05 - Barbican

When we talk about the Barbican, we often mean the entirety of the defensive walls surrounding the Old Town. In fact, the Barbican is the entrance gate connecting the royal Old Warsaw and the neighboring New Warsaw. In the 13th century, an earth rampart around Old Warsaw was built as the first fortifications. Brick fortifications were built between the 14th and 16th century. The Barbican was built as the last one, in 1548. Its author was a well-known architect in Mazovia, Jan Baptist from Venice. The name Barbican is probably derived from the Italian barba cane which means a dog’s beard. If you look at the entrance gate, you can actually see an open dog’s mouth inviting you from the poor suburbs straight to the royal estate. Our pooch’s task was to protect the city in a special way in the event of an attack. The only way to get to the city through the Barbican was through a draw gate that was thrown over the moat. In addition, the gate was guarded by numerous archers.

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