Photographer's Note

The Michaels street with the Michaels gate in the background which is the last tower from the city fortification. The history of the town fortifications
Construction of the town fortifications began as early as the 13th century; by the end of the 14th century, the town fortification system had three gates: Michalsk, Laurinsk and Vydrick. In the 15th century, the Rybrska Gate was added. Gradually, suburban areas grew up in front of the fortification walls which, in the 15th century, were fortified with a system of high embankments and dykes by order of the emperor Sigismund, as a result of the Husite invasion. The towns outer line of defences was breached by Kozia Gate, the gate at Such mto, and Schndorfsk, pitlska and Dunajsk gates.
In the mid-16th century, as a result of the Turkish threat, the fortifications were reconstructed to a design of Italian builders specialising in fortifications. Projects to reconstruct the fortress were drawn up even after 1660. They were to a design of an imperial engineer, J. Priami, following the pattern of a star-shaped defensive system. However, after the defeat of the Turks and due to the protests of the burghers, only the castle fortresses were implemented. The last changes were made in 1670.
To a design by F. A. Hillebrandt, in 1775 1778 the town fortifications were demolished; the inner walls were pulled down, the moat filled and the inner town united with the suburbs. At the beginning of the 19th century, the outer walls were demolished and in their place houses for rent were gradually constructed.
Of the whole fortification system, only the part of walls and bastions extending from St. Martins Cathedral along the full length of idovsk street and the section from Michaels Gate down to Pran Bastion have survived. Following the demolition of the former Jewish ghetto at idovsk street, the castle walls, the moat and the remains of bastions were uncovered, and triangular-shaped embrasures and the original battlements are visible on the walls. Two other bastions have survived in part Pran was rebuilt as the house at Zmočncka street no.11; the remains of the Obuvncka Bastion were integrated into the house at Hviezdoslav s Square no.11.
The best-preserved part around Michaels Gate is the most significant surviving part of the mediaeval fortress - Michaels Tower. It was named after the church standing in the suburb close to the gate. The original prism-like tower from the 14th century was enlarged by an octagonal extension in 1511-1517.
The tower gained its current appearance following its reconstruction in the Baroque style in 1758. The copper statue of the Archangel Michael with a dragon designed by P. Eller was installed on the top of the tower. The Gothic-style chain drawbridge was replaced by a Baroque one with statues of saints; the defensive walls with a fence leading from Michaels Gate down to Pran Bastion were incorporated into residential buildings on Zmočncka street.

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  • Copyright: Richard Ralman (r29) (58)
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  • Date Taken: 2006-11-04
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  • Date Submitted: 2007-02-21 9:49
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