Behind the walls and towers

Behind the walls and towers, Hinter Mauern und Türmen (1300-1400)

O.f. Glauer, Wie's daheim einst war. Bilder aus der Vergangenheit der Stadt Pitschen von Otto Fritz Glauer, Kreuzburg O.S., 1928. Source: Opole Digital Library

Document 1 2 3 4 5 6 it's the year 1300 , and Byczyna was still "civitas plancata", the city border, which thanks to its palisadom, plankom and ditches to was also the city defence before. Over time, the old defense system have proven to be insufficient. Was seen in 1271. the attack, which brought the town great damage and clearly he realized that Ascension stone defensive structures, as well as the powerful walls and towers can no longer be odwlekane. Neighboring cities: Kluczbork and Wołczyn were founded (1252 and 1261) with its respect for the 16-kilometre-long buffer zone separating from Byczyny. In Kluczbork the Crusaders had a strong Castle, Wołczynie Knight Cunzo built "an impregnable fortress". Byczyna, while did not have religious or Knight's Castle and enemy attacks from the East and the North always had to withstand the first blow. There was a danger that outdated defence system one day, it will be by a niemiłosiernego the enemy with fire and sword wiped from the face of the Earth. In the event of an attack the only place of refuge for the people was the massive Church. Although for a long time on the market was rising up the Town Hall-the largest and najokazalsza building in the city, however, due to the lightweight construction (timber-framed house, shingled) was not out of the question as a place.  Already better fitting to the wine cellars of rajcowskie with its strong walls and massive vaults. In 1323. Byczyna was Bank and therefore six years later became the Czech fief. (S.S. 28.) 1 Was so under the protection of the powerful Member States. This, however, does not dampen our bad neighbors from conducting łupieskich expeditions and raids rabunkowych. For this reason, the City Council has pushed, and finally the construction of fortifications. In its efforts it has been supported by the Princes: Louis I2 and Henry IX 3. who while in Byczynie promised effective help. Since tens of years lay prepared powerful stacks of stones wild harvested and stored for the construction of fortifications. Unfortunately, we do not have a of that time no messages, how to take place. But that still today in our town of medieval buildings are extremely well preserved, we can state conclusions, that give us an approximate picture of the creation of our city's fortifications and their original assumptions. When serving it turned out that the wall has a 950 m long and gave the city the shape of the ellipse on the axis of the West-East or more precisely – longitudinal polygon from the two main gates in the East and West, the third, less-in the South and a link to the source of the moat. First were built with stones wild beasts foundations from 1.40 to 1.50 m above the surface of the Earth.  Over the years, the mortar under the weight of the stones utwardzała, becoming so hard as they, by what the wall does not require any maintenance. The southern part of the wall consisted of 13 episodes, which make up the connection angles opened, while the North-approximately approximately 1.5 times longer with the bulge over the moat-22 pieces connected in series in the same way as in the South. Probably initially the shaft of stone, which was a testament to the huge success of human work planned as a fortification (confirmation), it was thought sufficient to stop nacierającego the enemy. In the 14th century. together with the progressive improvement of offensive measures resulted the need to improve the defensive measures. To the far Silesia has arrived at this time, the news of gunpowder. Already in the year 1340 was built in Augsburg, the first factory of gunpowder and only 8 years later was the same in Legnica.  I barely finished stone shaft in Byczynie could not therefore fulfil its task. Because of its small height does not have the resources to protect the city against these modern thundering rifles. And that each action half-life hated community byczyńska as evidenced by the founding of the city in a big way and glorious episode in the construction of the parish church, and here has done all the work. The Church was extended with the stone shaft wall of bricks in height between 4 and 4.5 m and on another a narrower passage heights from 1 m to 1.20 m, so that the total height of the wall was approximately 7 m. On the cornice formed between a wider and a narrower part of the wall built out the horizontal beams that holds the boards and railing forming of the transition. Come to the wartowniczych towers, which were built by the three main gates. Maybe they were covered in nearby towers. In some places have been placed ladders and stairs, in case of an alarm every resident could quickly find allotted him a place on the wall 4 Tree in those days there was no shortage, but to provide a huge amount of bricks, resorted all measures. When the craft features not only vigorously przymuszały its members to exercise the civic guard, [punishment] had to provide for the construction of 5000 bricks. Also various other offences inhabitants were clad punishment provision of the bricks. Moat was excavated, extended to 12 metres and also again was man-made monuments and strong shaft. Gateway: Poland and German have gained massive arches and heavy oak gates, wings and Sand Gate and gate with moat have also been fitted with sturdy gates. At the four entrances to the town have been passed by the moat powerful beams, which withstand the weight of heavy vehicles and, if necessary, they can be easily moved away. There is no data, when these works were carried out and how much time they took. However, the concept of the city fortifications, the form of bricks (the old format of the monastery 9:13:27) and bonding (the so-called binding gotyckie5) indicate with certainty that these walls