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Informacja Turystyczna Zgorzelca. www.it.zgorzelec.pl

Polski arrow Interesting Places arrow Interesting places in Goerlitz arrow Ruins of town fortifications
Ruins of town fortifications

In Goerlitz we can admire the ruins of Middle Age town fortifications. The growing economic importance of the town in the 13th and 14th century resulted in the necessity of protecting the town against invasions and plunderers. Their threat increased especially during the Hussite Wars in the first half of the 15th century. Despite ongoing invasion, the Hussites never seized the town. Only during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) it turned out that the town walls were not strong enough and Zgorzelec was captured by the fighting parties several times. Even around 1700 the town had 33 defensive towers located on the outside and inside of the walls. In the 19th century, most of the walls and towers were destroyed. The only remaining tower is the Ochsenbastei (Ox Tower) at current Uferstr. on the Nysa Luzycka River side. In the immediate surroundings of St Peter and Paul church (Peterskirche) we can admire fragments of former town walls. Apart from that, in Gorlitz there are three towers that remained (out of four): Frauenturm (Virgin Mary Tower; another name is Dicker Turm = Thick Tower), whose walls are over 5m thick here and there (mentioned in 1305), Nikolaiturm (Nicholas Tower) near which the Jews of Zgorzelec lived in the 14th century and Reichenbacher Turm (Reichenbach Tower), located at the Upper Market Square, which formerly defended the access to the town from the west. Reichenbacher Turm, referred to for the first time in 1376, received its current shape in 1485. During the town's siege in 1641 by the Emperor's and Saxon armies, the tower was damaged as a result of a cannonade. The tower is adorned with blazons of the former Union of Six Lusatian Towns. It is accessible to visitors. Very close to Reichenbacher Turm there is the Kaisertrutz barbican. Its name refers to the times of the Thirty Years' War when in 1641 Swedish soldiers under colonel Wanke's command "made head" (trotzten) fiercely against the Emperor's and Saxon soldiers who besieged the town. Originally, this defensive building, erected before 1490, was in front of the line of town walls and surrounded by a moat. In the 1580s, B. Scultetus placed a part of the municipal documents here. Since 1932 Kaisertrutz has been a museum. Initially it was a branch of the Emperor Frederic Museum situated on the right bank of the Nysa Luzycka River.




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