The mediaeval town fortifications almost entirely surround the central, oldest part of Pyrzyce.
Due to the condition in which the defensive walls have been preserved, Pyrzyce can be easily
called Polish Carcassonne. The first mention concerning the fortifications of Pyrzyce can be
found in the sources from 1279. Most likely the 13th century is the period in which the lower,
stone part was built. Because of the development of siege techniques, the walls were
heightened to 7-9 metres in the 15th century. The superstructure was made of ceramic brick.
After the reconstruction, the total length of the fortifications of Pyrzyce exceeded 2
kilometres. The defence was facilitated by fifty lookout posts – half-open, short towers
equipped with platforms and connected with each other by wooden galleries. Additional
protection was provided by earthworks, a moat, mill ponds, and two lakes. Due to the
development of firearm, at the turn of the 15th and the 16th century it was necessary to
heighten Brama Bańska [the Banie Gate] and Brama Szczecińska [the Szczecin Gate], build
protruding gatehouses and turn the key half-open posts into taller towers. Already in the 17th
century, in the face of ongoing development of firearm, the fortifications of Pyrzyce lost their
significance. The towers were turned into storehouses or houses for the poorest. In 1750, a
part of the earthworks was levelled, and the rest was turned into a tree-lined promenade in the
years 1830-45. Shorty thereafter, the moats were filled in, which provided the space for
gardens. The last time the walls of Pyrzyce have been stormed in 1945 by the Red Army.
However, due to weak resistance of Nazi defenders, they were not severely damaged. In the
further years, the walls were restored twice and they still look really impressive. Particularly
notable are the following:
- the north-eastern (Jana Henryka Dąbrowskiego Street) and the north-western (2 Marca
Street) section of the walls.
- Baszta Bluszczowa [the Ivy Tower], also known as Baszta Śpiącej Królewny [the Sleeping
Beauty’s Tower]. It was adapted from an already existing semi-circular lookout post in the
years 1440-1470. It defended a small gate located nearby and leading to Stare Pyrzyce. The
tower was damaged during the fights of 1945.
- Baszta Klasztorna [the Monastery Tower], called Baszta Mnisza [the Monk’s Tower]. It was
built in the mid-14th century in the south-eastern corner of the town. The tower has two
shooting levels. It was named after an already non-existent monastery. The tower was
damaged during the fights of 1945 – then it has lost its cylindrical superstructure from the
- Baszta Pijacka [the Drunkard’s Tower]. It was built in the early 16th century on a field stone
foundation. The upper parts were built in brick arranged in a Wendish bond. In addition, the
tower served as a sobering-up shelter. An oriel with a latrine has been preserved in the tower’s
- Baszta Prochowa [the Gunpowder Tower], called Ważniak [the Braggart], was adapted from
a half-open lookout post in the years 1470-1480. It was used as a gunpowder and ammunition
- Baszta Wysoka [the High Tower], also called Baszta Lodowa [the Ice Tower]. It was built in
two stages. It was at the same time a watchtower and a prison, a later it served as a store of ice
sheet and a meat cold store.
- Baszta Sowia [the Owl’s Tower], erected in the years 1260-1270. In the 16th century, it was
crowned with a conical cupola. In the 19th century, due to a landslip, it became a “leaning
tower” of Pyrzyce. The deviation from the vertical in the upper part of the tower amounts to
- Brama Bańska [the Banie Gate], built in the years 1260-1270, near the northern outskirts of
the town, by a road leading to Banie and Myślibórz. It originally had three storeys, two more
floors were added in the mid-15th century and in the first half of the 16th century.
- the ruins of Brama Szczecińska [the Szczecin Gate]. In the heyday of the fortifications of
Pyrzyce, it was the main entrance to the town from Szczecin and Stargard. The gate was built
in three stages. Already in the 15th century it has six floors and was topped with a conical
cupola. During the fights in 1945, it was destroyed from the top to the first floor. After the
war it was maintained in a form of “ruina trwała” [permanent ruin] – a historic object in
disrepair that is not to be rebuilt.