European Walled Towns
cities, and historic fortified towns in Europe. We try to maintain and strengthen these walled
towns that are a gateway to the charms of the old world.
What is European Walled Towns
The European Association of Historic Towns and Regions
maintain and strengthen the historic walled towns for future generations
to promote the many mutual interests shared by walled towns
"Building Peace through Heritage"
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Everything You Should Know About Segovia
Segovia is a city rich in history. Its walls, or Murallas de Segovia, have been acknowledged a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city’s walls date back to the Roman period, approximately 200 AD. By the 16th century, they were no longer used as defensive barriers, and houses were attached to them instead. Nowadays, it is possible to explore these ancient walls and take in some of the city’s historical sites, including the Alcazar. While this may be a gist, read on to learn more about the town.
A home to Jewish Quarter
Segovia is home to the Jewish Quarter, which was once the most affluent portion of the city. However, it was destroyed by a violent anti-Jewish movement in the 15th century. In its place, the Iglesia del Corpus Christi was built. You can also visit the medieval walls of the city, which date back to the 11th and 12th centuries. Though they have undergone many renovations, they still provide stunning city views.
Best time and best way to explore
If you are traveling from Madrid, the best way to enjoy Segovia is to take a day trip. This historic city is home to a 2,000-year-old aqueduct and a fort that stirred Walt Disney. If you plan to visit Segovia, take out travel insurance, which will safeguard you in instance you become stranded or injured.
Getting to Segovia by car will allow you to enjoy the city’s history from a completely different angle. Its pillars are huge and are made of massive blocks of stone. You can see them from a distance of 6 kilometers, and they are a sight to behold. You can also walk along the Aqueduct, which is 92 feet high.
Segovia aqueduct is the most well-known attraction
One of the most iconic attractions in Segovia is the Segovia aqueduct, built in the 1st century AD. It was put up to carry water from the nearby Rio Frio river. Today, the Aqueduct, spanning 15km, is one of Europe’s most remarkable Roman structures. Its stonework and construction made it a world-class engineering marvel.
Known for its delectable food culture
In addition to its cultural heritage, Segovia is known for its food. Local cuisine is rustic and full of protein. One of the city’s most prevalent dishes is the roasted suckling pig. Candido Lopez made this dish famous in the 20th century, and it has become a tourist favorite. You can find this dish at the original Candido restaurant in the city, near the Aqueduct. The restaurant, which dates back to the mid-18th century, is run by the same family and has been declared a city landmark.
Visit Alcazar de Segovia
Another Segovia attraction is the Alcazar de Segovia. This structure is easily recognizable and hard to miss. In the late 15th century, the Catholic Queen Isabella was crowned in the castle. The ancient Aqueduct still runs through the city, and a tourist route follows the water flow throughout the old town.
Best-Walled Tourist Towns in Europe
When visiting Europe, you should visit the best-walled tourist towns. These historic towns can make for a wonderful family trip and are particularly rewarding for children. Both children and adults can dive into the beauty of these places.
These towns often feature walled city centres, which are excellent places for kids to explore and climb. The walls in these towns are open to the public for free during daylight hours, but you should check ahead of time to make sure you can visit after dark. Europe is filled with beautiful walled towns. Some of the best ones are mentioned in this article.
There are several walled cities to explore in Spain. One of the best-preserved walled towns is Avila. The city is in Castile and Leon, which is located about 100km from Madrid. Its walls are among the most preserved in the world. If you want, you can walk around it in the daytime or simply experience an illuminated beauty at night.
A walk along the city walls offers a chance to experience medieval life up close. The town walls, about two and a half miles long, are lined with trees and great places for walking, biking, and people-watching. The medieval ramparts also house a museum with exhibits about the punishments of the time.
Dubrovnik and the walls of York
Another walled tourist town in Europe is Dubrovnik. The walls of this town date back to the Romans, with some portions still intact. Visitors can wander along the medieval city walls and see remnants of Roman brickwork. Another example is the walls of York, which are 3.4 km long and one of the best preserved in England. They feature a number of towers and are home to 50 little alleys called ginnels.
