Wystawy czasowe

09.04.2019 -
- 31.10.2019
kalendarium 31
City Defence Walls

Defensive Walls - Barbican - Celestat

dodano 20.04.2018
Opcjonalny podpis
The first confirmed mentions on Krakow’s fortifications appears in the prerogative issued in 1285 by Leszek Czarny. It allowed the burghers to build walls. The fortifications were being expanded for several hundred years.
The obligation to defend the city rested on residents associated in craft guilds that guarded their watchtowers and gates. In 1684, the fortifications around Krakow consisted of 8 gates and 47 watchtowers. Their maintenance was a big financial challenge for the authorities of a city harrased in late 17th and 18th centuries, by enemy troops on the one hand, and by plagues and cataclysms on the other.
In the early 19th century, the city walls were dismantled due to excessive maintenance costs and an outdated defense system. Thanks to the efforts of prof. Feliks Radwanski and Jan Librowski the northern part of the walls consisting of the Floriańska gate, the Pasamonik, Stolarska and Ciesielska watchtowers and the building of the former municipal arsenal were defended against destruction.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the Studio of Architecture and Changes in Urban Planning at the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow has been reproducing the appearance of individual sections of the former city walls in digital form. Here are the major elements of the Krakow fortifications, presented in a digital visualization.
 
St. Florian’s gate with the foregate and the Furrie
Sławkowska Gate with a foregate and the Tailors watchtower (1311) was the second most important city gate, after St. Florian’s Gate. Here the Silesian Route leading to Wrocław began. The bastion was inhabited by a pipe-maker who managed the pipes - the former waterworks that operated in Krakow at the turn of the Middle Ages and modern times.
 
Grodzka Gate with a foregate and the Goldsmiths watchtower (1298) defended access to Krakow from the south, from Stradom and Kazimierz. Together with the fortifications of the Wawel Hill, it formed a very strong defensive point. In the event of an assault, it was defended by the influential Goldsmiths’ guild. Like other towers, it was used to store weapons to be used in the event of an emergency.
 
Szewska Gate with a foregate and the Leather-Workers watchtower (1311) was located in front of the artisan suburb of Garbary. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was also called the Szewcza or Świecka portcullis. At first, it was defended by shoemakers and later by leather-workers who dealt with leather tanning. Artillery was located in this gate - in 1626, there were 8 guns on its four floors. The gate was built on marshy ground, which caused, among others, cracking of walls, and consequently, the gate’s collapse around 1645.
 
Porta Gloriae
Apart from defensive functions, the St. Florian’s Gate together with the Barbican had an important ceremonial significance, in the functioning of both the city and the whole country. It was here that papal legates, foreign deputies and future kings' wives were solemnly received. It was here that the triumphs of victorious commanders were organized, and it was here that Via Regia - the Royal Road began. The solemn monarch ingresses, or coronation entries, would set off at Kleparz, at the collegiate church of St. Florian. In the Barbican's courtyard, the new monarch would be greeted by city councilors; the members of craft guilds, fraternities and clergy would gather at Floriańska Street, from which the monarch procession would go to Wawel. The ceremonial coronation ingresses were started by the entry of the French prince Henry Valois, which took place on February 18, 1574. The last coronation ingress took place on January 14, 1734, when Krakow welcomed the king-elect August III of Poland.
 
rs watchtower (1307) defended access to the northern part of the city and was Krakow’s main gate. It was constantly being expanded since the 14th century. First, the 10 m long foregate was built, the so-called short neck, reaching to the inner slope of the moat. During the reign of Władysław Jagiełło, the neck was extended to the outer edge of the moat and ended with another entry gate. A new outer moat was made on its foreground. At the end of the 15th century, an outpost was added to the main gate, which was only to be named the Barbican in the 19th century.
 
Sławkowska Gate with a foregate and the Tailors watchtower (1311) was the second most important city gate, after St. Florian’s Gate. Here the Silesian Route leading to Wrocław began. The bastion was inhabited by a pipe-maker who managed the pipes - the former waterworks that operated in Krakow at the turn of the Middle Ages and modern times.
 
