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Simone Martini , The victorious general Guiddo Riccio da Fogliano , Palazzo Pubblico, Siena, after 1315, fresco (detail)

The rampart was once the fixing of cities . The term is different from the wall as a field fortification . Later, the term also became common for the green areas that replaced the fortifications and can still be found today as a name for city ​​districts , street names or parks .


Construction technology of the early fortress construction

Wall systems generally existed as a bulwark in a series of walls or palisades , entrenchments and trenches , as has been widespread worldwide since the Bronze Age .

Unlike a stone wall, an earth wall does not collapse even when it is shot at by cannonballs, but is only relatively easily damaged. That is why in the Netherlands, from the late 16th century onwards, forts were built again, the main fortification of which was an earth wall, or earth walls were added to the existing fortifications. A good example of a late baroque earth wall fortress is the Kastellet in Copenhagen .

Dismantling to urban construction and grassland

Vienna : Burgring, shortly after its construction in 1872. The adjacent green spaces are still largely undeveloped.

The Thirty Years' War was the climax of the entrenchment technique in Central Europe, the facilities were most extensive in the second half of the 18th century. At the latest after the coalition wars at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, however, they already proved to be out of date, and the decaying ramparts began to be dismantled , especially in the long period of peace after the Congress of Vienna .

At first they were used, together with the apron, simply as green areas, because the fortification laws had stipulated for military reasons that these zones should be kept free from tree vegetation, but planted with shrubbery. From this, in the context of the romantic - Biedermeier preference for ruins and the concept of the poorly constructed English garden, the city ​​park developed .

Later, however, railway buildings and buildings dating from the Wilhelminian era reduced their importance considerably. The ring-shaped zones were ideal building ground for the traffic-technical development of the inner cities, the remaining zones highly valued office and residential areas, the ramparts are mostly completely demolished . Only the ring road trains (French name: boulevard ) and individual city parks that mark the old course of the ramparts today are left.


Cottbus , Wallpromenade, postcard, early 20th century
  • The Wall in Dortmund represents the border of the historic Dortmund. Today it is divided into Burg-, Schwanen-, Ost-, Süd-, Hiltrop-, Hoher and Königswall and serves as the main street ( Bundesstraße 54 ) around the Dortmund city center.
  • The Frankfurt Wallanlagen form a ring-shaped green area around the city ​​center of Frankfurt am Main.
  • The Hamburg ramparts were protective walls that made the Hanseatic City of Hamburg impregnable during the Thirty Years' War. Today this term is also understood as a (partially) contiguous green zone.
  • When the Koblenz Fortress was built at the beginning of the 19th century, the city was surrounded by a mighty rampart .
  • The Lübeck ramparts today represent a park that was laid out on the southern parts of the former city fortifications.
  • The baroque hills in the Black Forest were used to defend Baden against the French at the end of the 17th century.
  • Promenade in Munster
  • The Wall , a street in Wuppertal
  • The Bremen ramparts were transformed into a park in 1802.
  • Neubrandenburg
  • Emder Wall
  • The Copenhagen ramparts were dissolved into a number of parks in the 19th century, including the Tivoli amusement park .
  • The bastions of Vienna were, after the partial horticultural design of their glacis under Emperor Joseph II, also counted among the ramparts famous as a recreation area. Due to the demolition of the bastions, the construction of the ring road from 1858 and the extensive construction of the glacis by public and private buildings, only fragments of the former green ring are still here .
  • The Wall Street in New York, whose name derives from a fastening 1652

See also


  • Hans Bobek , Elisabeth Lichtenberger : Vienna. Structural design and development since the middle of the 19th century (= publications of the commission for spatial research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences 1, ZDB -ID 581547-2 ). Böhlau, Graz et al. 1966.
  • Géza Hajós (Ed.): City parks in the Austrian monarchy. 1765-1918. Studies on the civic development of urban green in Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Krakow from a European perspective. Böhlau, Vienna et al. 2007, ISBN 978-3-205-77638-3 .
  • Helmut Gelbrich: Historic fortifications and ramparts in city centers (= architecture of the GDR 8/88). VEB publishing house for construction, Berlin.
  • Alexander Hess: Green spaces on former fortifications - examples from other German cities. In: Alexander Hess, Henriette Meynen (Red.): Fortis - Das Magazin 2019. Published by Fortis Colonia eV Cologne 2019; Pp. 78-91.

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