The town walls of Wieluń was erected during the reign of Casimir the Great, probably around the middle of the 14th century as part of the reconstruction of the town after the fire of 1335. Their sponsor was probably the king. In the 15th century the town walls were renovated and probably expanded. The need to maintain the fortifications in high efficiency was due to the threat from Silesia. Around the middle of the century Wieluń was attacked several times, with the last invasion of Janusz of Oświecim in 1457, ended with the capture and burning of the town. The town walls and the castle, which were destroyed, were then repaired.
Further serious modernization of fortifications occurred in the 16th century and a third town gate was built. Works continued during the reign of Stefan Batory, who for the remodeling of the walls. During the war of succession for the crown between Austrian Maximilian and the supporters of Zygmunt III in 1587 defense walls suffered, among others the fragment of the wall and the Dąbrowska gate was destroyed. Damages were repaired immediately and were not limited to repairs of existing components, but also included extensive redevelopment and construction of new defenses. Battlement and arrowslits in the defensive wall were repaired, towers roofs were made, and the two main gates were repaired. In 1591 the tower of the Rudzka Gate was finally erected in the form of a octagon. It is also known about the construction of two new towers. This modernization was the last extension of the fortifications of Wieluń. Since then, there has been a recession.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the Bernardines settled in the southwestern part of the town. The church and monastery buildings were excluded from the defense and separated from the rest of the town wall. The weakening of the fortifications was also a knock off of the wicket gates in the northern part of the perimeter. The final blows of the town fortifications were carried out by the Swedish wars, and the first planned demolition of fortifications took place in 1823. After the last war significant parts of the walls of Wieluń have been preserved.
The Rudzka Gate, located in the eastern part of the circuit, was incorporated into the town hall building in 1842, while adjacent to both sides the sections of the walls formed its eastern and outer wall. Approximately 30 meters north of the Rudzka Gate, a fragment of the half-rounded tower preserved. The relics of the walls go in parallel and perpendicular to the line of the defensive wall. These are the remnants of a powder house, adjoining from the outside to the fortifications. The second object at this section is the massive tower located at the bend of the fortification line, in the north-eastern part of the perimeter. In the northern part of the district, at Palestrancka 9 street, a semi-circular artillery tower with an adjacent section of the wall of approximately 10 meters long has survived. Another part of the stone wall survives in the south-west part of the fortifications, as an external wall of the buildings of the former Bernardine monastery.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.