Gubin – city defensive walls

History

   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 it were renovated and strengthened, focusing mainly on improving the defense of town gates. Keeping the fortifications in good condition belonged to the guilds duties. 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.

Architecture

   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 with the so-called the Virgin Tower and the tower of the Ostrowska Gate have survived.

show Virgin Tower on map

show Ostrowska Tower on map

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bibliography:
Pilch.J, Kowalski S., Leksykon zabytków Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, Warszawa 2012.

Webpage ziemialubuska.pl, Obwarowania miejskie – Gubin.