Holstentor (Holsten Gate) is the most well-know symbol of Lübeck. The city gate was built between 1464 and 1478 along the lines of Dutch models. Its purpose served both as a form of defence and as a form of prestige. Above the round-arched gateway entrance of the twin-towered construction, the inscription CONCORDIA DOMI FORIS PAX (unity at home, peace abroad) can clearly be seen in golden letters.
Nearly every visitor is astonished by its odd leaning angle and its sunken south tower. But, during the 15th century people weren"t quite as knowledgeable on 'foundation work' as they are today. As only the towers are standing on a 'gridiron' with the heavy middle tract resting upon them, the towers unevenly subsided into the marshy ground.
In 1863, the Gate looked an appalling sight. With a majority of just one single vote, the city parliament decided to restore the gate and began extensive restoration efforts. It wasn"t until 70 years later that the subsidence could be stopped. Most recent renovations were carried out between 2004 and 2006. Here, the slate roof, terracotta frieze and parts of the brickwork were replaced. Inside the gate historic ship models, suits of armour, weapons, legal instruments and merchandise give a brief glimpse into the time of the Hanseatic League. Two majestic lions stand guarding the city in front of the Holsten Gate.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.