Grodzka Gate with a foregate and the Goldsmiths watchtower (1298) defended access to Krakow from the south, from Stradom and Kazimierz. Together with the fortifications of the Wawel Hill, it formed a very strong defensive point. In the event of an assault, it was defended by the influential Goldsmiths’ guild. Like other towers, it was used to store weapons to be used in the event of an emergency.
 
Szewska Gate with a foregate and the Leather-Workers watchtower (1311) was located in front of the artisan suburb of Garbary. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was also called the Szewcza or Świecka portcullis. At first, it was defended by shoemakers and later by leather-workers who dealt with leather tanning. Artillery was located in this gate - in 1626, there were 8 guns on its four floors. The gate was built on marshy ground, which caused, among others, cracking of walls, and consequently, the gate’s collapse around 1645.
 
Porta Gloriae
Apart from defensive functions, the St. Florian’s Gate together with the Barbican had an important ceremonial significance, in the functioning of both the city and the whole country. It was here that papal legates, foreign deputies and future kings' wives were solemnly received. It was here that the triumphs of victorious commanders were organized, and it was here that Via Regia - the Royal Road began. The solemn monarch ingresses, or coronation entries, would set off at Kleparz, at the collegiate church of St. Florian. In the Barbican's courtyard, the new monarch would be greeted by city councilors; the members of craft guilds, fraternities and clergy would gather at Floriańska Street, from which the monarch procession would go to Wawel. The ceremonial coronation ingresses were started by the entry of the French prince Henry Valois, which took place on February 18, 1574. The last coronation ingress took place on January 14, 1734, when Krakow welcomed the king-elect August III of Poland.
 
CELESTAT – the headquarters of the Krakow Fowler Brotherhood
 
Celestat (German Zielstätte - shooting range) is the headquarters of the Krakow-based Fowler Brotherhood/Shooters Society - an organization that was involved in the Old Polish period (for lack of a permanent garrison in the city) in the training of citizens in using weapons and defending Krakow's fortifications. Originally (until 1794), the Brotherhood’s headquarters was located near the former Mikołajska (VI) gate, and from 1837 - in a specially erected building at the corner of ul. Lubicz and Bracka, called the Celestat.
 
The headquarters of the Brotherhood, which is now one of the branches of the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow, shows a permanent exhibition The Krakow Fowler Brotherhood and City Defenses. The exhibition, broken down in two parts, showcases the organization’s history: the first part showing the period from modern times until the fall of the First Polish Republic - its involvement and contribution to developing skills in the use of weapons (especially small arms and firearms) among Krakow citizens, and the second - the broadly understood social activity of the Fowler Brotherhood from the moment of its reactivation in 1837 to present day. A large portion of the exhibition shows the armaments used by Krakow inhabitants in former centuries (crossbows, harquebuses, rifles, halberds, spontoons, etc.) and the reconstructed fortifications of Krakow. It also includes precious souvenirs and artifacts (the so-called jewels) directly related to the functioning of the organization itself and its customary leaders - Rooster Kings. These include, among others, portraits, valuable abdication gifts, items donated by supreme authorities (e.g. silverware - the gift of Emperor Franz Joseph I), goblets, cups and decorations.
 
The most magnificent jewel of the Krakow Fowler Brotherhood is undoubtedly the Silver Rooster.
This outstanding work of craft was made at the turn of 1564 and 1565 by an Gian Giacomo Caraglio (circa 1500-1570). The Rooster’s handover to the Shooting Society is associated with a legend, saying that Zygmunt August himself gave the silver bird to the Brothers. However, the facts are different. It was Krakow city authorities who gave funds to make the bird's image. The Krakow magistrate decided to carry this expense in connection with the reorganization of the Krakow-based fraternity, which received a new statute and shooting ordinance, constituting the organizational and legal basis for the functioning of this shooting society. These changes were reflected in the silver rooster, where the names of the then selected society authorities were engraved under the footer. The silver rooster is not only a symbol of the organization, but also the passing insignia of power for the next Rooster King.