Prešov – city defensive walls


   The first written mention of Prešov is in the letter of king Bela IV from 1247. In 1299, king Andrew III granted the privilege of Prešov location under the Spiš law, later expanded by Louis I in 1374. As a result, Prešov became a free royal city with the right to build its own fortifications. Their construction began in the first half of the fifteenth century, and the last transformations took place in the sixteenth century. In 1751, Maria Teresa ordered the demolition of fortifications, most of which were dismantled until the 19th century.


   Prešov‘s defensive walls were established on the plan of an elongated oval. In its peak period in the sixteenth century, it consisted of two lines of walls, reinforced with numerous horseshoe towers. While most of the towers of the main defensive wall were closed from the side of the town, high and topped with roofs, the towers of the outer perimeter were relatively low (slightly exceeded the height of the wall) and mostly topped with battlement, without a roof. Two main gates located on the north-south axis led to the town, on the extension of the main street running through the town square. Their foregates have reached the form of barbicans. Additional communication was provided by two wickets, one on the west side and one on the east. The outer defense zone was a hydrated moat.

Current state

   The best preserved element of the old fortifications is the tower at Kováčská street and the transformed Water Tower at Okruzna street and Florian Gate.

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