Wednesday 30 December 2015

Walled towns in the United States?

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Interesting note found about the town of St Augustine in Florida. Although the town was only defended by walls across the peninsular base for a period in the eighteenth century, the prime defensive structure - Castillo de San Marcos - remains in good repair as the article by Tom Brennan illustrates. The link is from the 'Fortified Places' website run by Dominic Goode, welcomes contributions.
Other former walled towns in the US include:

  • New Amsterdam/New York ('Wall Street' is the give away!)
  • Charleston, whose defences were apparently to be strengthened in 1745 to protect against "incursions of Indians...[and] country negroes... quiet at present but have not always been so" (Bruce P.H.[Fortifications Engineer] 'Memoirs' Dublin 1783) - interesting evidence of the threat posed by black American slaves, not so content with their degradation as apologists for slavery have sometimes suggested.
  • Albany, the wall remnants of which town were reportedly lost to make a carpark.
Are other examples known?

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Galle, Sri Lanka and Hikone, Japan

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Two different walled towns:
Incontrovertibly a walled fortified town is Galle in the south of Sri Lanka.  Since ancient times and until the 19th Century rise of Colombo, Galle was Serendip's principal trading port. Its Portuguese then massively Dutch built fortifications largely protected the walled town from the 2004 Tsunami  (although at some extra tragic cost to the rest of the city).
 A World Heritage City, Galle is well preserved with much ongoing conservation work, with a lively and culturally mixed local population and some fine hotels and guest houses and a Heritage Foundation

Hikone, in contrast is described in the Japanese manner as a 'Castle Town' .In central Honshu on Japan's largest lake, the focus of preservation, is the fine typical Edu period (17th Century) castle

with one of the finest, though not the largest, of classic Japanese gardens. However parts of the walled town, including samurai houses and town defences do survive. It would qualify as a Walled Town IF it wished to celebrate urban life, in the shadow of a castle. It is on the Japanese tentative list for World Heritage listing More details can be found from the City of Hikone

Tuesday 29 September 2015

A road to Ravenna

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Great to be here among walledtowns friends. Four days to get here but quite an enjoyable journey: by train and ship and 250 kilometres cycle. The  climax was the St  Gotthard Pass - not the ascent (just hard) or the summit - a bit of an anti-clmax - BUT the terrific, at time ghastly descent by cycle on rough cobble stones round enumerable hairpins to Airolo - over a thousand metres in 12 kilometres: photos to follow

Tuesday 22 September 2015


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David Warburton of the City of York and Historic Towns Forum  is to give the keynote address on  ‘VIEWING YORK’S WALLS IN THE PASTTHE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE’’.
All delegates from walled towns are invited to bring short presentations 5-10 mins about their towns download latest programme details - see events page

Public Seminar and AGM
30th Sept – 2nd Oct 2015

Seminar Fee just €100

Please register via EWT form



Arrival of participants
20.30 Welcome Reception ...(for full programme)

Tuesday 21 July 2015

30th Sept - 3rd Oct EWT Seminar and AGM in Ravenna

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See Walled Towns Events.
Ravenna is itself walled but famed principally as the World Heritage City of Byzantine Imperial power in Italy
with churches and stunning mosaics to show off.

Saturday 20 June 2015

Narva-Ivangorod nightingales

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Visiting deepest Bulgaria - 30 kilometres East of Veliko Tarnovo, have been listening out for a nightingale
and I'm reminded of the EWT Exec, hosted so brilliantly by Narva and including a visit to the Russian fortress across the river - Ivangorod. There we were greeted by the most aggressive chorus of nightingales, one of which I captured on camera and sound

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Useful Report from Ireland

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Irish Walled Towns Network has circulated report from a seminar day in Carrick-on-Suir: Well worth downloading and reading for any walled town.