During your stay in Italy, you can also visit the medieval hilltop town of Orvieto. Located on an ancient tufa plateau, this hilltop town is home to a 14th-century cathedral with a stunning rose window. Its church also contains significant frescos by Luca Signorelli, a precursor to Michelangelo.
If you love Renaissance architecture, a visit to this walled town will be a worthwhile experience. Its medieval streets are traffic-free, and the buildings themselves are beautifully preserved. There are also multi-coloured stores, chalets, and eateries. Despite the town’s popularity, the town remains relatively quiet, aside from tourists.
To sum it up
If you’re a history buff, you will want to explore one of Europe’s many walled tourist towns. These ancient places are filled with a fascinating history. In addition to walled cities, there are many smaller towns throughout Europe that you can visit.
These places are hidden gems that offer the same great architecture and beautiful natural landscapes as their more famous counterparts. Exploring these medieval villages while taking in the Old World charm is fun. There are 16 walled cities in Europe that still have their walls standing. Its ancient walls have been preserved by time and are dotted with stunning churches and colourful squares.
Why Are Walls Important in European Towns?
The walled town of Europe do look picturesque. But the history behind those walls are contains years of struggle, protection, battle and preservation of their culture. The main reason for building walls was to protect the settlement. They surrounded the settlement, and were often massive structures punctuated by guard towers. Some walls were even built on top of hills or on oceanfronts. Therefore, those walls are not just mere walls but a tale of the preservation of the country’s identity.
Meaning of wall
The word ‘wall’ comes from the Latin vallus, which means a post or stake. The earliest walls were made of earth or wood and were used to protect a town from attack. As time went on, these walls evolved into more elaborate structures. The walls of medieval European towns and cities became more complex, but they still have some similarities.
To provide protection and safety to the country
The walls of European towns were important for a number of reasons. They provided protection and safety, which was important in a time of turmoil and conflict. For example, the walls of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, were important for defending the territory against Islam’s advance from Arabia.
Acted as a symbol of peace and prosperity
Other than providing protection to the country the walls also acted as a symbol of peace and prosperity. With peace walls in places like Belfast were erected to separate Protestant Unionists and Catholic Nationalists during the Troubles. Today, peace walls are a place for tourists to leave messages of hope for peace.
Preserve social and cultural identity
Walls are also important for preserving social and cultural identities. The Berlin Wall was built to avoid migration from East Germany. This division of the city was important because emigration was killing East Germany’s economy. In 1960, people were able to cross the Berlin Wall. However, emigration was a problem and the walls were essential to the survival of East Germany. In August 1961, barbed wire was installed along the Berlin Wall in a single night.
To protect the people from invaders
In medieval times, cities were required to build defensive walls to protect themselves from invaders. These walls have since fallen into disuse, but they remain important in many places today. Nowadays, cities that retain their old walls are special places to visit. Ancient walls provided protection for citizens from invading armies, and were essential for the development of civilization. The walls also helped to protect against the spread of disease and epidemics.
Served as a social purpose
Although walls served a defensive function in medieval times, they also served a social purpose. For example, in the Neolithic village of Ilipinar in Turkey, walls were essential in establishing a group’s identity and defending it from outsiders. A significant threat to Ilipinar’s inhabitants was not military incursion, but fragmentation into different hunter-gatherer groups. Eventually, these villagers moved back to semi-nomadic lifestyles.
Things You Can Do In Rhodes
There are many ways to enjoy your trip to Rhodes, including exploring the city’s ancient history, beach hopping, and water parks. There is also an incredible collection of food and drink on the island. You can relish a variety of foods and wines or indulge in some local delicacies.
Enjoy water sports at Tsambika Beach
Water sports are another great option for travellers visiting Rhodes. Whether a first-time visitor or an experienced islander, there is a lot to do on Rhodes. The city has several water parks that are ideal for families. You can go banana boating, jet skiing, or paddle boarding. Other activities you can participate on the island include kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, and snorkelling.
For example, if you prefer water sports, you can head to the city’s Tsambika beach. The golden sand and cerulean waters make for an ideal swimming spot, and the beach is large enough not to be crowded even during the high season. You can also check out one of the many water sports hubs located on the island.
Explore the Pelekanos Valley
The beautiful Pelekanos Valley is also worth visiting. It is a 600-acre area located 5 km from the township of Theologos. This area is home to rare Rhodian deer and several species of butterflies. There is also a museum here that displays these creatures.
