Banie – town defensive walls


   Banie and the surrounding lands were given by the duke Barnim I in 1234 to the Order of Templars and the location privilege was granted before 1296. In the developing town in the first half of the fourteenth century, the construction of defensive walls began. In 1345, the Knights Hospitallers, who took over the property of the Templars, accepted supremacy of Barnim III over the town. The prince retained the right to fill the mayor, patronage over the church and half of the court’s income. Knights Hospitallers reserved the supervision of town fortifications.
In 1399, the commander Dethloff von Walmoden, who came to the town to inspect the city walls, was murdered by the inhabitants. For punishment, the town had to pay 25 guldens a year to Hospitallers and put a cross of murder under the walls. The abolition of fees and cross took place only in 1553.
During the Pomeranian-Brandenburg fights in 1478, the town passed from hand to hand and was severely damaged. Most of the buildings were burnt and the city walls were partially dismantled. Subsequent destructions, from which the old and ruined fortifications not saved, was brought by the Thirty Years War in the 17th century, the great town fire of 1690 and the Seven Years War in the eighteenth century. In 1766, the remains of the former fortifications were demolished.


   Defensive walls were laid out on an oval plan with an area of about 15 ha. Due to the location, originally access to the town was defended by lakes and the floodplains of Tywa, and then a wide moat and an earth rampart. The circumference of the walls was about 1430 meters, the wall thickness was 1.3 meters and the height was 6 meters. The line of the walls was reinforced with irregularly spaced twenty half towers with semicircular and rectangular shapes. In the 15th century, some of them were rebuilt into closed towers. Two gates led to the town: Lower (also known as Chojeńska) from the west and Upper or Pyrzycka from the east. It had the form of low gatehouse towers with simple foregates.

Current state

   To this day, only the cylindrical Powder Tower (originally called the Prison Tower) has survived in the garden of the clergy of the church of Our Lady. It was located in the northern part of the fortified circuit.

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Kuna M., Średniowieczne mury miejskie w powiecie gryfińskim na tle sieci miast warownych Pomorza Zachodniego i dawnej wschodniej Brandenburgii, “Rocznik Chojeński” nr 7, s.37-76, Chojna 2015.
Pilch J., Kowalski S., Leksykon zabytków Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, Warszawa 2012.