Goleniów – town defensive walls


   The construction of stone and brick defensive walls in Goleniów was started after giving the town its municipal rights, by the Pomeranian duke Barnim I in 1268. Probably the implementation of the entire complex of city walls lasted from the beginning of the 14th century until the 15th century. In the early modern period, despite the loss of importance due to the development of firearms, fortifications existed throughout the town’s perimeter in the 18th century. They were demolished only in the 19th century.


   The perimeter of the defensive walls had the shape of an oval elongated approximately on the north-south line. On the west side, the town adjoined the Ina riverbed, while in the south, protection was provided by the Struga Goleniowska, which joined the river. In the remaining directions, it was secured by an irrigated moat, connected with Ina and Struga.
   The defensive walls were built mostly of granite boulders, laid in layers with rows aligned with smaller stones.
During the 15th-century reconstruction, they were partly dismantled and built up by brick parts. Originally the thickness of the wall was from 1 to 2 meters and the height from 7 to 9 meters. The wall was strengthened with half towers, open from the city side, and from the fifteenth century, also by closed towers.
In the western, corner part of the perimeter, there was the Prison Tower, also known as the Powder Tower, probably built in the 15th century. It received the form of a cylindrical, three-story building, made of ceramic bricks in a Flemish bond, with an upper platform topped with a brick cone. The entrance to the interior is located at the level of the wall crown. Above it, narrow, rectangular openings were pierced in the walls.
   The western part of the perimeter was also protected by the Mint Tower, also built in the 15th century. In the Middle Ages, it housed the town mint, where Goleniów denarii were minted. Its brick body composed of two parts: the quadrilateral part of the ground floor, which in the second storey turned into an octagonal part with pointed openings arranged in it. The connection of both parts was provided by squinches – semicircular architectural elements placed in four corners. In the town wall adjacent to the tower there was an ogival opening of the former Water Gate, i.e. the passage to the town from the river port.

Four gates led to the Goleniów: Szczecin Gate in the west, Stargard Gate in the south, Wolin Gate in the north-east and Mill Gate in the north. The oldest of them, the Szczecin Gate, was built in 1315. It was preceded by a wooden bridge over Ina, it was covered with a gable roof and did not receive a decorative facade form. The Stargard Gate formed an extensive complex with a stone bridge and a foregate preceding it. Its elevations were characterized by decorative arrangements, topped with pinnacles.
   The Wolin Gate was situated on the road leading to Wolin and Kamień Pomorski. It was founded on a rectangular plan. Its lower part with its pointed arch passage, was made of granite blocks, carefully processed into regular cubes. Above the ground floor, the four-storey part was made of ceramic bricks and topped with gables. From the outside, up to the height of the third floor, the façade has a large, wide recess with a semicircular closure, housing originally portcullis. The inner façade, from the town side, was pierced with four rows of window openings. Above the passage, slender pilaster strips were created, turning into pinnacles of the stepped gable.

Current state

   Currently, only four fragments have survive from the full circumference of the defensive walls: the southern section from the bridge on the Ina river towards the west with the Prison Tower and Mint Tower, in the northern part about 100 meters section with the Wolin Gate and a short section perpendicular to Barnim street. The longest section of the walls is closed by the north-eastern part of the Old Town, limited from the south by Konstytucji 3-go Maja street and going up by bow to Niemcewicza street.

show Wolin Gate on map

show Mint Tower on map

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Lukas E, Średniowieczne mury miejskie na Pomorzu Zachodnim. Poznań 1975.
Strona internetowa encyklopedia.szczecin.pl, Mury miejskie (Goleniów).