The city defense walls in Dzierżoniów began to be erected in the second half of the 13th century by order of the prince of Świdnica Bolko I. The first ring of walls was completed at the end of the 13th century, the second ring of walls was built and expanded during the 14th and 17th centuries as the city developed. During the Thirty Years War earth ramparts were built in front of the city walls. Fortifications of Dzierżoniów in the 18th century finally lost their military value, but until the 1850s, the city council cared for the tightness of the inner circuit of fortifications, which was an excise barrier, necessary for collecting tax on flour and meat. In 1880, after the change of the tax system and the abolition of excise duty, the state authorities approved the demolition of the fortifications.
The city walls surrounded the city on an oval plan with an area of about 20 ha. Four gates at the exits of four main streets, running from the market square, led to the city. Their later names are: Świdnica Gate, Wrocław Gate, Ząbkowice Gate (or Piławska) and the gate leading from the city to the Piława river, called Watertrough Gate. The inner ring of the walls was originally equipped with about 30 semicircular towers, opened towards the town. The defense system also had an outer ring of the walls, moat and early modern earth ramparts.
Fortifications have been preserved on around 70 percent, especially from the south-west, south and east. Also 21 half towers have survived.
Przyłęcki M., Mury obronne miast Dolnego Śląska, Wrocław 1970.