Abbey Gateway, Reading, England


The Abbey Gateway, Reading
1904-1908
Publisher: Knight Brothers (British Mirror Series)

Google Street View.

The Abbey Gateway was originally the inner gateway of Reading Abbey, which today is a large, mostly ruined abbey in the centre of the town of Reading, in the English county of Berkshire. The gateway adjoins Reading Crown Court and Forbury Gardens and is one of only two abbey buildings that have survived intact, the other being the Hospitium of St John the Baptist. It is a grade I listed building, and includes a porters lodge on the ground floor and a large open room above the gate. The gateway marked the division between the area of the abbey open to the public and the section accessible only to monks, with the abbot’s lodging just inside the gateway. The gateway thus became the meeting place between the abbot, who commanded considerable powers within the town, and the people of the town.
Wikipedia.


“Reading Abbey gateway”, by Rev. Thomas James Judkin, 1788-1871 (Wikimedia Commons)

The Abbey Gateway divided the monks’ private living quarters from the more public areas of the abbey. In the 1560s, Queen Elizabeth I turned the abbot’s house, which stood just through the gateway, into a royal palace. After Elizabeth’s death, the palace fell out of use and eventually new houses were built alongside the gateway. In the 18th century one of them was home to the Reading Ladies’ Boarding School, which used the gateway as a classroom. From 1785-86 a particularly talented pupil studied here: the future novelist Jane Austen. In 1861 the Gateway collapsed in a storm, shortly after funds had been raised for vital conservation. Instead the Gate had to be substantially rebuilt. This work was completed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, a Victorian architect known for his Gothic Revival work.
Abbey Quarter

Èze, France


ÈZE – Vue générale
General view of Eze
1920s
Publishers: Bloc Freres

Google Street View (approximate).

By 1388 Èze fell under the jurisdiction of the House of Savoy, who built up the town as a fortified stronghold because of its proximity to Nice. The history of Èze became turbulent several times in the next few centuries as French and Turkish troops seized the village under orders from Hayreddin Barbarossa in 1543, and Louis XIV destroyed the walls surrounding the city in 1706 in the war of the Spanish succession. Finally in April 1860, Èze was designated as part of France by unanimous decision by the people of Èze.
Wikipedia.


EZE. – Entrée du Village. – Entrance of the Village. – LL

Publisher: Levy & Neurdein Reunis (1920-1932). Image might be earlier.

Google Street View

Today, Eze retains an aura of a town eternally under siege. There is still only a single entrance to the walled portion of the village. Visitors who approach the now doorless postern gate come eye to eye with a gun port. Once through the gate, they enter a small clearing ringed by high walls, from which it is easy to imagine spears, rocks and boiling oil being flung. Another arched opening, almost a tunnel, must be broached before entering La Placette, a small square that is the town’s largest open space save for the clearing in front of the church.
Paris Voice

Rumi Darwaza (Turkish Gate), Lucknow, India


Turkish Gate, Lucknow

Google Street View.

The Rumi Darwaza served as the entrance to the city of Lucknow; it is 60 feet high and was built by Nawab Asafuddaula (r. 1775-1797) in 1784. It is also known as the Turkish Gateway, as it was erroneously thought to be identical to the gateway at Constantinople. It is the west entrance to the Great Imambara and is embellished with lavish decorations.
British Library Online Gallery

Rumi Darwaza, also known as Turkish Gate, was named after a great 13th century Muslim Sufi mystic, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi. This sixty foot tall gate was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah in the year 1784. The gate is a magnificent example of Awadhi style architecture and is regarded as a gateway to the city of Lucknow. A huge lamp was placed atop the gate during the era of the Awadh Nawabs to light up the passage at night. The sight became all the more captivating when the streams of water gushing from the beautiful bud-shaped fountains close by formed an arch on the gateway.
Native Planet

Westgate, Canterbury, England


Canterbury, West Gate
c.1910
Publisher: E. Crow, Canterbury

Google Street View.

The Westgate is a medieval gatehouse in Canterbury, Kent, England. This 60-foot (18 m) high western gate of the city wall is the largest surviving city gate in England. Built of Kentish ragstone around 1379, it is the last survivor of Canterbury’s seven medieval gates, still well-preserved and one of the city’s most distinctive landmarks.
Wikipedia.

