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The Kraków barbican (Polish: barbakan krakowski) is a barbican – a fortified outpost once connected to the city walls. It is a historic gateway leading into the Old Town of Kraków, Poland. The barbican is one of the few remaining relics of the complex network of fortifications and defensive barriers that once encircled the royal city of Kraków in the south of Poland.
The Gothic-style barbican, built around 1498, is one of only three such fortified outposts still surviving in Europe, and the best preserved. It is a moated cylindrical brick structure with an inner courtyard 24.4 meters in diameter, and seven turrets. Its 3-meter-thick walls hold 130 embrasures. The barbican was originally linked to the city walls by a covered passageway that led through St. Florian's Gate and served as a checkpoint for all who entered the city. On its eastern wall, a tablet commemorates the feat of the Kraków burgher, Marcin Oracewicz, who, during the Bar Confederation, defended the town against the Russians and shot their Colonel Panin. Masterpiece of medieval military engineering, with its circular fortress, was added to the city's fortifications along the coronation route in the late 15th century.
The barbican currently serves as a tourist attraction and venue for a variety of exhibitions.
March 18th, 2013
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