Live in affordable hotels
You can stay in one of the island’s cheaper hotels. Luckily, many affordable options are available, including bunk beds and rooms starting at EUR25. If you want to stay close to the historic center of Lindos, check out the Melenos Art Boutique Hotel. Its elegant but inexpensive rooms are sure to impress.
Move around the city by foot or public transport
Whether you are traveling to Rhodes for work or for your own, you will need to know how to get around. Luckily, Rhodes is a relatively developed island, and most places are easily accessible by foot or public transport. There are plenty of places to explore, as well as shops and restaurants, within walking distance of the Old Town. There are also numerous taxi ranks in the town.
Wander around the Old Town
During your visit, you can explore the medieval city’s Old Town. Many of its structures date back to the 7th century. Some of them are beautiful examples of fortification architecture and stonework. You can also visit the Archaeological Museum. There is also an Orthodox Cathedral, which was later transformed into a Catholic Cathedral. The Byzantine Museum is another attention-grabbing place to visit. There are numerous stores and eateries to browse through while in the Old Town.
Taste the best wine in Embonas
If you are a wine lover, Rhodes has many vineyards. There are also many tavernas throughout the countryside. You can also enjoy the wine made in the town of Embonas, located in the heart of the grape-growing region. Try a tasting while you’re in the town.
Beauty And History Encircle Europe’s Great Walled Towns
In the medieval ages, Europe was famous for its rich culture and heritage, which we can now witness in the form of gigantic walls and other structures. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Europe was ruled by prosperous Roman empires. Although many mark this time as a dark phase for the continent, it is still an awakening phase for artistic explosion and broadened rich cultural knowledge.
Luckily, even today, many of the European walls and medieval treasures remain intact, now serving as significant tourist attractions in the region. This article reveals European-walled towns and cities that peel layers back to the ages.
Burges in Belgium
During heydays, this city was once a trading center during the 12th and 15 centuries. As a result, it is one of Europe’s best and most picturesque medieval towns. With cobbled lanes, whitewashed houses, and many more, it offers amazing architecture to all its visitors.
It also comprises the Burges’ bell tower, which shall consist of 266 steps to reach the top, to have a mesmerizing look at the city.
San Gimignano in Italy
It is present amongst the rolling vineyards of Tuscany, which offers breathtaking views to visitors and art lovers. This medieval town comprises 14 towers built between the 12th and 15th centuries. The Collegiata cathedral is also a recommended spot.
Bologna in Italy
The city has many names; the most popular is La Rossa, which translates to ‘the red one’. The town is filled with architecture of brickwork that reflects its ancient center. The Basilica di San Petronio is one of the world’s most talk-about churches, built in the late 14th century.
Mdina in Malta
Due to the city’s peace and tranquility, it is also called the ‘Silent City’ and one of the smallest in Europe. The city is located on a hilltop with distingue beauty surrounding it. Despite being the older city discovered by the Roman Empire, Mdina is considered an architectural treasure for many churches, cathedrals, mansions, monasteries, etc.
Anyone who loves to sway with the gushing winds and enjoy site-seeing would love this city and wish to reside there.
Tallinn in Estonia
Roaming around Estonia’s streets is akin to a fairy tale’s description. With cobbled lanes, timbered houses, and squares along the roads, it is the most medieval of all the cities mentioned above. However, it also consists of a gothic town hall, which is 700 years old.
Being the capital of the Ottoman Empire in 1453, a colonized center for ramparts, mosques, minarets, and palaces that witnessed civilizations of faith. Hagia Sophia, which was constructed in the late 6th century, is one of the must-visits of the Greek Orthodox Church. The shimmering gold lining of the walls and domes in museums is a treat to sore eyes.
Europe’s greatest walled towns
Are you someone who has always wondered about the history of those enormous and tall medieval walls? Have you asked why they have to build those fascinating walls and what it is like to live in those centuries-old walled cities? If we look back into the pages of history, most of those walls were made to protect the town from its enemies. These massive structures generally had a guard tower and were constructed on hills, making it difficult for the enemies to invade.
