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2011, br. 12, str. 9-32
jezik rada: srpski
vrsta rada: neklasifikovan
objavljeno: 13/03/2012
Istočno podgrađe Beogradske tvrđave - istraživanja i obnove


(ne postoji na srpskom)
The East Outer Ward was the last phase in the growth of Belgrade's medieval fortifications. This small defense work, about 0.75 ha in area, enclosed the space between the barbicans in front of the eastern gates of the Upper and Lower towns, i.e. the present-day Zindan Gate system and the Lower Town East Gate. At the most salient point of the area was erected a cannon tower, now known as Jakšić's Tower, with two adjoining walls, the north one descending to the barbican of the East Gate of the Lower Town, and the east one running to the Upper Town barbican - Zindan Gate. The new defense work was sheltered by earlier fortifications on the south and west sides. The base of the North Rampart was strengthened by a stone-built scarp. The East Rampart probably used to be strengthened by a similar scarp and a rectangular tower in its middle, whose remains have not yet been discovered. Apparently the two ramparts featured rows of five to eight cannon embrasures. The new ramparts, about 2.10-2.40 m (ca 7-8 ft) thick and 12-14 m high externally, were built of rough-hewn broken stone laid in irregular courses. The new fortification coincided in date with the cannon tower at the entrance to the Danube port known today as Nebojša Tower. Research has shown quite reliably that its construction began about 1458 and was completed in the early years of King Matthias Corvinus's reign (1458-90). The addition of this protruding fortification considerably enhanced the defense of the approaches to the main town gates. Moreover, the approach to the Northeast Rampart could be battered by flanking gunfire from the new ramparts and the corner tower. It was a defense system centered on artillery. The most forward point of the Outer Ward, Jakšić's Tower, might have accommodated 10-12 cannons, while posts for another 5-8 may be presumed along the North Rampart. Taken as a whole, the newly-built defense work between the east barbicans solely served a defensive purpose. It was intended for a more successful defense of the town's northeast side based on a new type of weapon, artillery. On the other hand, connecting the barbicans in front of the east town gates, it provided yet another well-defended and safe communication between the Upper and Lower Town fortifications. The enclosed area, being mostly on a slope, was not suited for construction. The excavation results and the analysis of the original cartographic material suggest that the only structure built within the enclosure was a spacious ammunition storehouse whose remains have been recently discovered at the bottom of the slope, next to the Lower Town barbican. From the mid-15th century onwards the fortifications of the East Outer Ward underwent several substantial alterations, depending on the changing needs of defense. In the late 17th century both towers were torn down and the East Rampart received a bastion. Despite all alterations, the fortifications of this part of the Fortress have to a great extent preserved their original medieval appearance. The paper presents the results of research and restoration of the fortifications done so far and the results of archaeological excavation. Extensive restoration works were carried out in 1936. Jakšić's Tower and the battlements at the top of the ramparts were fully reconstructed and more or less restored to their former appearance (fig. 9). The restoration was based on the excavated remains and a study of their proportions which established the approximate original heights, the number of floor levels and the size of the fortifications. However, the building method used considerably differed from the surviving remains of the original walls. The number and arrangement of openings on the reconstructed floors of the Tower was arbitrary, to suit the idea of its use as a 'viewing tower'. The original number of embrasures on the third and fourth levels must have been smaller, considering that there could hardly have been more than three cannons on a floor. It is also quite certain that the medieval structure could not have had the doors such as those reconstructed on these two levels. The top level was vaulted on the model of Nebojša Tower which, however, had not received such a vault until the 1720s. Within the conservation-restoration works of 1936-38 the existing walkway was renovated, the parapet was restored and received new merlons built along the entire length of the rampart (fig. 11). Even though the original appearance of the battlement of this rampart is unknown, the shape and size of the merlons may be taken to approximate the original, but the use of dressed stones laid in artificial 'decorative' courses departed from the traditional use of more or less roughly hewn stone. Archaeological excavation The enclosed area of the East Outer Ward has begun to be archaeologically excavated in 1973. Before the systematic excavation could begin, the site had to be cleared of huge amounts of earth and demolition debris piled up mostly in the first decades of the 20th century and earlier. The main excavation area was at the bottom of the slope along the barbican of the East Gate of the Lower Town. In 2009/10 a total of about 600 sq m was explored and four main horizons identified. The most important discovery on the site is the remains of a medieval building in the northwest corner of the East Outer Ward (fig. 16). It was a sizable structure, rectangular in plan, about 33 m long and 9.20-9.30 m wide. Its narrower west side abutted against the former outer face of the Northeast Rampart of the Upper Town. Its south and partly east walls were fitted into the slope. That the entire area of the structure was fitted into the slope is obvious from the floor laid on the leveled subsoil. The originally sloping north area was made level by using earth filling up to the side wall of the East Gate barbican, thus forming a platform which survived as such until the early decades of the 20th century. The earth-fill consisted mostly of subsoil earth mixed with the cultural layer material, within which late antique potsherds predominated. The south wall took the form of a retaining wall built of roughly hewn stone laid in relatively regular courses using thin bricks and flat stones to fill up gaps. It was timber-strengthened internally at intervals of 1.20-1.50 m. The north wall of the building has survived to the height of two to three stone courses. Its poor state of preservation made it impossible to locate the entrance or possible windows. The floor was obviously laid on the flattened subsoil, but as a result of subsequent works, the features have only been recognizable over a smaller area. Judging by the charred remains, it was wooden. The subfloor, timber bearers sunken into the subsoil, was overlaid with wooden planks. This building may have been constructed after 1460, but certainly before the Ottoman conquest in 1521. Its original purpose may be assumed from much later information. It figures in some of the oldest plans of Belgrade from the late 17th century, when it served as a storehouse for military equipment and powder, which had probably been its original function as well. The archaeological and architectural-conservation investigation done so far provides solid basis for a definitive restoration solution for this portion of the Belgrade Fortress. The East Outer Ward, with preserved ramparts and restored Jakšić's Tower, retains a medieval flavor to a greater extent than other portions of the Fortress. Ružica Church and the chapel of St Petka, even though of a later date, considerably contribute to it. Therefore, in order that some of the original values of the East Outer Ward may be restored to the greatest extent possible, the restoration approach should be based upon anastylosis and the removal of more recent layers of earth heaped on the slope. The goal of a project for the North Rampart should be its maximum possible restoration. This involves restoration of the battlement along the entire length of the rampart so as to match the restoration carried out in 1936-38, while using a building method matching the late Ottoman phase which prevails within the body of the rampart. Considering that different building and renovation phases are visible in the structure of the rampart, they may be made clear on its outer face. Special attention will be required for the reconstruction of the slanting stone scarp and the presentation of the collapsed portions of the original medieval rampart discovered by earlier excavation. Particularly challenging aspect of the undertaking will be to assess the feasible extent of reconstruction for the Lower Town East Gate and the recently discovered adjoining medieval building. A proper restoration of this portion of Belgrade's fortifications is bound to open up the possibility of recapturing, at least on a small scale, the lost image of the medieval town.


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