Böhmertor (4)

BöhmertorBöhmertor, an absolutely massive gate tower is situated at the North of the city in the direction of Bohemia and once was called hospital gate, because the town’s hospital was located in front of the gate next to the Church of Our Lady up until the 15th century. Its later name “gate of Our Lady” is due to the fact that the Church of Our Lady is situated directly in front of the gate. The street leading from Böhmertor northwards is called Schmiedgasse, because two smithies were situated there up until 1974, when they had to be removed due to their state of disrepair. Böhmertor is completely different from Linzertor. It sounds incredible, especially knowing that both gates were reconstructed by the same architect, namely Mathes Klayndl around 1485. Böhmertor is as old as the town and – proven by the embossed stones – its foundation walls even date back to the Staufer era. Three massive walls of blocks of stones were piled up to a height of 12 m, block on block. In each of them you can still see a hole-like groove, in which the stone tongs were inserted to move the stones. Then a wooden structure with thick timber beams for three storeys was inserted in these three outer walls, topped in the baroque era by a ridge turret on the front side. The great fire of 1880, which broke out in the castle barracks and severely damaged the northern part of the town, destroyed all three wooden storeys of Böhmertor, the low wedged roof as well as the ridge turret. Consequently only the three outer walls are left, however being unparalleled far and wide for their dimensions (10.8 x 11.9 m). They are still very impressive and almost remind us of Roman ruins. Blick vom BöhmertorStanding here and looking along Böhmergasse upwards across the main square, you will have a wonderful view of the church tower – a perspective from the 13th century! And long-term proof of the well planned city design of former times. The gate tower has a Gothic pointed arch, there above, on the outside is a double-headed eagle with the Babenberg coat of arms, which is Freistadt’s coat of arms as well. The pointed arch is bordered by the frame of the drawbridge. Above the gate you can see two long slits for the flybeams of the drawbridge. The tower is not completely aligned with the outer city wall, but a bit advanced and projects into the city moat, which is visible in the foreground. Inside the tower there are extraordinarily large embrasures on all three storeys, which are already enlarged to chambers. The sitting recesses for the gate guards still exist.

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