Bartoszyce – town defensive walls


   The town of Bartoszyce (Bartenstein) emerge from a settlement, developing near the castle, erected by the Teutonic Knights in 1240 at the area inhabited by the Prussian Bart tribe. In 1326, it received the location privilege, repeated then in 1332. The rapid development resulted in the construction of defensive walls in 1359, of which the tower of the Lidzbark Gate is the most outstanding remain to this day. Although its lowest parts come from this period, it was overbuilt to its current height in 1468.
   The first serious attempt fortifications of Bartoszyce passed during the Thirteen Years’ War. At the beginning, the townspeople voted for the king of Poland, and for the last four years the Teutonic Knights wanted to take back the town. In 1458, they failed to attack the Bartoszyce, the assault was effectively repulsed.


   The Bartoszyce fortifications were established on an close to oval plan. It were built of brick on a foundation made of erratic stones, up to 90 cm thick. Their height exceeded 4 meters. It were crowned with a battlements and had a timber sidewalk for the defenders.
The defensive wall was reinforced by at least six towers, unevenly distributed in the perimeter of the walls. It had the form of semi-cylindrical and three-sided half towers, open from the town side. The external defense zone was a system of moats, created by digging three ponds, powered by the waters of the Łyna River.
Three gates led to the town: Lidzbarska from the south, Königsberg Gate from the west and Mill Gate from the east. The Mill and Königsberg gates had foregates reinforced with cylindrical towers, connected through the necks with the proper gatehouses. The Lidzbarska Gate was built of brick in the gothic style, as a four-story building on a rectangular plan. In the lower floor, a pointed-arch passage was pierced, from the former foreground preceded by a portcullis. Symmetrically arranged small windows are placed in the facade from the outside. The pride of the building is whitewashed friezes, rows of blendes and high, late gothic, stepped gables, also decorated with blendes.

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Czubiel L., Domagała T., Zabytkowe ośrodki miejskie Warmii i Mazur, Olsztyn 1969.

Sypek A., Sypek.R., Zamki i obiekty warowne Warmii i Mazur, Warszawa 2008.