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Serf construction of the Teutonic Order in Prussia at the end of the 13th century


UDC 940.1 (474)

M.L. Tergovich


The analysis of features and regularities of construction of fortification constructions of the Teutonic Order is provided in Prussian lands in the 13th century. The standard device of serf construction of the Award and requirements imposed to it is considered.

The author makes the analysis of features and regularity of Teutonic Orders& fortification buildings on Prussian lands in the XIII century. The typical lay-out of Order&s fortifications is presented as well as the requirement to it.

Process of reorganization and strengthening of the fortification constructions created earlier in the course of gaining Prussian lands remains poorly studied aspect of activity of the Teutonic Order. As shows the analysis of various aspects of activity of Teutonic knights on their fixing on the former lands of Prussian tribes, most likely there was a certain program which the management of the Award tried to implement systematically. Having conquered Prussian lands in the mid-eighties it. 13th century and without allowing even resistance probability from local community, medal architects had an opportunity in rather peace situation to address modernization, improvement and construction of serf and castle constructions [9, S. 41]. The organized system of production of a brick in a large number, the necessary quality and a necessary form on the place [2, page 116] was an important component of widely developed construction. More suitable material for construction of previously designed proportional architectural constructions, than the formed brick, during that time did not exist. Builders of the Award learned to make of the diluvial Prussian clay extracted by means of a shovel and a wheelbarrow necessary quantity of a brick [5, S. 13]. Medal architects created almost ideal type of serf construction, having connected high requirements of expediency and practicality of constructions to the decorating corresponding to a spirit of the age [9, S. 43].

The created locks and fortresses served not only fortification constructions of long-term character, but also were the residence of knights as in them medal conventions of komgurstvo were placed. Therefore when choosing a position for construction in calculation


the double purpose was accepted. On the one hand, the place for construction of fortress or the lock had to be the most unapproachable or have approaches which could be defended easily. On the other hand, the guarantee of providing normal conditions for accommodation was required. Both conditions were satisfied if nearby there was a water source (the river, the lake with underground feed, a stream with a strong water stream and a similar source of feed) which absence or need of delivery of water from the outside considerably reduced possibilities of strengthening in respect of duration of its defense. The construction fact in all fortresses of mills for which in ideal option the reservoir is necessary deserves attention, it is desirable with the falling water stream capable to play a propeller role. In case such source was absent or did not provide necessary energy of the falling stream, medal masters, good experts in the field of hydraulic engineering constructions, by creation of channels, locks and lifting mechanisms brought water there, shche it was not under natural conditions areas.

Medal fortresses mainly were located not on too high, but abrupt coast, especially, if strengthening was peninsular formation of the area, on lake peninsulas, in windings and steep coast of the rivers. Even slightly sublime peninsular formations possessed though a little noticeable, but very important advantage: the first floors of locks used as basements and dungeons could be built at the necessary depth, but remained dry, guaranteed protected from ground waters [4, B. 24].

The device of the medal lock by the end of the 13th century got a standard form. Fortresses and locks of this time were built anew, or constructions of earlier period were modernized. As strength of crusaders were not sprayed between suppression of resistance of indigenous people and creation of fortification constructions any more, there was an opportunity to focus on castle construction, using at the same time for production of unqualified works (earth, grindings of a stone, transportation) the local community working under the leadership of the specialists architects invited from Europe.

Fortress had the main objective on granting a shelter to a certain number of the brothers knights obliged on vowed by them to conduct the everyday rshcharsko-monastic life in the spirit of requirements of the Award. The strengthened construction, first, had to have church for holding regular church services, rooms for councils and meetings, joint meals, rest and a dream, etc. Secondly, the medal fortress of life the center of a certain administrative and territorial unit (komturstvo, fogtstvo) which was under protection and management of the lock. On Vogt or a komtura as on the commander of this fortress the duty to care for placement of the big armed groups during the periods of fighting in close proximity to the fortress entrusted to it and for reception of refugees lay. For administrative structures in fortress rooms, warehouse were allocated, shche the products received from citizens and also products of own economy were stored. It is clear, that in fortress

rooms for numerous service staff — domestics, workshops, stables, hleva were provided [5, B. 14].

Medal fortress began with its kernel — so-called "house". A powerful ego, the quadrangular or round building from 40 to 60 m long in the plan for outer side which corners became strongly strengthened. The major corner turned to the party of probable attack of the opponent is transformed and develops in a powerful tower which in the lower tiers corresponds to the plan of all building, in the majority square, and in freely located top tiers round or quadrangular. This tower at the same time plays a role of a watchtower and a citadel. Except for the main entrance which is in the lower part of a citadel it has no doors conducting outside window openings. Only at considerable height the opening lancet windows of Gothic style, and over them, closely to a roof are constructed, lancet loopholes are located. A number of these loopholes surrounding all building allows to draw a conclusion on existence of the defensive course serving besides protective constructions at gate, for conducting defense of active character.

Through gate it was possible to get into the courtyard. Around it on four wings the two-story arcade lasted. On this gallery at the earth, doors and entrances to the powerful vaulted basements depending on the nature of soil arranged one above another were located. On the covered gallery there were ladders connecting the first floor with top which all doors came to gallery. With the enemy, even broken to the courtyard of the lock, it was still possible to fight as the top floors after dropping easy gallery ladders (or their arson defending) became completely isolated [5, B. 16].

