Koszalin – city defensive walls

History

   Located on the Dzierżęcinka River, flowing to Lake Jamno, Koszalin was mentioned for the first time in 1214, when the Pomeranian duke Bogusław II gave the settlement to the Norbertine monastery in Białoboki. In 1243, it was taken over by the chapter of Kamień. Rapid development was caused by the location of the town on the main trade route from Gdańsk via Słupsk, Kołobrzeg to Szczecin. The original system of Koszalin fortifications, built after the location of the town in 1266, was a ring of earth ramparts with a wooden palisade, surrounded by a moat and ponds. The brick fortifications of Koszalin were erected at the turn of the 13th/ 14th century. In the 14th century, the town already had three gates and 46 half towers. Around 1500, a brick foregate was built in front of the New Gate, and in the 16th century also before the other two gates. The town walls were preserved in their original condition until the great town fire in 1718, later they were gradually lowered due to use as material for reconstruction. In the nineteenth century, they were pulled down, but some fragments have survived to this day.

Architecture

   Koszalin had a shape similar to a circle with an area of ​​16 ha inside fortifications. The brick walls had a circumference of 1560 meters and were fortified with 46 half towers open from the city side. The wall thickness at the base was 1,30 meters, and the height reached at least 7 meters. The towers were spaced at various distances from 21 to 26 meters. The dimensions of the towers were also varied, most often 6,5 x 2,3 or 7,5 x 3,3 meters. They were extended beyond the outer line of walls by 1 meter. Their external façade was decorated with elongated, plastered blendes, placed three, four or five on the tower. The form of two towers: Prison and Powder Tower, probably reconstructed from half towers, is unknown.
  
Three gates led to the town, since the 16th century they were equipped with foregates: Mill Gate from the north, New Gate from the west and High Gate from the south. On early modern drawings, they all have a similar form. They are rectangular in plan, higher then walls and topped with gables. The outer defensive zone were an earth ramparts and several ponds connected by moats.

Current state

   The longest fragments of the defensive wall preserved to this day can be seen at Maria Ludwiki street, and between Mickiewicza and Młyńska streets.

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bibliography:
Lukas E, Średniowieczne mury miejskie na Pomorzu Zachodnim. Poznań 1975.
Pilch.J, Kowalski S., Leksykon zabytków Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, Warszawa 2012.

Ptaszyńska D., Miejskie mury obronne w województwie koszalińskim, Koszalin 1974.