Město Polička

5. Fortifications

Brief history – shortly after the founding of the city, a temporary fortification was built consisting of a shallow moat and a rampart, on top of which was a wooden paling. The city could by entered through four gates. Probably during the reign of Charles IV. the construction of the stone fortifications began and they were further developed during the Hussite wars and later. From a military point of view, the walls lost their significance during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) when the townspeople buried a coffin with city ​​documents and fled to the woods after they had received reports of the approaching Swedish army. However, the walls were not demolished over time and have been preserved in a complete circle to this day – only in the 19th century the moats were filled in and the gates, which were preventing free traffic, were demolished.

The galleries of the walls are open to public accompanied with a guide of the museum. You can find the museum just after you leave the square along the northwest street. You can skirt the walls around the whole town on the route of this trail.   

Defense of the town – every town had to have strong walls, enough supplies, determined defenders and in case of danger it had to close the gates in time and raise drawbridges. Smaller robbery or mercenary gangs had no chance. During the siege by a large army everything depended on greater determination and abilities of either side. In 1421, Polička voluntarily opened its gates to the Hussite commander Jan Žižka. The same year the town was conquered by Sigismund’s Hungarian army through treason, but later it came back to the Hussite side. In 1468 and 1469 it resisted the attacks of the Hungarian army of King Matthias Corvinus. 

Recommended publications (can be bought in the Museum and the Information Center on the square): Polička – Gothic Fortifications of the Town, David Junek, 2010

(picture captions)

  • The town model
  • Period picture