The Cyriaksburg Fortress is situated on a hill outside the city gates of Erfurt. The construction was started in 1480 but not completed until about 1604. The shape of the foundations is like a rectangle with unequal sides. Two strong round towers from 1528 have been preserved. One of them is now used as a viewing tower and the other one houses an observatory. The moat is also partly visible.
From 1631 to 1649, during the Thirty Years' War, Cyriaksburg was occupied by the Swedes. During that time it is said that the famous physicist Otto von Guericke from Magdeburg assisted in fortifying parts of the castle. The remains visible today date back mainly to 1824 until 1830, when the Prussians converted the castle into a fortress. The underground parts house a well of about 40 metres depth for drinking water and for water to extinguish fires. This well dates back to 1530. The brick vaults above the well date back to 1829.
Parts of the fortress were dismantled between 1874 and 1900. The surrounding areas were gradually planted with shrubs and flowers and opened to the public. The rooms of the Cyriaksburg Castle are now used for the permanent exhibition of the German Museum for Horticulture.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.