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The fortified commercial city

Stadtbefestigung Sayda

Approximatly in the second half of the 13th century, after the reign of Schönberg family begans, Sayda had built up a city wall. This was a special privilege in the Middle Ages, so the fortress could protected the growing market, also the city and the monarchs against aggressors. After getting the fortification law, Sayda gained more importance, because the city gave good security for crossing merchants and their valueable goods.

The city wall was probably made of stone and clay. The crest was accessible and outward provided with slits. Because of that security, Sayda could only passed by the four city gates. The Freiberger Gate and the Bohemian Gate at the trade street, the watergate and the gate in the north-east of the city, they were controlled by guards. People had also paied taxes for their goods.

In 1809 the Freiberger Gate and in 1827 the Bohemian Gate were dismantled, but to the 800-year ceremony they were rebuildt symbolical. (see picture below) The wall have to give way, because of the growth of the city and the rebuilding after several fires.

Today you can visit a ring system of earth walls arround Sayda. In the southwest it has a width of 6-8m and a altitude of 3m, on the other places it is a double wall with a diffents widths and heights. Since 1972 the fortification system is under monumental protection. 

In the year 1442 Sayda became the municipal law by Henry of Schönberg. In the municipal letter several rights were fixed, e.g. only they have the permission to brew and pour beer, for having farmer´s, salt markets, to collect interests, to collect taxes for using the bridges, to organize the guilds, to give the permission for building and trading

But there was also some strict orders for the inhabitants. For example, it was forbitten: to go out with burning filings instead of hand lantern at night; to wash nearby the water, so it couldn't polute; no feeding in the houses and don't tend the flock alone; to carry large knifes. 

(Text: Catrin Bilz)