Chojnice – city defensive walls

History

The builder of the Chojnice defensive walls was the Teutonic Order, which took over the town in 1309. It began to function as a fortress defending the southern border and the main route, connecting the Order with Brandenburg. In 1433, the town was besieged by Czech Taborites. In 1454, after the outbreak of a uprising against the Teutonic Knights and surrendering the Prussian towns to the protection of king Kazimierz Jagiellończyk, near Chojnice there was a major battle, in which, the defeat of Polish troops began a troublesome 13-Year War with the Teutonic Order. The town was captured only in 1466, after a three-month siege, as one of the last Teutonic strongholds. In the 18th century, the defensive walls, had no longer any military significance and were gradually dismantled.

Architecture

The town occupied a small hill, surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Order Lake and Green Lake. The defensive circuit was erected on an oval plan. The oldest, stone, low walls had a height of about 4 meters. Later, a brick superstructure was made up to a height of about 7 to 9 meters. The thickness of the walls ranged from 1.5 to 2.5 meters. Throughout the perimeter, wall was reinforced with 24 towers and three gatehouses. The towers had various shapes, finials and heights: quadrilateral, hexagonal and round. It were connected from the inside of the walls with a timber guards porch. To each of the gates: Mill, Człuchów and Gdańsk, there were drawbridges over the moat. From the north-eastern and southern side, additional protection was provided by lakes. From the south-western side access to the walls was defended by double moat divided by a high dike.

Current state

Currently, the longest section of the walls is from the south-west on the streets of Sukienniki, Grobelna and Wałowa to Młyńska. The most impressive element of the defense walls is the Człuchów Gate, in which the seat of the Historical and Ethnographic Museum is located. The Crow’s Tower, Kurza Stopa Tower, Shoemaker Tower, Church Tower and Prison Tower also survive.

show Człuchów Gate on map

show Prison Tower on map

show Crow’s Tower on map

return to alphabetical index

bibliography:
Sypek A., Sypek.R., Zamki i obiekty warowne Pomorza Gdańskiego, Warszawa 2003.
Website turystyka-chojnice.pl, Ciąg murów obronnych.