Defensive walls, Strzelce Krajeńskie
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The medieval complex of town fortifications in Strzelce Krajenskie is one of the best preserved monuments in the region since it features the original walls (almost the whole perimeter), impressive Mill Gate, Prison Tower and half-shell towers.

History

The town of Strzelce Krajeńskie was chartered between 1272 and 1290. Shortly after the town was chartered, it was surrounded by earthen ramparts with a double moat and stone defensive walls. This is mentioned in the records dating from 1290 which suggest that in the vicinity of the town walls a site was designated for the construction of a monastery occupied by the Order of St Augustine. The ring of stone fortifications enclosing the urban layout on a plan which approximates the shape of a circle was approx. 1.7 km in length. In addition to the Mill Gate and the Gorzów Gate, the fortifications included thirty-seven quadrangular half-shell towers designed to fire on the forefield. During the Late Middle Ages extensions in the form of necks and foregates were added to the gates. One of the fortified tower in the western section of the structure was extended upwards and converted to a prison. Later, a gateway was built into the adjacent wall; the prison began to be used as a gunpowder warehouse. The 18th century saw the start of works to partially level the town fortifications. In 1730 a drill ground was created at the Gorzów Gate; a few years later the site of the levelled ramparts and filled-in moat was used for gardens. Some of the fortified towers were demolished. Work started to rebuild the street adjoining the wall, extending along the inner perimeter of the fortifications. In 1821, a bastion building of the Gorzów Gate was demolished; around 1865 work started to demolish the half-shell towers and the upper fragments of walls; in 1866, the entire Gorzów Gate was pulled down. After the Second World War a fragment of the fortification on the east side was knocked down and the residential and utility buildings joined to the walls were demolished.

Description

The old town area is enclosed with defensive walls in Strzelce Krajeńskie, giving it the shape which approximates that of a circle. Within the area of the medieval town a historical transport network has been preserved with a centrally located market square, streets intersecting at right angles and a street extending in a ring shape parallel to the town fortifications. The walls measuring a total of 1,640 m in length are divided into straight segments of different length (from 27 to 56 m), separated by thirty-six lookouts. The eastern part of the walls features the Młyńska Gata, and the north-western part the Prison Tower. The fortifications run parallel to the street, which forms an outer ring around the old town. The space between the street and the walls is mainly occupied by modern buildings with gardens and urban green areas. The walls were built of rough and split fieldstones, which were arranged in 60-to-120-centimetre-thick layers, levelled with the use of stone outcrops and bonded with lime mortar. The interior was filled with rubble stone bonded with mortar. The walls are approx. 160 cm thick at the base. The highest preserved section is 850 cm in height.

The monument is available to visitors.

Compiled by Anna Jackiewicz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Zielona Góra, 25-09-2014 r.

Bibliography

  • Skaziński B., Lubuskie Carcassonne, Strzelce Krajeńskie 2009.

General information

  • Type: defensive wall
  • Chronology: koniec XIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Strzelce Krajeńskie
  • Location: Voivodeship lubuskie, district strzelecko-drezdenecki, commune Strzelce Krajeńskie - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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