The largest and arguably the finest of the country’s surviving medieval gateways was built during the 100 Years’ War to defend Canterbury from foreign incursion, and to demonstrate the city’s wealth and importance. The 60-foot (18m) stronghold did not stand alone, as it does now, but was approached over a drawbridge and flanked by impressive walls. Time passed, the military threat lessened, and Westgate was converted into the city gaol. This function, too, came to an end; after a brief period as an archive, it became a museum at the start of the 20th century. Brought back into active service in both World Wars, it played a crucial role in the city’s air defences.
One Pound Lane

Phoenix Tower, Chester, England


King Charles Tower, Chester
Postmarked 1908
On back: “This beautiful set of Fine Art Postcards is supplied free exclusively by Shurey’s Publications comprising “Smart Novels”, “Yes or No” and “Dainty Novels”. The Publications are obtainable through Great Britain, the Colonies and Foreign Countries”

Google Street View.

Phoenix Tower stands at the northeast corner of the city walls in Chester, England. The tower is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building. It has also been known as Newton Tower and King Charles’ Tower.The structure probably originated in the 13th century. During the later part of the 16th century the tower was leased to two city guilds, the Painters and Stationers, and the Barbers and Chandlers, who sublet it to other guilds. By 1612 the fabric of the tower was in a poor condition, and the lead had been lost from its roof. It was restored by the two guilds, and above the door they placed a plaque containing the date 1613 and a carving of a phoenix, the emblem of the Painters. In the Civil War, during the Siege of Chester in 1645, the tower had a gun in each storey, and it was damaged in the conflict. A plaque on the tower states that King Charles I stood on the tower on 24 September 1645 as he watched his soldiers being defeated at the Battle of Rowton Heath. The historian Simon Ward has expressed doubts about this and has suggested that the king may have stood instead on a tower of Chester Cathedral, which he considers is confirmed by evidence that a captain standing beside him was killed by a stray shot.

The guilds resumed possession of the tower in 1658, and repaired it. They ceased possession by about 1773, after which the city carried out repairs. However, by 1838, the tower was described as being in a dilapidated condition. By this time, the city was promoting it as a tourist attraction because of its reputed connection with King Charles. In the late 1850s, the lower chamber was being used by a print-seller, and later in the century the tower was made a private museum.
Wikipedia.

The King Charles Tower, otherwise known as the Phoenix Tower, or the Newton Tower, it is one of the impressive towers on the circuit of Chester’s city walls. The tower is of medieval origin and occupies the site of, or is very close close to, the original Roman North East Tower. The tower is a grade I listed building. The present structure probably originated in the thirteenth century. The red sandstone tower stands to a height of around 70 feet (21 metres) and is in four stages, the lower two of which are below the walkway on the wall. Each of the upper stages contains a chamber. At the level of the walkway, in the third stage, is a round-headed doorway.
The Guide to Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire and the Wirral

As late as 1571, Braun’s map of Chester shows that the walls boasted no fewer than seventeen towers. Sadly, a mere handful survive today and of these, the Phoenix Tower is probably the best known. By the mid-17th century, the tower was in a ruinous condition, but was nontheless taken on as the meeting place of two of the city guilds- the Company of Barber Surgeons, Tallow Chandlers and Wanchandlers, the other was that of the Painters, Glaziers, Embroiderers & Stationers- on the understanding that they would put it in good order and subsequently maintain it. Because of the battering it had received during the Civil War siege, the upper parts of the tower had to be largely rebuilt.
. . .
The Phoenix Tower was, in earlier times, generally known as the Newton Tower, that being the name of the suburb overlooked from the wall at this point, and, more notably, later as the King Charles Tower to commemorate the events of September 1645, during the English Civil War, when King Charles I, together with the mayor, Sir Francis Gamul, stood on the roof and witnessed the rout of his army by Parliamentary forces after the Battle of Rowton Moor (or Rowton Heath). The inscription upon the tower states: ‘KING CHARLES STOOD ON THIS TOWER SEPT 24th 1645 AND SAW HIS ARMY DEFEATED ON ROWTON MOOR’. Actually, it would have been impossible to see the field of battle from here- what they probably witnessed was later action on Hoole Heath and fugitives from the fray being pursued and harried through the eastern suburbs.
Chester: A Virtual Stroll Around The Walls

Westgate, Winchester, England


The Westgate, Winchester
c.1910

Google Street View.

Westgate Museum

The Westgate is one of two surviving fortified gateways in Winchester, England (the other is Kingsgate). The earliest surviving fabric is of Anglo-Saxon character. The gate was rebuilt in the 12th century and modified in the 13th and late 14th centuries, the latter including a portcullis in the western façade and two inverted-keyhole gunports (for use with hand-held cannon), the earliest in the country. The gate was in use until 1959 when the High Street was routed around it.
Wikipedia.

