From the medieval-era fortresses of France to the Renaissance-era city walls of Italy, Europe’s walled cities are a treasure trove of history and culture. They’re also popular tourist attractions that can be visited by anyone willing to make the trip.
But how exactly did these cities come about? What makes them so special? And how do they compare to other European cities? In this article, we’ll explore all these questions and more as we dive into the world of European walled towns!
Location, Location, Location
Location, location, location. This mantra is not just for real estate. It can also apply to the great European walled towns. These fortified cities were strategically located in areas that had good access to trade and travel routes, as well as other important resources like water or fertile soil for growing crops.
The Barrier to Security
The walls were also a barrier against disease. In the Middle Ages, it was extremely common for armies to march through towns and villages and spread illness. The world was not yet fully aware of how to treat or prevent diseases like smallpox, influenza, bubonic plague and cholera.
If you were fortunate enough to survive your initial encounter with one of these illnesses—and many did not—you might find yourself disabled or disfigured by them.
The walls also prevented famine and other disasters from outside sources like war or natural disasters.
Life Inside the Walls
Within the walls, the townspeople lived in a crowded community. The streets were narrow and winding, and someone was always walking around. Because this was their only option for safety, they had to live close to others in danger.
Since everyone could be killed by disease or outside forces at any moment, the townspeople would stay indoors as much as possible. Even though they might have liked being outside more than we do today (we love going outside because we don’t have to worry about being murdered), they couldn’t go out because it wasn’t safe enough.
History at Your Fingertips
The history of a particular European town can be seen at every turn, from the ancient walls to the old buildings and streets. Each city has its unique history and stories to tell.
Some of these stories are very interesting, such as how some towns were destroyed by war or natural disasters while others flourished for centuries before falling into ruin.
European Walled Towns are Perfect for Travelers seeking a Unique Escape from the Modern World
The more you learn about European walled towns, the more it becomes clear that they are a unique and memorable part of our world.
While we’re not saying everyone should pack up and move to one of these towns tomorrow, we think it’s worth taking a closer look at what makes them so special—and maybe even planning your next vacation around one!