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Wehrerker with loopholes ( Greifenstein Castle , 16th century)

As bretèche , casting bay , throwing bay or machicolation refers to a small, downwardly open stem ( bay ) to the walls of castles and medieval fortresses , but also medieval ramparts ( city walls , gates , towers ) and fortified churches .


The weir bay window, which is usually installed above the castle gate, allowed people to approach newcomers from a high position, but it was mainly used to defend the gate and for this reason is usually equipped with loopholes and at the same time often has the function of a "thrower".

The "Gusserker" or "Wurferker" is reinforced with Maschikulis (throwing or casting openings). The latter served to defend the dead angle under the bay window by throwing stones at the besiegers and their devices or (more rarely) by pouring boiling liquids such as water or oil. It is doubtful whether bad luck was actually used, but the term machinase, which has only been used since the 19th century, goes back to this idea.


The Aborterker , which has a similar design, is not to be confused with the Wehrerker. It is used to dispose of excrement and is therefore usually located above the moat, but never above a gate or window.

In Spanish donjons , the abortion can sometimes be found in a machicolation (see Guadamur Castle ).

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Web links

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