Kulturportal LUND

 

The City Rampart (Stadsvallen)

 

StadsvallenFoto: Claes WahlööLund was once surrounded by an earthen rampart and moat. To make the system even more effective, a stockade ran along the top. Brick masonry gate towers and bridges were positioned at the southern, western, northern and eastern exits. The rampart was approx. three thousand seven hundred metres in length.

Today, little remains of this once enormous structure. However, approximately, four hundred and sixty metres still remain in the city park (Stadsparken) as well as a small section to the north of the street Sankt Laurentigatan. To the expert eye its course is still quite evident in the topography and, starting at Kulturmejeriet, it is possible to wander around the medieval city area following the route of this ancient defence system. However, the section to the west is now completely obliterated by the railway and station. The church monastery Klosterkyrkan once stood inside this rampart. A walking tour gives a clear impression as to the extent of power Lund formerly enjoyed. With its forty hectare of land, the city area was once the largest in medieval Scandinavia.

Exactly how old is the rampart? According to the Roskilde Chronicles, the Danish king Erik Emune was responsible for fortifying Lund in 1134 and according to the dendrochronological dating of a bridge pillar from the western exit, this date has been subsequently supported. The rampart however was continuously being modified and improved all the way up to the 18th century. Wooden bridges became stone bridges and the masonry gate towers were most likely built in the 14th century. The southern gate tower was called Red Port, the western, Nunne Burlett (alluding to the location of St. Peter’s convent), the northern, Norreport or Bredgatans Port and the eastern, Mårtens Port (after the church of St. Marten).