is restricted.

compiled by Krzysztof Czartoryski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 27-10-2014.


  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, p. 813.
  • Przyłęcki M., Miejskie fortyfikacje średniowieczne na Dolnym Śląsku. Ochrona, konserwacja i ekspozycja 1850-1980, Warsaw 1987.

Category: defensive wall

Building material:  kamienne

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_02_BL.24345, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_02_BL.11436