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Barbican Tips (39)

The Barbican

The Barbican is a beautiful piece of architecture, and it actually reminded us of the Kalemegdan Fortress in Belgrade Serbia.

The Barbican was erected in 1540 in place of an older gate to protect Nowomiejska Street. It was designed by Jan Baptist the Venetian, an Italian Renaissance architect who lived and worked in the Mazowsze region of 16th century Poland and was instrumental in the redesign of the 14th-century city walls, which by that time had fallen into disrepair.

The Barbican had the form of a three-level semicircular bastion manned by fusiliers. It was 14 metres wide and 15 metres high from the bottom of the moat, which surrounded the city walls, and extended 30 metres from the external walls.

The problem was, the 4-tower Barbican served virtually no practical purpose as a result of the rapid advancement in artillery power. It was used in the defense of the city only once, during the Swedish invasion of Poland, on 30 June 1656, when it had to be recaptured by the Polish army of Polish king Jan Kazimierz from the Swedes.

In the 18th century, the Barbican was partially dismantled.

In the 19th century, its remains were incorporated into newly built apartment buildings.

During the interwar period, in 1937–1938, Jan Zachwatowicz reconstructed part of the walls and the western part of the bridge, demolishing one of the newer buildings in the reconstruction process. However, a lack of funds delayed the Barbican's planned complete reconstruction, and the 1939 invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany put the plans on hold.

During World War II, particularly the Siege of Warsaw (1939) and the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, the Barbican was severely damaged, as were most of the Old Town's buildings.

It was rebuilt after the war, during 1952–1954, on the basis of 17th-century etchings, as the new government decided it would be cheaper to rebuild the Barbican and the nearby city walls as a tourist attraction than to rebuild the tenements.

In its reconstruction, bricks were used from historic buildings demolished in the cities of Nysa and Wroc³aw; most of the Barbican was rebuilt, except for two exterior gates and the oldest tower on the side of the Old Town.

HulaJoy's Profile Photo
Dec 15, 2015

Barbakan i mury obronne

The remnants of Warsaw's defensive walls, erected in 1548 by Giovanni Batista Venetian. In the Barbican (in the alleywall which links the Old and New Towns) there is an exhibition illustrating the history of the city's fortifications, with models of the towers and walls, explaining why Warsaw's Old Town is a UNESCO cultural heritage monument.*

lina112's Profile Photo
Sep 23, 2015

Semi circle fortified medieval outpost

The Warsaw Barbican is a semi circle fortified medieval outpost connected to the city walls, which was used for defensive purposes. It was destroyed during WWII and Warsaw Uprising in 1944. It was rebuilt after the war using scattered bricks from historical buildings that was destroyed. They used the etching from 17th century diagram. It is a major tourist attraction and is located between the Old and New Town close to the Old Town Main Square.

fachd's Profile Photo
Oct 11, 2012

The City Walls

The City Walls form a city circle around the Old City. It was built during the 14th and 15th century and like all ancient walls it was built for defensive purposes. Much of it has been destroyed during WWII; today you can see fragments of the wall at the old city starting on one side of the Castle Square to the north of Market Square.

fachd's Profile Photo
Oct 11, 2012
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Las murallas / The walls

Barbican: a medieval defensive structure that served as support of the boundary wall, located on a door that was used for defensive purposes
The Barbican is one of the few remaining fortifications in Warsaw. It was built in the sixteenth century and was restored after World War II using the bricks from the ruins of the Old City
Separate the Old city of the New and in one side is the Vistula river
Here usually there ara artists selling wood carvings, paintings ...

Barbacana: es una estructura defensiva medieval que servía como soporte al muro de contorno , situada sobre una puerta o puente que fuera utilizada con propósitos defensivos
La Barbacana es una de las pocas fortificaciones que quedan en Varsovia . Se construyó en el siglo XVI y se rehabilitó después de la segunda Guerra Mundial utilizando los ladrillos de las ruinas de la Ciudad Antigua
Separa la Ciudad Vieja de la Nueva y a un lado tiene el Vístula
Aquí siempre suele haber artistas que venden tallas de madera , cuadros ...

elpariente's Profile Photo
Nov 26, 2011

Barbican (and city walls)

The name Barbican is used for the whole defence structures north of the old town, not just only for the classic barbican. They were all built in the mid-16th century, using red bricks as main material. Those structures in the present form replaced older fortifications dating back to 1339. The city walls were partly demolished in the 18th and 19th century, although some parts were pretty well preserved until 1944 when German Nazi Forces blew them up together with most of the old town. The current Barbican is a post-war reconstruction and belongs to the UNESCO World Heritages Site which comprises the old town and the Royal Castle. It was finished in 1954, but earned criticism as some of the material used came from demolished historic buildings outside of Warsaw. The Barbican itself is the second largest in Poland (after Kraków) and only one of two dozens which have survived to this very day in Europe. Today, it is a popular spot for artists to sell their work – you will find them even in the midst of a typical Warsaw winter.

Airpunk's Profile Photo
Nov 01, 2011

Barbican visit

Beautiful walk through the old Warsaw center to arrive at the Barbican. Daria, Zohara and I approached it along the city walls which was part of the defense system. What I found on the internet simply said that it was built in the 16th century and is "classical" Gothic.

We found several local artists selling their wares here at the Barbican.

Martin_S.'s Profile Photo
May 08, 2011


City barbican together with defensive walls was built in 1548, projected by Italian Giovanni Batista. Actually most of walls and barbican were rebuilt after destruction of Second World War.

Nowadays it is symbolic place that connects old and new tows. Nearby you could see souvenir sellers and musicians.

Raimix's Profile Photo
Mar 29, 2011
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"Dedicated to Jacek Kaczmarski"
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"All around me"
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"Warsaw Rising"
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"My Home Town"
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The Barbican

The Barbican (Barbakan) was built in 1548 and is part of the 1200 m long city walls.

It serves as a gate between the Old and New Town of Warsaw. Nowadays it is a popular place for street vendors and performers.

The Barbican can be found at the northern end of the Old Town between the streets Nowomiejska and Freta.

HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
Oct 10, 2010

walk on the walls

The Barbican dates from 1548, and was restored 1953-4. It is a bridge between the Old Town and the New Town. Built of red brick, the towers and walls [or if you prefer, turrets and ramparts ] are a striking feature, Within the nooks and crannies artists try to sell their paintings, carvings etc. The ramparts are not very long so a walk on them does not take much time.

uglyscot's Profile Photo
May 05, 2008


This massive, red-brick city gate (together with some remnants of the historic city walls) was created in the 16th century by an Venetian architect, the Italians then being experts in fortification architecture. It marks the border between Warsaw Old Town and New Town.

MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo
Jan 08, 2008

The Barbican

The Old Town is surrounded by a wall and the northern gate into the New Town has a small fort called The Barbican. The original fortress was constructed in 1339 with a number of make- overs since. Unfortunately the fortress, as with the rest of the Old Town was destroyed during the second world war. The Barbican has been lovingly restored to its former glory.

alancollins's Profile Photo
Sep 05, 2006

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