Reszel – town defensive walls


   The town was founded by the Warmian chapter in 1337, near the older Teutonic watchtower, handed over after strengthening in the conquered areas to the bishop of Warmia. City defensive walls were erected along with the castle around the mid-fourteenth century. Already in 1370 a New Town was created, connected with the older center by common fortifications.


   The town occupied a naturally defensive plateau on the Sajna River, which bend around Reszel from the east, south and partly north. It was founded on a plan similar to a square with a rounded south-east corner, in which a castle with its own fortifications was located. Close to the fortifications, in the south there was also the parish church of St. Peter and Paul and the Augustinian monastery with the church of St. John on the east side. Both buildings  could have defense functions, if necessary, or at least a warning – guard role.
   The city defensive walls were erected from bricks in a flemish (gothic) bond and decorated by zendrówka brick. The pedestal of the walls was stone. Their circumference was about 1,000 meters long and was adjusted in plan to the shape of the hill on which the city lay. In the fortifications were three gates: from the west High Gate, Kings Gate from the north and Fisher Gate from the east. The Kings Gate and Fisher Gate were preceded by brick bridges. The walls were strengthen with few towers, and from the west and north additional reinforcement was the moat.

Current state

   Reszel’s defensive walls are retained in a small fragments. They are visible in the vicinity of the High Bridge and in the north and west of the city, on the streets of Spichrzowa and Kraszewskiego. On the west side there is preserved reconstructed defensive tower called Prison Tower with remnants of the wall.

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

Sypek A., Sypek.R., Zamki i obiekty warowne Warmii i Mazur, Warszawa 2008.