Berlin's Medieval City Wall

I've written before about Berlin's Custom's Wall (Zollmauer), so the theme of walls is not an unfamiliar one here. Today I wanted to show a few photos of the last remaining section of Berlin's Medieval City Wall. The Wall was first constructed around 1250, and was only around 6 feet high. It was built because the relatively new city (the first permanent settlement began sometime in the late 1100s) needed a way to defend itself. There aren't any hills in the area on which to build a fortress, so the best that the people at the time could do was throw together whatever stones and bricks they could find.

 Berlin's Medieval City Wall was built around 1250. The last remaining remnant can be seen on Littenstraße in Mitte.

Berlin's Medieval City Wall was built around 1250. The last remaining remnant can be seen on Littenstraße in Mitte.

The Medeival City Wall initially contained both of the medieval towns that eventually fused to become Berlin - Berlin and Cölln. It was continually strengthened over the next couple of hundred years. 

 A map of Berlin from 1650. The medieval wall straddles both sides of the River Spree, with what is now Museum Island in the lower section of the photo. Photo credit:  City of Berlin

A map of Berlin from 1650. The medieval wall straddles both sides of the River Spree, with what is now Museum Island in the lower section of the photo. Photo credit: City of Berlin

Eventually the Medieval City Wall stood 5 meters high, with two moats separated by a raised mound of earth covered with brambles. Towers and gates along the wall stood up to 25 meters tall.

 One of the remnants of the wall on Littenstraße. The wall was originally built with whatever materials were at hand: bricks, stones, or rubble.

One of the remnants of the wall on Littenstraße. The wall was originally built with whatever materials were at hand: bricks, stones, or rubble.

Eventually the city began to push up against the city, and buildings started to be used as replacement sections of wall. In the section of Linnenstraße, you can see how the wall was simply used as one of the walls for a building.

 The wall was simply subsumed into the city's infrastructure. This building now contains a pub.

The wall was simply subsumed into the city's infrastructure. This building now contains a pub.

By the 17th century, much of the medieval wall had disappeared into the urban fabric. It's defensive capabilities had also eroded over time, and were eventually replaced by new fortification walls beginning in the mid-1600s. Nothing remains of this "newer" wall.

 The wall is composed of a patchwork of materials - large stones, filling, different sized bricks. I like how the texture of the wall shifts as you move along it.

The wall is composed of a patchwork of materials - large stones, filling, different sized bricks. I like how the texture of the wall shifts as you move along it.

 The last remaining remnants of Berlin's Medieval City Wall, with the TV Tower at Alexanderplatz in the background.

The last remaining remnants of Berlin's Medieval City Wall, with the TV Tower at Alexanderplatz in the background.