Maribor defensive Wall


In the 13th century, defensive walls became a fundamental characteristic of the medieval towns. They were a necessity and had a very distinctive design. However, in the 13th and 14th centuries their function was not only that of a defence system, they also served as a means to separate the towns from the feudal rural surroundings. Namely, a common saying was: “town air makes one free”.

First defensive walls in Koper, Izola, Ljubljana, Kranj, Maribor, Kamnik, Ptuj and Slovenj Gradec were erected in the 13th century, however, those were modest town walls without any defensive towers. 

Maribor defensive wall was the most geometrically correct wall in Slovenia. Between 1255 and 1275, a quadrilateral wall was built. The sides were 500 metres long and almost completely straight. 

The walls enclosed the space between Drava river, Strossmayerjeva ulica street, Gregorčičeva ulica street and Svetozaverska ulica street. At the same time as the wall the Minoritski samostan (Minorite Monastery) was built, which is leaning against the wall, as well as a Jewish settlement.

The construction of the wall interrupted the transport arrangement between the bridgehead and Koroška cesta street. A network of streets begun to form in the eastern part of the town. Gosposka ulica street was designed which connected separated parts of the settlement, the borough and the village, creating a unified urban system. 

Originally, the wall was 8–10 meters high and around 1 meter thick. On the inner side, 2.5 meters below the top was a wooden, covered connecting corridor. 

In the defence centre there was a tower and today this tower is the bell tower of the Maribor Cathedral. In the front of the wall there was a 20–30 meters wide moat, but despite all that the walls weren’t able to protect the town against the growing threat of Ottoman incursions and the new aggressive techniques they employed, especially fire weapons. The wall had to be repeatedly restored and repaired. In 1548, Dominic de Laloa drew a plan for improvement of the wall and over the period of the next 13 years a fort was built on the Koroška cesta street in the western part of the town. Already in the 14th century they started to make improvements on the wall by constructing corner towers and four simple forts by the town gates. The fortified wall successfully protected the town from intruders for the next 150 years. 

After the cessation of threats, the forts were abandoned and were no longer maintained. Streets started to puncture through the walls and the medieval walls began to disappear. Majority of the defensive towers and fortifications were demolished and the moats were filled up. By the end of the 20th century, the main traces of the old town’s arrangement vanished completely. 

But some of them were preserved until today, namely: Vodni stolp (Water Tower), Sodni stolp (Judgement Tower), Židovski stolp (Jewish Tower), Čeligijev stolp (Tscheligi Tower), castle's Bastille. Some remains of the fortifications can be seen at the former Carinthian Gates and remains of the wall in the west and south side as well as some historical buildings, which were leaning against the walls when they were built. 

Due to damming of the Drava river the water level rose for 2.5 meters and Bastille Benetke had to be demolished. Today, there is still a grass-overgrown pier left. The Water Tower almost suffered the same fate but it was saved by the architect Jože Požavk who came up with a brilliant idea to elevate the tower by 2.6 meters. The project of elevating the 1,500 tonnes heavy tower lasted 7 months. The inside of the tower is arranged into a wine shop. 


 

WATER TOWER

It is located on Usnjarska ulica street by the Drava river. It acquired its final appearance in 1555. It features stone walls with embrasures. Today, the tower no longer protects the city but it houses a wine shop where you can taste exquisite wines. 

 

JUDGEMENT TOWER

It lies on the bank of the Drava river beside the Maribor market place, where Benetke once lay. Originally, it was built in the 14th century, but it was rebuilt in 1540 with the addition of a conical roof, which, however, burned down in the 17th century.  It was linked to the witch trials and got its name during that period, when sentences were passed on women who were declared witches. 

TSCHELIGI TOWER

It is the only preserved tower of the northern defence wall.  It was named after the famous Maribor brewers, the Tscheligi. It is also known by the name Črni stolp (the Black tower). 

 

 

JEWISH TOWER

It was built in the 15th century within the context of the Jewish ghetto and it is situated next to the synagogue on the Židovski trg square (Jewish square). In the past, the city guard used to live there, but today it is occupied by Foto klub Maribor (Photoclub Maribor). 



MARIBORSKO OBZIDJE

 

V 13. stoletju postanejo obzidja temeljna značilnost srednjeveških mest, ki so bila obvezen in značilno grajen del mesta. Vendar obzidja v 13. in 14. stoletju niso služila zgolj kot obrambni sistem, ampak so tudi ločevala mesta pred fevdalnim podeželjem, kajti veljalo je, da mestni zrak osvobaja.

