Będzin – city defensive walls

History

    The defensive walls in Będzin were probably erected in the sixties of the 14th century, in the place of wooden and earth fortifications and probably repeated older outline. It was a period of particularly intensive development of the city, also confirmed by the construction of other brick buildings. The investment came at the end of the reign of Casimir the Great and the construction of city fortifications and a thorough reconstruction of the castle was associated with the defensive policy of the king, who was probably the founder and investor of both facilities. There are no informations and traces of modernization of fortifications, although it is known about the renovation and reconstruction of the castle in the fifteenth, sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, following subsequent periods of destruction. These reconstructions and repairs also had to apply to the city walls, especially after the town was burned by the Swedes in 1655.

Architecture

   The circumference of the defensive walls marked the shape of a fairly regular oval, elongated in the meridional direction, flattened a little from the east, and from both sides reached the castle, located in the north-western edge of the town. The total length of the fortification line was about 1000 meters.
  
The defensive wall in Będzin was a massive structure, built of stone on a lime mortar, crowned with a battlement. Significant dimensions of the wall put Będzin in the group of well-fortified Polish cities of the 14th century. The width of the defenders sidewalk was 1,2 – 1,3 meter and basically did not require widening with a wooden porch. From the wood, probably the entrances to the wall were made.
  
The wall was reinforced with towers, unfortunately their number and spacing can not be fully determined today. They were built according to the same principle and had similar dimensions, they were spaced quite regularly every 50-60 meters. They were rectangular half towers, that were typical of the Polish fortifications of this period, extended entirely outside the wall and open to the interior of the city. The towers were of equal height with the wall and had a sidewalk of defenders and a battlement running at the same level as the wall. They did not have arrowslits on the lower level.
  
The town also had two gates, the eastern one called Sławków Gate also known as Kraków Gate, and Bytom Gate otherwise Wrocław Gate. They have not been preserved and their appearance is not known. Based on the plan from the nineteenth century, one can only assume that the Sławków Gate had a foregate.

Current state

    Significant parts of the defensive walls with two half towers have been preserved in the southern and eastern parts of the circuit. Recently, they have been renovated and subjected to partial reconstruction.

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bibliography:
Widawski J., Miejskie mury obronne w państwie polskim do początku XV wieku, Warszawa 1973.