Lubawa – town defensive walls


   The construction of defensive walls in Lubawa began at the beginning of the 14th century on the initiative of bishop Herman of Pryzn, as the town was the seat and administration center of the episcopal estates. Fortifications, however, did not protect Lubawa from Polish troops in 1410. It was not until 1422 that the town withstood the siege of royal troops for four days. During the Thirteen Years War, it fell after a longer Teutonic siege. Under the Peace of Toruń in 1466, Lubawa was incorporated into the Kingdom of Poland, which belonged to it until the first partition in 1772. Most of the medieval fortifications were dismantled in the 19th century. The Second World War brought major destruction.


   The fortification ring has a form similar to the elongated east-west oval, located between the Jesionka river in the south and Sandela in the north. On the eastern side, the town was bordered with a bishop’s castle, which however was an independent defensive work. Inside the town fortifications, Lubawa received a regularly laid layout with a spacious market square with two streets leading off its corners. The eastern block, as a larger one, additionally had two utility streets, and the whole was connected with a street running around the fortifications.
   The total length of the town fortifications was about 1000 meters. It is not known exactly how many towers were in the perimeter of the walls. There were probably no less than four of them. Two gates led to the town: from the north German, also called Kurzętnik Gate and from the south Poland, also called Iława Gate. There was also a wicket gate that led to the bishop’s castle. Lubawa had a double wall system.

Current state

   Fragments of the inner defensive walls and partly two towers have survived to our times, which in the 18th and 19th centuries were rebuilt into residential houses.

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Czubiel L., Domagała T., Zabytkowe ośrodki miejskie Warmii i Mazur, Olsztyn 1969.