Regardless of the reason for building these thick-stone walls, these fortified towns have become the key to tasting the old world’s charms. So, if you love to explore the history of those fortified beauties, you can look into this list and find Europe’s top-walled towns.
Carcassonne is a beautiful medieval city located in Southeast France. Once you enter this city, you can taste the 13th-century world of glamorous towers and cobblestones. This walled city, with its 2 miles long rampart and 52 towers, is lively with tourists who come to explore a town classified as a World Heritage by UNESCO.
If you want to get the complete essence of the place, visit this fortified city at night when the place is free from crowds.
Rothenburg in Germany is one of the best-preserved walled towns in Germany. The cobbled alleys and the intact ramparts will lighten the visitors’ imagination. However, this Bavarian city that can be dated back to the fifteenth century will give a different experience to travelers. The monastery garden of this medieval town stills has precious medicinal herbs. And The Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum remains a witness to how people were disciplined in those barbaric times.
Lucca, in Tuscany, is a gateway to the old world. The Romanesque church and the piazzas give a relaxed ambiance to the city. To experience the elegance of a rich past, you can stroll through the main drag and visit some stores with old-world charm. But what makes Lucca an iconic city is its majestic ramparts that circle the city. Even though the town has the mightiest Renaissance wall, the cities haven’t seen any battle since 1430. Therefore, the locals use these ramparts like a park arranged with trees, making it a perfect path for an evening stroll or cycling.
If you want to witness the architectural marvel, you can visit the medieval ramparts built around Murten’s town. With the romantic castle that overlooks Lake Murten, expensive shops, outdoor cafes, and vineyards in the distance, this city will be the perfect place for you to spend your holidays. You can stroll through those ramparts to taste the town’s history and reminisce about the fierce Battle of Murten in 1476.
There were many walled cities in Europe; unfortunately, many tore down those majestic walls. But some towns still have maintained the walls and kept their medieval charms, thus keeping them separate from the rush and bustle of the outside world.
Charming Medieval Walled Cities in Europe
Suppose you’re a travel freak and love to indulge in the history and culture of the regions you visit. In that case, Europe will be your best destination, as it never disappoints with its historical stories and cultures. Moreover, a trip to the walled cities in Europe will have you questioning the conditions of cities and their fates in Roman times.
The medieval–walled European cities have attracted tourists from all over the world, and some of the walls also stand as barriers for protection.
This article has compiled a list of European cities that will not fail to charm you!
Dubrovnik in Croatia
Dubrovnik’s massive walls comprise 17 different towers and five bastions constructed between the 12th and 18th centuries. These walls are surrounded by beautiful cities that also have historical remains.
Segovia in Spain
It is located in Spain’s Castile-Leon region, which boasts a rich Roman legacy. The iconic city is surrounded by over two-mile-long walls comprising mesmerizing passages and windows for decoration. The enticing factor of the town lies in its rich cultural and historical heritage.
Nordlingen in Germany
This city is slightly different from the other medieval cities as it follows an urban infrastructure. It has five gates and eleven defenses surrounding it. It is also home to various tourist attractions like the renaissance and Baroque structured churches. However, one of the most exciting facts that attract tourists to this place is that it was formed by a dent caused by a meteor that fell on earth 15 million years ago.
Carcassonne in France
Carcassonne is one of France’s most culturally rich planes, comprising an impressive medieval wall of roughly two miles. It is one of the best historical structures of the cathedral of St. Michael church and many more. The Aude and Nabronne gates are also a must-visit around the place.
Rhodes in Greece
Rhodes is a Greek island below the Aegean Sea and is also declared one of the UNESCO world heritage sites. Because of the presence of one of the seven wonders, the Colossus of Rhodes, it is also a famous palace for all island lovers. The charming medieval walls of this island are present along the Temple of Apollo, the ancient stadium, and the Lindos Acropolis.
Valletta in Malta
The defense wall of Malta is one of the most popular in Europe. Even though Malta is one of the minor counties in Europe, it is still a great place to showcase its rich heritage due to its positioning of the country on the Mediterranean. It is also famous for having structures like Fort Saint Elmo and many others.
The country’s entrance gates open the visitor’s heart to this country. This medieval city is painted in colors and shines bright with the attraction of the gigantic 4-mile wall.