Gubin – town defensive walls


   In the first half of the thirteenth century, Gubin was a significant settlement of a craft and commercial character, which owed its position to the ford by the Nysa Łużycka River of the important route from Wielkopolska to southern Germany. The development of the settlement was favored by the staple right of salt, recorded since 1211. In the second decade of the thirteenth century, on the initiative of prince Henry the Bearded, the location of the town took place, supplemented in 1235 by the privileges of Magdeburg law from the granting of Henry III, Margrave of Meissen.
   The first reference from 1301 is about earth ramparts with a palisade and a moat running around it.
In 1311, margrave Waldemar granted the city privileges from which income to the municipal coffers were to support the construction of brick fortifications. They were erected in the fourteenth century, and further work on the expansion was carried out in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Already in 1318 it was noted that the brick walls repulsed the attack of the Czech troops of John of Bohemia.
   In the years 1523-1544 walls were renovated and strengthened, mainly the defense of town gates was improved.
Keeping the fortifications in good condition belonged to the guilds duties than. However, since the Thirty Years’ War and especially at the end of the eighteenth century, their technical condition was very bad and they were dismantled.


   The fortifications were erected on an irregular plan of a pentagon. The defensive walls were about 7 meters high. It were reinforced with 18 half towers and three towers at the gates: Monastery, Krosno and Ostrowska. The Monastery Gate was located on the Nysa river, the Krosno Gate was located in the north-east part of the walls, and Ostrowska on the road leading through Lubsko and Żary to Silesia. From the unprotected southern side, a moat was dug out, powered by the river’s waters. In the years 1523-1544, all gates were reinforced with strong cylindrical towers and barbicans.

Current state

   To this day, only small fragments of fortifications have survived, among which the most important are the so-called The Virgin’s Tower in the eastern part of the former circuit, in the bend of Drukarska and Dąbrowskiego Streets, and the tower of the Ostrowska Gate in the south-east on 3 Maja Street.

show Virgin Tower on map

show Ostrowska Tower on map

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Kowalski S., Zabytki architektury województwa lubuskiego, Zielona Góra 2010.
Pilch J., Kowalski S., Leksykon zabytków Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, Warszawa 2012.

Przyłęcki M., Miejskie fortyfikacje średniowieczne na Dolnym Śląsku. Ochrona, konserwacja i ekspozycja 1850 – 1980, Warszawa 1987.