Cow Gate (Rostock)
The Kuhtor is not only the oldest of the four still existing gates of the former 22 gates of the historical Rostock city fortifications , but also one of the oldest buildings in Rostock and probably the oldest preserved city gate in Northern Germany.
The early Gothic gate tower, which led to the road to Bützow and Werle , was first mentioned in a document in 1262, but was soon replaced by the stone gate as the city's most important exit gate to the south. Now only the cattle were led through to the Warnowwiesen , from which it got its name.
The four-storey defense tower is 8 by 9 meters wide and has a wall thickness of 2 meters. The gate is 3.5 meters wide and 3 meters high.
At the end of the 14th century, the field side was walled up. It was only opened again as a city gate at the time of the controversy between the city and the sovereigns, which resulted in the First Rostock Inheritance Treaty - when part of the fortifications, including the stone gate and the tower on Rammelsberg, were demolished. When the city council decided in 1608 to use it as a light prison (as a so-called civil custody), the city side was also closed after the field side was closed again.
The massive stones that were typical of the architecture of late medieval fortifications are still very clearly visible on the base and foundation of the cow gate. There are also loopholes and indentations to which scaffolding was attached in the Middle Ages when repair work was necessary. In the event of war, these indentations could also be expanded to create openings for battlements.
The gate was later made usable as an apartment. The town's gunsmith lived there from 1671. In 1825 it was completely converted into a residential building and after a while it was completely surrounded by houses. Until 1937, the city made it available to city officials, craftsmen and day laborers as an apartment. It was not partially reconstructed until 1938, for example the drive-through arch on the field side with the early Gothic pointed arch, the blinds and the German ribbon , but four years later they were badly hit by bombs . The roof structure was destroyed and the gate burned out completely. Between 1962 and 1964 the building, which had been covered up until then, received its new roof. It was not fully reconstructed until 1984. After 1985 to 1990 it was the seat of the district executive committee of the GDR writers' association . To this end, on November 9, 1990, the Kuhtor eV literary support group was founded. Until 1993, however, the gate still belonged to the city's cultural office. From 1998 to 2000 it was fundamentally reconstructed again and handed over to the literary support group as an independent sponsor for the reopening. The house then housed the Rostock Literature House with the Literature Council MV eV and the Risse eV until the end of 2009. Since the beginning of 2010 it has been the seat of the Rostock mediation office, the office for conflict resolution and systemic family therapy of Straube Managementberatung.