V 13. stoletju nastanejo prva mestna obzidja v Kopru, Izoli, Ljubljani, Kranju, Mariboru, Kamniku, Ptuju in Slovenj Gradcu, ki pa so bila skromna obzidja brez obrambnih stolpov. 

V Mariboru je bilo zgrajeno geometrično najbolj pravilno obzidje na Slovenskem. Med letoma 1255 in 1275 mesto dobi štiristranično obzidje s 500 metrov dolgimi in skoraj ravnimi stranicami. 

Obzidje je zajemalo prostor med Dravo, Strossmayerjevo, Gregorčičevo in Svetozaversko ulico. Sočasno z obzidjem je bil zgrajen tudi Minoritski samostan, ki je naslonjen na obzidje, ter judovska naselbina.

Izgradnja obzidja je prekinila prometni red ter povezavo med mostiščem in Koroško cesto. Začela se je oblikovati ulična mreža v vzhodnem delu mesta, nastala je Gosposka ulica, ki je povezovala ločena dela naselbine, povezala je trg in vas, s čimer se je ustvaril enoten mestni organizem. 

Prvotno obzidje je bilo visoko 8–10 metrov in debelo okoli 1 metra. Na notranji strani je bil 2,5 metra pod vrhom lesen pokrit povezovalen hodnik. 

V obrambnem središču je bil stolp, ki je danes zvonik stolne cerkve. Pred obzidjem je bil 20−30 metrov širok vodni jarek, vendar kljub vsemu obzidje ni bilo zmožno obvarovati mesta pred rastočo turško nevarnostjo ter novimi napadalnimi tehnikami, predvsem strelnemu orožju. Obzidje je bilo vedno znova potrebno obnove in popravil. Leta 1548 Dominic de Laloa izdela načrt za izboljšave in tako v obdobju naslednjih 13 let zgradijo utrdbo na Koroški cesti na zahodu mesta, prav tako pa se v 14. stoletju začnejo na zidu izboljšave z gradnjo vogalnih stolpov in štiri preprostih utrdb ob mestnih vratih. Dodatno utrjen zid pa uspešno ščiti mesto pred vdori naslednjih 150 let. 

Po prenehanju nevarnosti so se utrdbe zapustile in nehale vzdrževati. Skozi obzidje so se začele prebijati ulice in srednjeveško obzidje je postopoma začelo izginjati, večina obrambnih stolpov in utrdb se je porušilo, vodni jarek se je zasipal. Glavne sledi stare mestne urejenosti so tako bile do konca 20. stoletja popolnoma izbrisane. 

Do danes so se ohranili Vodni, Sodni, Židovski in Čeligijev stolp, grajska bastilija, najdemo lahko ostanke utrdb ob nekdanjih Koroških vratih, dele obzidja najdemo tudi na zahodni in južni strani ter v historičnih objektih, ki so jih v času nastanka naslonili na obzidje. 

Kot posledica zajezitve Drave, zaradi katere se je gladina dvignila za 2,5 metra, se je morala podreti bastilja Benteke, kjer danes najdemo travnat pomol. Pred podobno usodo pa je bil rešen Vodni stolp, ki ga je rešil arhitekt Jože Požavk z briljantno idejo, da se stolp dvigne za 2,6 metra. Projekt dvigovanja 1500 ton težkega stolpa je trajal 7 mesecev. Notranjost pa so uredili za namene vinoteke. 

 

VODNI STOLP

Je na Usnjarski ulici ob Dravi ter je današnjo podobo dobil leta 1555. Ima kamnite zidove s strelnimi linami. Danes stolp ne služi več obrambi mesta, temveč boste v njem našli vinoteko, ki vam bo postregla z odličnimi vini. 

 

ŽIDOVSKI STOLP

Je bil postavljen v 15. stoletju v sklopu judovskega geta ter stoji ob sinagogi na Židovskem trgu. Nekoč je tam prebival mestni stražar, danes pa ima v njem prostore Foto klub Maribor. 

 

ČELIGIJEV STOLP

Je edini ohranjen stolp severnega mestnega obzidja. Ime je dobil po znamenitih mariborskih pivovarjih Tschligijih. Poznan pa je tudi pod imenom Črni stolp.  

 

SODNI STOLP

Je na obrežju Drave, kjer so nekoč bile Benetke, pri današnji Mariborski tržnici. V osnovi je bil zgrajen v 14. stoletju, na novo pa je bil podzidan leta 1540, ko so mu dodali stožčasto streho, ki je v 17. stoletju zgorela. Povezan je s čarovniškimi procesi in je ime dobil v času, ko v njem izrekali sodbe ženskam, ki so bile spoznane za čarovnice.