City Defence Walls
Defensive Walls - Barbican - Celestat
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In the early 19th century, the city walls were dismantled due to excessive maintenance costs and an outdated defense system.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.