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:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.