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City wall, gate tower and moat as elements of the city fortifications in Friesach (Carinthia) on a painting by Markus Pernhart from the 19th century
Northern part of the moat in Friesach (Carinthia) at the so-called Fürstenhof
Contreescarp wall of the post ditch , a relic of the Speyer city fortifications . The solid supports are easy to see.

The moat as part of the city ​​fortifications was an obstacle to approach in the immediate vicinity of a medieval city . The artificially created moat could completely enclose the city area or partially cordon off it from the surroundings in particularly endangered areas. The ditch prevented attackers from getting directly to the city ​​gates or the city ​​wall . In particular, the use of heavy siege equipment such as a convertible tower or battering ram could be effectively hindered.

Large parts of the moat are preserved in

Depending on the geography and location of the watercourses, city ditches were created as water or dry ditches.

The city ditches were often stabilized with retaining walls, with the lining wall facing the city fortifications being referred to as the Eskarpemauer in the fortress construction , and the wall facing away from the city as the Kontreeskarpemauer.

See also

  • Castle moat , with details of the technical execution that are also relevant for city moats.