Escarp wall

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View of the escarp wall of La Aljafería , Saragossa

An Eskarpemauer is a lining wall in a city ​​moat , castle moat or fortress moat , which supports and holds the moat on the side of the fortress structure . A less common expression is inner trench lining wall . French escarpe means "embankment".

The Kontreeskarpemauer is the outer trench lining wall . It supports and holds the soil on the side of the ditch opposite the fortress structure. French contre-escarpe means "counter slope".


The use of an escarp wall made it possible to build particularly steep and deep trenches, which made it particularly difficult for the attackers to approach the walls and towers. Escarp walls were used particularly frequently in dry trenches.


The escarp walls were broken down in such a way that, when viewed from the top of the wall, there was no dead angle that could not be reached with weapons from there. To absorb the thrust of the earth masses, escarp walls were often designed to be slightly inclined or thicker towards the bottom. Often inclined supports were included.

If you pull the Eskarpemauer a little higher than the ground level, it forms a narrow kennel with the fortress wall , in which enemies who have penetrated are restricted in their freedom of movement and overview and can be fought well from the higher fortress wall.

With the advent of firearms that allowed direct fire into the wall, the escarp walls were pulled up to shoulder height and reinforced to prevent rapid fire at the base of the main wall. So they had the same job as the older berm walls .

In order to prevent children and passers-by from falling into the deep trenches, walls of counter-carps were often pulled slightly above the surface of the earth, but not so high that they could provide cover from the top of the wall of the fortress from being shot at.


In Germany z. B. in Speyer from the Speyer city fortifications with the Postgraben a dry trench with Eskarpe and complete Kontreeskarpemauer received.

Famous in the Middle Ages was the 26-year redesign that Nuremberg added to its main ditch , which was ultimately 100 feet wide. In 1492 the inner moat wall was closed almost all around. The masonry Eskarpe with its protruding kennel towers was particularly elaborate. There were so many that they could only be distinguished by color and letter.

In Bremen , the jagged structure of the moat is preserved to this day, the road out of town along the moat is still called Contrescarpe , on the western side of the Weser Neustadtscontrescarpe .


Web links

Wiktionary: Escarpe  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations