City gate

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Porta Nigra , former city gate in Trier , 170 AD
The night watch checks the sales legitimation of a trader before entering through the city gate (romanticizing genre painting by Anton Seitz , 1857)
Lion Gate in Mycenae , 13th century BC Chr.
The late Gothic Bayertor in Landsberg am Lech
Ostentor , Regensburg , around 1300

City gates were usually through the ring-shaped city ​​walls of cities, especially reinforced by towers . Gates, towers and walls served to protect the city center from the intrusion of enemies. Gate-like passages were also found in the walled Roman military camps such as B. in Mainz and Regensburg . The construction of protective city walls and city gates began in some cities as early as the Middle Ages. B. in the case of the city ​​fortifications of Regensburg . Renewals or expansions and improvements began after 1300 and lasted - depending on military requirements - until the early modern era, when the beginning of the Thirty Years War made new demands on the city gates and city walls at the beginning of the 17th century .


The city gates were often with a drawbridge equipped that the front of the ramparts and the moat wall extending moat bridged. The entrance through the city gate was additionally protected by wooden or iron bars that could be lowered or by mighty oak doors. In some cities, e.g. B. in Leipzig , the names of the arriving travelers were published daily in a directory when they checked in at the gates, the "gate ticket".

In the course of the 19th century, the city walls and some city gates were torn down in many cities when they were in the way of the opening and structural expansion of the cities and the increasing traffic. Representative city gates without military function were also rebuilt, which were also used to levy customs duties or as so-called " gate locks " ( "shortly before the gate closes" ), which were supposed to ensure night rest in the city. Some of these gates were designed in a classic and representative design and also served for representation, such as B. the Brandenburg Gate in Potsdam . Gate barriers of this type were also lifted at the end of the 19th century.

Today, preserved city gates can be a city landmark and attraction for tourists, such as B. the Porta Nigra (170 AD) in Trier , the Porta Prätoria (179 AD) in Regensburg or the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin at Pariser Platz in Berlin. Some goals - such as B the medieval Ostentor and structural relics in its immediate vicinity also reveal the conditions during the Thirty Years War.

Other former locations of gates have now become important urban places without the corresponding gate buildings still in place.

City gates (selection)


in chronological order:

Outside of Europe

in chronological order:

Well-known gate places

Stone gate tower in Halle

Stadttor is also the name of a city gate-like office building in Düsseldorf that was completed in 1998 .

See also

  • Torburg (separately fortified gate of a castle or city wall)


  • Hartwig Neumann: Fortress architecture and fortress construction technology. Bernard & Graefe, Bonn 1988, ISBN 3-7637-5929-8 .
  • Werner Meyer: German castles, palaces and fortresses. Gondrom 1979, ISBN 3-8112-1159-5 .

Web links

Commons : City Gate  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Stadttor  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations