Defensive Walls in Warsaw (“Cities with a Wall” project)

Warsaw For some it is a giant with nothing, and for others it is a fantastic city where you can find many interesting places. The blood of Warsaw runs through my veins, so this city is very important to me, and I belong to the second group that can find great places there. ABOUT in Warsaw I have often written in various articlesespecially in that of Fr. unusual attractions† Today I want to show you Warsaw in context Project “Cities with a wall”

Warsaw it is a city full of diversity. There are many beautiful parks, such as Łazienki Królewskie, which attract thousands of tourists. Warsaw’s Praga is very atmospheric, where you can see beautiful street art. On the other hand, Wilanów is a gem that cannot be overlooked.

The Old Town, which is usually full of tourists, is undoubtedly a huge attraction, although it happened to me several times that it was empty in the afternoons in the fall. I’ve passed the barbican and walked the walls many times but never taken from Warsaw serious in context Project “Cities with a wall”† During my recent stay in the capital, I decided to change it up and go for a walk along the route of the walls of Warsaw.

The construction of the defensive walls started at the end of the 13th century. They were 1200 meters long, 8.5 meters high and 120 centimeters thick. Two city gates, Krakowska (Mieszczańska) and Nowomiejska (Łaziebna), led to the city. Construction of the second row of walls began in the 15th century. The Barbican at the New City Gate was built in the mid-16th century. In addition, two gates, the Biała and the Gnojna, were built in the walls at the same time.

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

During the Swedish Flood, the defensive walls suffered significant damage and since then they have not been repaired and some have been demolished. Some fragments were used as walls of buildings.

In 1936, reconstruction of the walls began under the supervision of Jan Zachwatowicz, which lasted until the end of the century. During the works, some houses next to the city walls were demolished and the Gothic bridge was unveiled in the castle square, leading to the Krakowska gate.

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

The aforementioned second row of walls was much lower than the original, the thickness of the walls was up to 170 centimeters, and the distance from the internal fortifications was from 9 to 14 meters. The whole was surrounded by a five meter deep moat.

There were several towers in the line of the walls, the most famous of which were Rycerska, Marszałkowska, Gnojna, Dworzańska, Żuraw, Prochowa, Dworzańska, Grodzka and Biała. Only the Knight’s Tower has survived to this day. The vast majority of the towers were built on a four-sided plan and were open from the inside.

Currently, you can see two fragments of the walls, each more than 500 meters long. They extend on the north, west and south sides. In fact, these two fragments are the inner and outer walls. It is also worth checking out the barbican, the Knight’s Tower and the preserved old Gothic bridge in the Castle Square.

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Old town in in Warsaw preserved with the medieval layout of the streets. Currently it is partially surrounded by a defensive wall, which was largely rebuilt in the 20th century. Most of the buildings in the old town date from the 17th and 18th centuries.

In the central part of the old town there is a market square measuring 90 by 73 meters, surrounded by beautiful tenements. The history of the market dates back to the 13th century. Until the 19th century there was a town hall in the middle and now you can see the Mermaid Monument.

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Unfortunately, during the Second World War 90% of the buildings in the old town were destroyed, only 6 of the 260 buildings survived. On September 1, 1947, the removal of rubble from the Warsaw Market began.

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

There are many beautiful monuments in the old town and I would like to encourage you to visit the Cathedral Basilica of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist from the fourteenth century and the Sanctuary of Our Lady Gracious Patrones from Warsaw from the 17th century, which stands right next to it.

It is also impossible to ignore the Castle Square of the Royal Castle, which I will describe in more detail in the next section.

Plac Zamkowy is located at the end of Krakowskie Przedmieście, next to the Royal Castle. There used to be a Krakow gate here and now you can see the exposed fragments of the former Gothic bridge leading to it. The most characteristic object is the Sigismund’s Column from the 17th century (reconstructed in the 20th century after the Second World War).

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

The castle’s history dates back to the 14th century when the Great Tower was built. It was expanded in the 16th and 17th centuries, although the Swedish Flood severely destroyed it. It was later rebuilt. During the reign of Stanisław August, the interior of the castle was rebuilt.

In September 1939 the castle was partially destroyed during the bombing and in 1944 the Germans finally blew it up. The castle was rebuilt in the 1970s and 1980s. Today you can visit the beautiful interiors and the castle houses a museum.

Defensive Walls in Warsaw

This article is mainly devoted to the defensive walls, hence the old city and other places are not fully described. I have matured for a long time to include Warsaw in Project “Cities with a wall”but i think with so many walls it would just be a faux pas 🙂

If you like the material, buy me a cup of coffee. This will help me to fund my private project “Walled Cities”, where I will visit cities and towns in Poland surrounded by medieval defensive walls, then prepare material about them.
Thank you very much 🙂

Buy me a coffee at buycoffee.to

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