Gate of St Paul & Gate of San Sebastian, Rome, Italy


ROMA. Porta S. Paolo – II.

Google Street View.

The Porta San Paolo (San Paolo Gate) is one of the southern gates in the 3rd-century Aurelian Walls of Rome, Italy. . . . The original name of the gate was Porta Ostiensis, because it was located of the beginning of via Ostiense, the road that connected Rome and Ostia where functioned as its main gate. Via Ostiense was an important arterial road, as evidenced by the fact that upon entering the gate of the same name, the road split, with one direction leading to the famous Emporium, the great market of Rome. The gatehouse is flanked by two cylindrical towers, and has two entrances, which had been covered by a second, single-opening gate, built in front of the first by the Byzantine general Belisarius (530s–540s). The structure is due to Maxentius, in the 4th century, but the two towers were heightened by Honorius.
Wikipedia.

St. Paul’s Gate (Porta San Paolo, in Italian) is part of the complex of the Aurelian Walls, built by order of the Emperor Aurelian in 275 CE, and presents itself as one of the best preserved city-gates in the whole circuit of walls. The current name came into use during the Middle Ages because of its proximity to the Basilica of St.Paul outside the Walls, which could be reached by means of the Ostian way, beginning its course, leading to Ostia (hence its name) precisely from this gate.

In its original phase it consisted of two twin arches with two semicircular towers. Restoration and refurbishment works were carried out under the rule of the emperors Maxentius (306-312 CE) and Honorius (401-403 CE) so as to change its aspect, that currently shows an entrance arch placed before the original two-arched gateway. The Gate underwent several modifications also in the next centuries. During the Greek-Gothic war, in 594 CE, the Goths of Totila entered Rome through it. The Gate now appears isolated, but it was originally connected to that stretch of the Aurelian Walls descending from the hill of San Saba as far as the Pyramid of Caius Cestius. It was isolated from the walls as early as in 1920 to facilitate the traffic flow in the square, whilst the stretch of the wall that connected it to the Pyramid was destroyed during the bombing in 1943.
Soprintendenza Speciale

Imperium Romanum: Porta Ostiensis (Porte Aureliane) is a useful page but it’s in Italian. Google Translate’s attempt.


ROMA Porta S. Sebastiano con Arco di Druso

Gate of San Sebastian with Arch of Drusus

Google Street View.

The Porta San Sebastiano is the largest and one of the best-preserved gates passing through the Aurelian Walls in Rome (Italy). Originally known as the Porta Appia, the gate sat astride the Appian Way, the regina viarum (queen of the roads), which originated at the Porta Capena in the Servian Wall. . . .The original structure was constructed by Aurelian ca. AD 275 and included a double-arched opening surmounted by bow windows and two semi-cylindrical towers. The façade was faced with travertine. After a later restoration, the towers were enlarged, increased, and linked, through two parallel walls, to the preexisting Arch of Drusus.
Wikipedia (Porta San Sebastiano)

The Arch of Drusus is an ancient arch in Rome, Italy, close to the First Mile of the Appian Way and next to the Porta San Sebastiano. . . . Only the central part of this arch is now standing, but it was originally triple, or at least with projections on each side, although never finished. It is built of travertine, faced with marble, and on each side of the archway are columns of Numidian marble with white marble bases. The archway is 7.21 metres high. The Aqua Antoniniana, the branch of the Aqua Marcia, ran over this arch, but the brick-faced concrete that is visible on the top seems to belong to a later period. The arch may possibly be the Arch of Trajan.
Wikipedia (Arch of Drusus)

The real name of this monumental gate, one of the largest and best conserved in the Aurelian Walls, was Appia, from the name of the important arterial road which it opened out onto. In the Middle Ages the name was corrupted into Daccia and Dazza, over which the name Porta S. Sebastiano eventually prevailed, in honour of the Christian martyr buried in the church on the Via Appia not far from the walls. The present appearance of the Gate is the result of many architectural transformations, which succeeded each other through the course of the centuries, and which can be divided into five periods from the antique period onwards:
[continued]
Museo delle Mura

Rome in the Footsteps of an XVIIIth Century Traveller

Imperium Romanum: Porta Appia (Porte Aureliane) is a useful page with lots of pictures but it’s in Italian. Google Translate’s attempt.

