Goleniów – city defensive walls


   The construction of stone and brick defensive walls in Goleniów was started after giving the city 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 system of fortifications a convenient location of the city over the Ina river was used, which from the south was a natural moat, while from the east and north-east it was a river’s branch, called Goleniowska Struga. Even in the eighteenth century, fortifications existed throughout the city’s perimeter. They were dismantled only in the 19th century.


   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.
The Prison Tower, also called Gunpowder Tower, was probably built in the 15th century. It is a cylindrical, three-story building, made of ceramic bricks in a flemish bond, with a viewing deck topped with a brick cone. The entrance to the interior is at the level of the crown of the walls. Above it, narrow, rectangular window openings are in the walls.
The Mint Tower was also founded in the 15th century. In the Middle Ages there was a city mint, in which Goleniów denarii were minted. Its brick block consists of two parts: the quadrilateral base passes into the second, octagonal storey, with the pointed openings in it. The combination of both parts is provided by squinches, semi-circular architectural elements placed in 4 corners. In the city wall adjoining the tower, there is an pointed opening of the former water wicket gate, that is a passage to the city from the river port.
Four gates led to the city: Szczecin, Stargard, Wolin and Mill. The oldest of them, the Szczecin Gate, was built in 1315. It was preceded by a wooden bridge on the Ina river, covered with a gable roof and no decorative form of the façade. The Stargard Gate was an extensive complex with a stone bridge and a foregate preceding it. Its elevations were characterized by a decorative arrangement, topped with pinnacles. The Wolin Gate is located in the northern part of the city walls, along the road leading to Wolin and Kamień Pomorski. It is founded on a rectangular plan. The lower part of it with the pointed passage, is built of granite boulders, carefully worked into regular cubes. Above the ground floor, the four-storey corpus is made of ceramic bricks and topped with gables. Elevation from the outside to the height of 3 storeys is composed of a wide blendes with a semicircular enclosures. The interior elevation, from the city side, is more elaborately designed. Above the pass, there are slender lesenes that go into the pinnacles of the stepped gable. There are narrow window openings between the lesenes. Gate originally contained lowering portcullis.

Current state

   Currently, only four fragments 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).