Sunday 24 May 2015

Edinburgh city with lost walls

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wikicommons picture of Flodden Wall,
DMB copy of Braun and Hogenburg
'Scotsmen' article on its website "Lost Edinburgh", spotted by Mark Lusby. Braun and Hogenburg's 16th Century Urban Atlas shows Edinburgh, somewhat imaginatively but well walled with fine citizens of 'Scotiae Metropolis'

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Ceuta - English version of Frederico Mendes Paula posted in European Walled Towns (Facebook)

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Excellent post on history of Walled city and enclave of Ceuta on North Coast of Africa but as Portuguese is not a language I can read easily I have used automated translation into English to produce a .pdf version which I am making available here.
Please visit the original website to pursue matters further:

Saturday 25 April 2015

EWT website

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Some movement now. See
but check provenance of posts.

Monday 16 March 2015

Dubrovnik - worthy candidate for European Capital of Culture 2020

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Dubrovnik takes "this opportunity to kindly invite you to participate in our process of cultural transformation and co-create ideas of a future Dubrovnik." Following Valletta's successful bid for 2018, Dubrovnik represents different and important features that will make it a great and truly European Capital of Culture in 2020. "The concept of Dubrovnik's candidature is “City in the Making''. The concept builds on the dynamic principles of co-creation, mediation of dialogue, and ExChange (change through exchange). Accordingly, Dubrovnik's candidature is based on four thematic pillars: reclaiming public space, releasing creative energy, redefining identity, and reconnecting Dubrovnik with Europe and the World." See letter from the city for more deatils of bid and also my brief walled town description.

Tuesday 24 February 2015

EWT Executive Committee 47 to be held in Bergen-op-Zoom 3rd - 6th June 2015 (REVISED Registration Date)

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Register by clicking here. Looking forward to a good turnout for important meeting for future of EWT  See version of full flyer with how to get there by train (and plane) Bergen-op-Zoom in the South of the Netherlands - nearer Antwerp (in Belgium) than Amsterdam - looks a fine place to visit and company will be excellent as always!

Saturday 14 February 2015

World Heritage Cities and personal identity as 'walled city'

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Matthias Ripp from Regensburg opens discussion of World Heritage Cities with his valuable model of an annual network report; I've also just discovered Grayson Perry's (Turner Prize winner) amazing walled city metaphor self 'portrait' called Map of Days newly acquired by Bath's Victoria Art Gallery thanks to their Friends and the ArtFund. You really need to see the original to find your way round the streets, rivers and features, named for his personality traits but you may be able to make out some on the bigger version below. His inspired re-imagination of the walled town for the 21st Century suggests the basis for a 'walled towns in art and culture' exhibition at a future Symposium perhaps at the World Heritage City of Valletta or even the Lowry inspiring Berwick-upon Tweed.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Linda Thorpe of Conwy

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Very sad to have to report death of Linda Thorpe but I have found a lovely picture of her taken in Ozmangazi, Turkey in 2009 and Vicky Macdonald has contributed a splendid appreciation see obituaries page.

Wednesday 28 January 2015


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European Walled Towns members
Welcome to EUROPEAN WALLED TOWNS for Friendship and professional Co-operation. Next Exec and AGM is at Bergen-op-Zoom  [FROM Joseph Spiteri President Jan 2015 "Please note that at the moment we are experiencing a technical problem with the website, which could very well be a hacking attempt. I have discussed the matter with the person responsible for running the website, and I am actively enquiring about a completely new website and more user friendly. You will find the executive meeting programme which is to be held in Bergenopzoom in the Netherlands on our facebook page. I apologise for any inconvenience which this problem may cause."]
See 'About EWT/WTFC...' .This post first published 5 Nov 2011 now amended and updated. For further photos from Lucca and a list of current EWT members read on...

Monday 5 January 2015

Highly recommended for all walled towns

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The Civic Trust and the UK Government Department of Transport have just issued revised guidance for the design of streets where people and traffic mix. It is highly recommended and Street Design for All is available through this link. It is a shame that none of the examples of good practice quoted are from walled towns - Chichester, Chester or York might have been cited but have not sufficiently carried through the 'de-cluttering' of their mixed use streets. 'De-cluttering' means doing without or removing all those signs and anti-pedestrian barriers so loved by 20th Century Highway Engineers.
Examples of bad practice could have been shown from walled towns - this advice can be used to remove them. Good examples can be found across Europe in walled towns. Neither good nor bad will now be named (and shamed or rewarded) in this post but further examples will be found and walled towns are invited to submit thier best practice and acknowledge where they can make improvements.