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Tower #1 (Overgate Tower of the Polish Gate), the XV-XVI centuries. Preservation
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It was built in the XV century on the foundation of the Old Russian stone wall
of the XIII century with formation of the rectangular with sides of 9,3 and
10,5 m, in the first tier. The volumetric and spatial composition of four-tiered
tower resembles in stone the tower type of wooden Old Russian constructions.
The walls are made of stone, thickness of the western, eastern and southern walls in the first tier is 1,75 m, the northern one - 1,45 m. The arches for passage are located in the northern and southern walls of the first tier of the tower. There are two loopholes in the western wall. There is a passage of the intraparietal stairs, leading to the second tier, in the eastern wall. The Northern gate was closed by folding leaves, the southern one - by the vertical-sliding grating and a panel of the drawbridge. Besides one key-shaped loophole and inspection window over the southern gate, there were the doorways - ways out to the battle galleries, outgoing from the tower of the defensive walls. The third tier has 7, and the forth one has 9 loopholes, creating almost circular firing of the approaches to the entrance. The floor coverings were on beams with proping up on the wall edges. The ditch was made in front of the southern, floor one, elevation of the tower.
The elevations of the tower, except the white-stone laying and slopes in the southern gate, are covered with a thin layer of stucoo. There is a barbican in front of the southern elevation of the tower, looking like a horseshoe-shaped two-tiered stone defensive wall, that comes up to the tower from the north and to the rock from the east, forming the enclosed court with area of 150 sq.m. There is a passage, covered with a lancet arch, in the wall of the barbican. It was closed by double-leaf gate. There are loopholes in the reveals. There were not large stone building near the gate in the south-eastern corner of the barbican. The casemate is located at right angle to the plane of the gate of the barbican. It is formed by the stone wall at the rock, in which the room was made. Its loopholes are locates high from the ground. The casemate was connected with the barbican by means of the passage in the rock.
In 1969, the roof was restored on the tower. In 1977, the opening of its first tiers was entirely finished.
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Barbican is a building in the defensive system of the Middle Ages cities and fortresses. The tower (sometimes two) is located outside the fortified gate. The barbican guaranteed the possibility of flanking fire along the fortifications and from the upper tiers. As type of fortification it was formed in the period of the transition to the bastion system of fortifications, and was changed into the stone and stone-earthern buildings (rondels) of different shape, that were connected with the main fortification (see also Zahab)
Casemate (French. casemate, from Ital. casamatta) - invisible fortification
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Translated by Yana Anufriyeva
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