Rooms in the building were located as follows: on the first floor which rooms were lit through viewing cracks and through the doors shaded by gallery from the courtyard except for privratnitsky and the guard house and also the small room for servants the living rooms were not in general. On it were located the big kitchen with the enormous center suspended on powerful columns, storerooms for edibles, masterful and other rooms. Brothers of the Award occupied exclusively top floor where rooms were located on various wings in such a way that in the most important of them, on the party with an entrance, there were a church and the hall of meetings, in gfimykayushchy to it — the bedroom and rooms for rest of knights. In the third — the dining room, as a rule, over kitchen connecting to the last ladder which is in a wall. In the fourth wing rooms for the highest officials, priests and office were located. All rooms of the ground and top floor were vaulted [8, B. 19]. Rooms were reported among themselves only by galleries. Premises of the top floor in winter time were heated by fireplaces or by means of central heating, and the copper was in the basement or on the first floor [7, aa. 25; 3, page 11].

The fourth floor served only for defense. On it there were two unifying courses connected parallel, one of which came to light, and another to the courtyard. Connecting them ggrokho-


dy often were located above their basis and an inovd were used as warehouses. Through a castle tower and also if there were other towers over gate or on corners, the defensive course was through made. Zachas a thuja it was the only entrance to a tower. Only from the room where the defensive course came to an end, on a narrow spiral staircase in a wall or by means of the winch through a manhole in the arch it was possible to go down on first floors of a tower and also to rise by the top floors to the attic under a roof, shche the vaulted loopholes of a parapet wall serving for reflection of the attacking enemy were located. Embrasures in a castle tower were arranged seldom, and within the walls of the lock they could be absent in general. In this case embrasures and loopholes were arranged over gate.

Not all medal locks had identical value as in some of them the convention of brothers knights was fully completed not. Therefore often, without deviating from the main norms of planning, were limited to the building in which left unfinished any given krsho a quadrangle, overlooking the courtyard, and only its internal walls rose up to the height of the defensive course. The ego provided communication and allowed to conduct defense both outside, and inside. Around the lock the free space carrying the name "parkham" which appeared during a medal era was left [1, page 22]. It was covered by the powerful wall topped with the defensive course, is frequent with loopholes and the acting quadrangular or semicircular protective towers. Before it a vseshcha there was a deep and wide ditch which is quite often laid out by a stone. Through a ditch the wooden bridge with the lifting inner edge leaning on stone columns was thrown. From a ditch the bridge was protected by a strong predvratny construction [5, B. 19].

Depending on the importance of fortress, importance and a role in the tactical and defensive nature of actions of the Award it amplified one or several gfedkrepostny buildings which could be also surrounded with a wall or a ditch. As they structurally had big extent, them, whenever possible, built symmetrically the lock. At the same time all was provided possible to apply these constructions to a land relief, to consider its features [8, B. 24].

Predkreposga walls, as a rule, were supplied with towers. In serf constructions, rooms for servants and service staff, the stable for knights and servants, the room for couriers, mail carriers and foreigners were located. Here also constructions of economic appointment entered: warehouses, barns, hleva, breweries and bakeries, workshops for production and repair of military equipment and weapon, hotel for soldiers, crusaders. Here rooms for the looking for shelter in a fighting situation rural Luda were located. There were also rooms for representatives of the trading companies and shelters providing a shelter to patients and pilgrims.

Thus, the medal structure occupying a separate long-term fortification construction (lock, fortress) was completely autonomous, providing itself without assistance. Often around the fortress and the lock there were city settlements that is explained by the aspiration of settlers to find protection against attacks from the outside, in

a case of military threat to take cover behind thickness of castle walls [7, S. 51]. The ego concerned and the "turned" pruss which were looking for protection against the tribespeople in the lock who remained faithful to former belief. Possibly, because of a lack of space or because of mistrust the Award lodged such pruss out of fortress in wooden constructions which were called "houses shelters" and served fortress as some kind of fort.

Stone fortresses and locks of East Prussia on the coast of the gulf Frishes-Gaff or in close proximity to it concern the most senior on age in Prussian lands. The Balga (1240 — 1250), Konigsberg (1257), Lokhpggedt (1270), Brandenburg (1266) — these East Prussian locks is 20 — 30 years more senior than the locks which were located to the south of the coast. Time of their basis is carried to the beginning or the middle of process of gaining this territory. At the same time locks of the western Prussia are based or in the years of final conquest of pruss, or after full suppression of resistance of aboriginals, that is after 1283 [8, S. 15].

List of references

1. Locks and strengthenings of the German award in a northern part of East Prussia: a reference book / bus - sost. A.P. Bakhtin; under the editorship of V.Yu. Kurpakov. Kaliningrad, 2005.
2. V. Urban Teutonic Order. M, 2007.
3. A.R. Hodynjsky. The lock in Malborka. Warsaw, 1997.
4. Bonk H. Die in Verbindung mit der Gelandegestaltung gegriindete Stadte und Schlosser des Altpreufiens. Konigsberg, 1895.
5. Krollmann K. Ostpreufiische Schlosser. Berlin, 1905.
6. Lullies Ch. Ostpreufien. Sammelwerk. Konigsberg, 1906.
7. Mierzwinski M. Die Marienburg. Warszawa, 1993.
8. Talmann V. Tilsits Bau-und Kulturgeschichte. Tilsit, 1923.
9. Winnig A. Der Deutsche Ritterorden und seine Burgen. Tausend, 1956.

About the author

M.L. Tergovich is the deputy chief of educational and methodical department, the Kaliningrad boundary institute FSB of Russia.

UDC 94 (430) & #34;15/17"

A. Grot


Development of Konigsberg as port was promoted by its geographical location. Here two ways were crossed: from Sambiya to Natangiya and from the sea to Lithuania along the Pregolya River. Already at the time of the Award of crusaders the port played an important role in regional trade. From the middle of the 16th century the control over sea trade of Konigsberg was established by Dutches. The period of the highest of times -

John Aron Curtis
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