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Aerial view of the construction site. Source: Dom Eko

Massive Polish Fort Walls Over 100 Feet Wide Indicate Medieval Capital

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The discovery of three rings of fortification walls have provided archaeologists with startling new information on Medieval Poland. The find of the massive Polish fort walls suggests that Poznań was the first Polish capital city and the inhabitants had taken extensive measures to protect this strategic center.

The Massive Polish Fort Walls Can’t Stop Progress

The walls measured 40 meters (131.23 ft.) wide and 12 meters (39.37 ft.) tall, which, according to The First News , means that these fortification walls are “the biggest of their kind in Poland.” They were built of a combination of sand, stone, and wood and would have been an imposing view when they proudly stood surrounding and protecting the city from its enemies over a thousand years ago.

Polish fortress walls can be seen in this 1617 illustration of Poznań. (Public Domain)

Polish fortress walls can be seen in this 1617 illustration of Poznań. ( Public Domain )

The archaeologists used photogrammetry and dendrochronology techniques to date the massive Polish fortified city walls and determined that they were built between 968 and 1000 AD.

Archaeologists discovered the Polish fortress’s ruins seven meters (22.97 ft.) underground while they were exploring the site which is set to be an apartment complex. The building developer’s website states that the archaeological work is complete and the construction of the apartments continues “on schedule.”

The Polish fort’s walls are made of wood, stone, and are “the biggest of their kind in Poland.” (Dom Eko)

The Polish fort’s walls are made of wood, stone, and are “the biggest of their kind in Poland.” ( Dom Eko )

The Sign of an Early-Medieval Capital City

Archaeology reports that the new information means that Poznań takes over from nearby Gniezno as the location of the country’s first capital city. As the chief archaeologist at the site, Antoni Smoliński, said:

“Until now, we believed that Poznań was a settlement of secondary importance. However, given the discovery of the massive defences, this statement is highly questionable. The Early-Medieval city was, indeed, a strategic centre and the post-christening capital of Mieszko I’s Poland.”

A mural in Gniezno commemorating the baptism of Mieszko I of Poland. (Public Domain)

A mural in Gniezno commemorating the baptism of Mieszko I of Poland. ( Public Domain )

Poznań and St. Peter’s Sword

A previous Ancient Origins article also names Poznań as the home of St. Peter’s sword, stating that:

“During the reign of Mieszko I (ca. 960 – 992 AD), Christianity was adopted as the religion of the state. To commemorate the conversion of Poland, Pope John XIII decided to give the Sword of St. Peter as a gift, either to Mieszko I, or to Bishop Jordan, the first Bishop of Poland. Mieszko’s center of power was in Poznan, whilst the bishop is believed to have had his seat in the same city, hence the Sword of St. Peter ended up there, regardless of whether it was the duke or the bishop who received the papal gift.”

Peter using his sword to strike Malchus (circa 1520, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon). (Rama/CC BY SA 2.0)

Peter using his sword to strike Malchus (circa 1520, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon). (Rama/ CC BY SA 2.0 )

Bible stories say St. Peter used the sword to slice off the right ear of one of the high priest’s servants on the night before Jesus’s crucifixion. It now sits with gold and silver religious relics in the city’s Archdiocesan Museum.

Top Image: Aerial view of the construction site. Source: Dom Eko

By Alicia McDermott

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