were created between 1300 and 1400. It is possible that entire century was filled with these works. For the community of Byczyny it was a difficult, but also proud of the time that today przebrzmiewa in wysokosiężnych buildings. Now a resident of sitting safely in your home, and the Pilgrim monk, roaming the terminator, travelling merchant, practicing the student enjoyed already from afar with the defence view, surrounded by the city walls of many towers. The status of the doors, especially the tower at the gate of the Polish shows a description of the building inspector Beckmann from the year 1847 and, at the same time, it contains information about her alleged age. There is written: the Foundation of the Tower from 3 to 6 feet (1.10 m) above the surface of the Earth is made of wild beasts and broken stones, remainder to 75.5 feet (23, 70) is a wall of bricks 4 (62 cm), thick layer in the Polish binding, alternating in red-brown designs and czarniawe szlaczki. Ground floor of 17.5 feet (5.5 m) completed a vaulted, in the middle of which is stamped hole. In this room there was a door opening, in later times it was carved. It seems that originally it room work as the Dungeon. Door opening to the higher floors have to be later extended to marks on the outer walls indicate that there were attached covered wooden stairs.  Is the floor after the construction of a new prison on work as Dungeon and directly above this was a vaulted wooden floors. In the Interior of the tower is no longer growing, but rises in four open sides to the top to an octagonal kopułowatego. Wall up to the vault is built of 3.5 "(9 cm) thick bricks well and with the appropriate power associated with each other and are resistant to weathering. The dome of the time later with brick only 2.5 "(6.5 cm) weaker quality and improperly arched. Originally built with limestone mortared bricks-dziurawek, which, before about 15 years ago (1832) were removed due to the defect. Inside on the ceiling kopułowym not see any traces of weathering of bricks. On the outside of the visible are the negative effects of weathering and already have fallen pieces of bricks. The age of the tower could not be conclusively determined, because the city fire in 1757. burnt out also responsible for dealing with magistracka. 6 to be built at the same time as the old city wall Byczyny and other connected with the towers. Judging by the way the construction of her age can be estimated at 4-500 years (about 1400). This tower is the pride of the city and a wish to due to age and solidly built has been maintained for posterity. So many of these messages. Today the transition have disappeared, also there is a narrower part of the superstructure. Over the years, fell and was not renewed. Water tanks were buried, and the moat in the majority changed in gardens. Between the gardens preserved only a portion of the former moat. Proud towers lost its dome. Only the Watchtower at the Polish Gate has gained over time, pool cover, of course, not in the old form of an octagonal dome. Arcs gates, unfortunately, in 1838. had to be torn down because they were collapsing. The interim was on the north side furta 1866. extended to the open alley, when the moat was rozplantowana, and ramp compensated. Wall was also nadgryziony the tooth of time. Already 100 years ago on the north side there were scratches and cracks, as a result of dilution there for sources, that from the depths of the wypłukiwały sand. Wall lost its vertical position. Expertise building inspector Beckmann from 1835 onwards. Describes that part of the wall: stone and brick is the front quality and with a hardened mortar on the stone closely and tightly bound. However, this part of the wall popękała, creating a wide gap dividing it into six parts that in the direction of the external shaft side more or less odchyliły from vertical, namely from 1 ft 9 "(55 cm) to 3 ft 6" (1.10). In these places, where it is strongest, the deviation of broken stone and brick masonry has been placed as a support of 5 gear, which, however, once again became separated from the wall, but also never were properly linked. These buttresses are from later time and indicate a high defective and inferior way of building than the city walls.  These damages are now deleted and the city walls with three towers guard as well-tended as little German cities it has, are the pride of the city, give it together with the Town Hall and the church towers very medieval character and inspired by memories of a long a proud past. However, these historical monuments that represent the irreplaceable cultural values, impose on us the obligation: with full reverence protected and nurtured.  When the reconstruction of the old and construction of new houses exceeded will be the height of the existing buildings, is a great concern that the towers of drowning among high roofs, which will destroy the ingenious unity. Historical landscape "homeland" is torn and the emergence of a caricature. In the article ' Garden City ' Government building champion Schmidt called the city architectural Gem "cities" of Byczyna. Let us all, that remained so!  The footnotes:

  1.  In the original get the record.
  2. Louis I (Brest region) on przydomkach: Righteous, Wise, right, Duke of namysłów, legnicki, brzesko-oława
  3. Henry IX the older, Duke of Głogów-żagań
  4. When a man stood on the wall is the nadbudowany, a higher portion of reached his chest.
  5. bondage Gothic also known as Polish: layers of the wall in the binding Polish do not differ from each other. Each layer is wozówkowo-bonded, and weld the vertical one layer are shifted relative to the other about 3/4 bricks. The walls of this binding belongs to. (source:
  6. the registry will oversee-1. a collection of documents the current CA 2. law firm or Office in which the registration, store documents, etc. (

Translation: Elizabeth Bereska Development: Anna Bereska-Trybuś

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