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Centrum Bohuslava Martinů
 
 

Gotic town fortification

Gothic fortification of the town Polička with its ground plan belongs to the best extant town fortifications in the Czech Republic. The rood lofts of the reconstructed parts of the main barrier with few towers are accessible for public accompanied by a pursuivant. Sight-seeing tour includes authentic interpretation by the town mock-up, which brings near the appearance of the town Polička of the 14th century. Then follows one´s own climb onto the barrier rood loft either from Nová Street or Komenského Street. 

It is necessary to buy tickets in the Bohuslav Martinů´s Centre

The town Polička was founded in 1265 at Premyslid Otakar II´s bidding. The original settlers who came here in about 110 families, were mostly of the German origin. The settlers were building houses and culturing assigned lands, that is also why this origin fortification made by wood, was just a provisional protection, which was replaced by a stone barrier in the half of the 14th century.

The fortification was composed of the main barrier reinforced by the two towers, parkan, inner wall, water jump and mound. One could enter the town by four gates (Litomyšlská, Limberská, Kamenecká a Starohradská) and the pond was accessible by the portal. The main wall came down in a whole circle with all its 19 towers.

The fortification was usually enough to discourage enemies only by its existence. The walls of Polička proved good in fights several times. At first during the hussite wars, Polička as a king´s town promoted king´s interests. However when the people of Prague led by Jan Žižka campaigned into the East Bohemia, the town of Polička joined onto the side of Hussites. In the autumn of 1421was the town of Polička captured, probably by betrayal, by the king Zikmund´s troops. The fortification resisted several times during the reign of Jiří from Poděbrady. In 1468 and 1469 the town resisted successfully the attacs of the Hungarian king Maryáš Korvín.

In the time of building stone walls, the fortification of Polička was very effective, however in the process with the developement of army technics, its effectiveness fell. In the time of 30 years war the stone walls had practically no military importance. In the later time they served only as an administrative boundary of the town.

The town preserved its medieval street scheme, even replotting has not been changed since then. Because of the many catastrophes in Polička, there were not enough finances to more expansive reconstruction and modernisation. The citizens had to renew damaged houses after the great fires in 1613 and 1845. In the 18th century there was built an external round street around the barriers, on the South the extention was not possible because of the pond. There was no reason to tear down the barriers, as it was done in other barrier towns. Thanks to this fact, the barriers of Polička are one of the best preserved barriers in Bohemia.

Some parts of the fortification disappeared in the 19th century. In the first half of the century there were gates and barbacanes. Gradually there also disappeared town ditches and at the end of the century even a partly overwhelmed town pond, which protected the whole southern part of the town.
 
   
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