City Walls, Tiznit, Morocco


TIZNIT (Maroc). – Le Remparts
1920s

Google Maps (general location/town)
Might be Bab el Maader (here)

South of the Souss Valley and beyond the western end of the Anti Atlas, Tiznit is an old walled medina town surrounded by modern development. It was originally the site of a cluster of kasbahs, which were encircled in the 19th century by some 5km of pisé wall. It quickly became a trade centre and remains the provincial capital, a central point between the coastal towns and the Anti Atlas.

In 1881 Sultan Moulay Al-Hassan (1873-94) chose Tiznit as a base from which to assert his authority over the rebellious Berber tribes of the south. To do this, he built the town’s perimeter walls. Jewish silversmiths were moved into the town and gave it a reputation as a centre for silver. However, Tiznit remained embroiled in local sedition. In 1912, it was a base for resistance to the 1912 treaty that turned Morocco into a French and Spanish protectorate. This resistance movement was led by El-Hiba, the so-called “Blue Sultan” from the Western Sahara, who earned his nickname for always wearing his Saharawi veil.
Tiznit.org

The city was restored in 1882 by the Alawite sultan Hassan the first who has endowed it with a long wall still encircling the old Medina. Tiznit is a line of ramparts 7 km long and 8 m high, flanked by 56 towers and pierced by five historic gates.
Moroccan Tourism Infos

The old Medina of Tiznit is enclosed by a wall of five historic gates: Bab Aglou, Bab el Khemis, Bab Targa, Bab el Maader and Bab Oulad Jerrar. All of these gates are of Alawite tradition and strongly resemble those of the city of Essaouira.
Wikipedia 

Cité de Carcassonne, France


CITÉ de CARCASSONNE — Les remparts vers le Château et le Grand-Hôtel
c.1910

The Cité de Carcassonne is a fortified medieval city within the French city of Carcassonne. There are two sets of walls enclosing the Cité. The inner one which dominates the picture here, and the outer outer one that you can see parts of on the left. The walls were originally built in the Roman era, and part of that remains , but for the most part they date from the 13th century. The Château is a 12th century count’s castle. You can see its square towerstowards the back as you follow the wall.

This photo below shows the fortified city with its walls on a hill within the larger city. (The towers with orange tiles on the roof are the Gallo-Roman towers.)


“Cité de Carcassonne” from Wikipedia

As you might imagine from the building of walls and castle, Carcassonne was the site of much fighting at times:

After the Romans arrived in Gaul the settlement fell under their jurisdiction as an important Roman outpost or Colonia known as Carcasum. For centuries, Carcasum enjoyed a relatively peaceful and prosperous existence until the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. In 453, after months of fighting the Romans finally lost Carcassonne to the Visigothic king Theodoric II, who subsequently fought-off attacks from the Franks in 508. However, in 725 the Saracens took Carcassonne from the Visigoths, who were driven out of Western Europe in the 8th century. Saracen control of Carcassonne was relatively short lived, however, as the French King Pépin le Bref recaptured the city in 760.
Cellar Tours (it had the best summary).

Then there’s a few centuries of realtive peace.

In August 1209 the crusading army of the Papal Legate, Abbot Arnaud Amalric, forced its citizens to surrender. Viscount Raymond-Roger de Trencavel was imprisoned whilst negotiating his city’s surrender and died in mysterious circumstances three months later in his own dungeon. The people of Carcassonne were allowed to leave – in effect, expelled from their city with nothing more than the shirt on their backs. Simon De Montfort was appointed the new viscount. He added to the fortifications.

In 1240, Trencavel’s son tried to reconquer his old domain, but in vain. The city submitted to the rule of the kingdom of France in 1247. Carcassonne became a border fortress between France and the Crown of Aragon under the Treaty of Corbeil (1258). King Louis IX founded the new part of the town across the river. He and his successor Philip III built the outer ramparts. Contemporary opinion still considered the fortress impregnable. During the Hundred Years’ War, Edward the Black Prince failed to take the city in 1355, although his troops destroyed the Lower Town.
Wikipedia

Then some more centuries of peace. The walls collapsed. Then in the mid-19th century the government decided the walls had to go. A campaign was launched and in 1853 a large, long project commenced to restore the city structurally and enhanced its Medieval-aspects. It also involved destroying an adjoining structures that didn’t fit the vision, throwing people out of their homes and roofing the towers in a material and style copied from the north of France.

The Wall City of Carcassonne is an interesting website about the history of the city, the restoration and the people who lived there (there’s a link to the English version near the top of the page).

Château et Remparts de la Cité de Carcassonne (Centre des Monuments Nationaux) is aimed at visitors but it has a nice self-guided tour brochure that details the