The Upland Gate was built along with the surrounding fortifications between 1571-1576. Formerly, it was the main entrance to the town. The western embankment (built up in 1573) was equipped with a basic looking brick gate building, initially devoid of any kind of decoration. It should be emphasised that this was the first gate in Gdánsk built according to the latest fortification techniques at that time. Credit for the design and overseeing of such a major defense project should be given to Hans Kramer from Dresden.
The gate, surrounded by imposing embankments was indeed difficult to break through. Opposite the main access route stood a bridge spanning a rather deep moat designed for transportation. Two other entrances were equipped with footbridges for pedestrians. A portcullis was raised at certain times in the evening.
In 1588, a brick facade was imaginatively put in by the famous sculptor Wilhelm Van Den Blocke. He created a mural composed of sculpted leaves. The imposing crest sculpture also draws the attention of tourists, on top of the main entrance is the emblem of the Republic on an oval shield held up by two angels.
In front of the Upland Gate were held ceremonies to greet Polish monarchs who visited the town. It should be noted that the first Polish leader who passed through the gate in its present form was Zygmunt III Waza.
During the second world war 1939-45, the gate suffered only minor damages and that is why today we can see this building in all its glory.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.