Starogard Gdański – city defensive walls

History

Construction of the defensive walls began in the years 1309-1310 master Theodot from Florence at the command of the great master of the Teutonic Order. The outer wall was built between 1313 and 1320. Then the construction of the gates with towers began, which was completed in 1338-1340. The city fortifications stopped the Hussites in 1433, and in the thirteen-year war defended the city against the Order’s mercenaries. They took control of the city only at the end of the war in 1465 and repelled Polish attacks for two years. The city eventually left due to lack of food and help. At the end of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, with the loss of military significance, most of the walls and towers served as the free building material and foundations of new buildings.

Architecture

The Starogard fortifications were erected on a plan similar to a quadrangle with a broken north-west curtain and a rounded western corner. The original height of the defensive wall was probably about 7 meters, and their thickness was about 1,5-2 meters. It was reinforced with rectangular half towers. The town had five gates: Gdańsk Gate and Water Gate from the north, Tczew Gate from the east, Gniew Gate from the south and Chojnice Gate from the west. On the northern and north-eastern sides, the river was the additional protection, the moat on the other sides.

Current state

By the present time the fragments of the fortifications have survived in the north-west part, on the river side. There is a tower of Gdańsk called also Szewska, which guarded the safety of entry at the Gdańsk Gate. Unfortunately, in the nineteenth century, its lower part was narrowed to widen the street. It currently houses a part of the exhibition of the Museum of the Kociewie Region. In addition, you can see the corner tower (Prince Tower) and the Tczew Tower (Mill Tower) adapted for residential purposes.

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bibliography:
Sypek A., Sypek.R., Zamki i obiekty warowne Pomorza Gdańskiego, Warszawa 2003.