Město Polička

7. Barbican

The map from 1839 shows the names of the parts of the outer moat. 

Barbicans were massive and remarkable fortified structures, but the vast majority of them disappeared in the 19th century because they were blocking transport and urban development. You can find a lot of interesting information in Vladislav Razím’s book: Medieval Fortifications of Czech Towns, National Heritage Institute, Prague, 2019. We can also mention the preserved barbicans in the town of Kadaň and in the Pernštejn Castle.    

Guisarme – it is depicted in the title header. It is a late medieval infantry weapon that was highly effective in combat with the cavalry. The hook was used for pulling the rider off the horse's neck and then the narow point penetrated the spots between the joints of the plated armour.   

Every firearm is a ranged weapon, but not every ranged weapon is a firearm. During the Hussite wars, firearms using gunpowder became common – hand-held blunderbusses and cannons called fauconneau. As for the other weapons, the townspeople used crossbows, halberds, spears, voulges, swords, short swords, axes and the like.

(picture captions)

  • Guisarme (a specific type of voulge) from the collections of the Polička Museum
  • Fauconneau – a replica in the museum 
  • Blunderbuss – a replica in the museum 
  • Part of a barbican with loopholes on two floors, Polička, before it was demolished in 1938 
  • Kadaň – a preserved barbican (source: The Kadaň Town Council and the Historic Settlements in the Czech Republic)