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05 April, 2012

10 Famous Defensive Walls around the World

Defensive Walls is a fortification and are constructed to protect a city or settlement from invaders. These defensive walls are also termed either as city walls or town walls. When said defensive walls or city walls the first wall that comes to our mind is “The Great Wall of China.” Are there other famous city walls? If yes, where are these defensive walls?

10. York City Walls, England, United Kingdom

The wall walk at York City Walls, England
York City walls are in the city of English city of York and this place is known for its city walls right from the times of Romans. York City Walls are also referred to as Bar Walls or Roman Walls. York city in England has more miles of intact walls than any other city in England. It was the Romans who first defensive city walls in York city; this was followed by Danes. It was the Danes who restored the walls built by Romans. York City walls are a scheduled ancient monument and a Grade 1 listed building.

9. Hadrian’s Wall, England-Scotland border

Hadrian's Wall, England-Scotland Border is a UNESCO World Heritage Site 
Hadrian’s Wall is yet another masterpiece of Roman Britain; it was called as Hadrian’s Wall as this city wall was constructed during the rule of Emperor Hadrian. It is believed that many of the gates through the wall have served as customs posts, but not much of evidence is found. Hadrian’s Walls is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This wall is 120 m long, which is 80 Roman miles. It is believed that this wall was built to safeguard the empire and was imposed by divine instruction.

8. Roman Walls of Lugo, Galicia, Spain
An original Roman Gate among the five, Roman Walls of Lugo, Spain
Roman Walls of Lugo was constructed in the 3rd century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Majority of the wall is still intact and this wall is at the historic center of Lugo in Spain. Roman walls of Lugo is stated as “the finest example of late Roman fortifications in western Europe.” The length of the walls is 2,120 meters and is 4.2 m wide. There were initially 5 gates, which then became ten as the population of the city increased.

7. Chester city walls, England, United Kingdom
Chester City Walls made of sandstone in England

Image via Wikipedia
Romans started the construction of Chester city walls to protect Chester city in Cheshire, England between 70 and 80 AD. In 100 AD, the wall was reconstructed using sandstone, but the sad part is that the construction didn’t get over for nearly 100 years. It was very difficult to maintain the city walls and therefore, was converted into a major tourist attraction. Many of the medieval structures like Bonewaldesthorne’s Tower, Pemberton’s Parlour, Morgan’s Mount, Phoenix Tower, Barnaby’s Tower, etc., have been incorporated in this major tourist attraction.

6. Moscow Kremlin Wall, Moscow, Russia
Moscow Kremlin Wall by the side of Moskva River, Moscow

Image via wikipedia
Kremlin wall is considered as one of the symbolic constructions in the history of Russia; this wall was constructed to protect the city of Moscow Kremlin. During the course of time, Russian borders expanded and the canons placed in the wall were removed. The outer perimeter of the Kremlin wall is close to 2200 meters and therefore would look like a loose triangle.

5. Kano City Wall, Kano, Nigeria
Kano City Walls, the most impressive monument in West Africa
Kano City walls is believed to be “the most impressive monument in West Africa.” Majority of the portions of the wall is damaged; this site is submitted to UNESCO World Heritage Site to be a part of it. It is said that the best part of the Kano city wall is the western section. People in Nigeria believe this wall has to be restored.

4. Walls of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Walls of Dubrovnik along with Mincenta Tower

Image via wikipedia
Walls of Dubrovnik are one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These defensive walls are considered as great fortification during the Middle Ages as any hostile army was unable to breach the wall and get inside; this stone wall was constructed to protect the people of Dubrovnik city.

3. Fortifications of Xi’an, Shaanxi province, China
Fortifications of Xi'an, oldest and best preserved city walls in China

Image via Wikipedia
These are definitely one among the best preserved and oldest Chinese city walls. These walls were constructed in the year 194 BCE; however, the existing walls were constructed during the rule of Ming Dynasty in 1370. The base layer of the fortifications of Xi’an was done by earth, quick lime and glutinous rice extract.

2. Visby Rigmur, Gotland, Sweden
Visby Rigmur or City Walls of Visby, part of World Heritage City 731.

Image via Wikipedia
This wall is 11 feet high and was constructed in two phases; Rigmur means ringwall in Sweden. Visby Rigmur or the City walls of Visby was constructed during the Medieval period; the oldest defensive tower is called the “Powder Tower.” This wall is part of World Heritage City 731. During the time of construction, there were 29 towers; however, currently there are only 27 towers.

1. Intramuros Walls, Manila, Philippines

Intramuros Walls mean "within the walls" in Latin

Image via
Intramuros in Latin means “within the walls” and the seat of the government during the Spanish Colonial Period were the Intramuros Walls. This wall was identified as “On the Verge” of irreparable loss and destruction by the Global Heritage Fund.

Make sure to see these famous walls when you visit these spectacular places.


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