City gate was in the way of tanks

City gate was in the way of tanks

There were only three. Although parts of the city center were destroyed during the bombing raids by the u.S. Shortly before the end of the war, the four old city gates of munnerstadt continued to bear witness to the city’s former fortified status. Not for long. On 21. April 1945 the u.S. Blew up the lower gate because it was in the way of the tanks. As bad as it was, the americans had hit the least important of the four city gates.

The folder with documents about the lower gate in the city archives of munnerstadt is well filled. Several photos have been preserved, along with articles that appeared in vinculum and the daily newspapers, among other places. Probably the most detailed was written by augustinerpater matthaus zimmermann in 1952.

The information in the publications partly deviates from each other, the first documentary mention of the "nyder tore" but was certainly in the year 1315. Therefore, the gate may have been part of the initial equipment of the city fortifications, which in 13. The tower was built in the XVII century.

Gate rebuilt in 1755

After the old settlement was abandoned, the thick tower also lost its importance, it was eventually bricked up. From then on, the road led through the lower gate in the direction of burglau and bad neustadt. Also the designation "stone gate went from the thick tower to the lower gate. For a long time, it was a matter of speculation when the last gate was built, which was finally blown up by the americans. This apparently happened in 1755, the old gate had been demolished by the people of munnerstadt because it had become dilapidated.

Father matthaus zimmermann has studied the history of the lower gate very intensively. He went to the turmer who received a new year’s gift from the city and the monastery. Because the tower keeper always had to be on top, there was another man at the gate, called the keeper. He had a two-storey house with pigsty on the wall. Father matthaus came to the conclusion: "the keepers and gatekeepers were all poor people. They came to the high towers, but not to a green branch."

Father matthaus suspects two reasons for the demolition of the penultimate gate. The building was in a state of disrepair and/or no longer met military requirements. The second reason is that in 1754 the engineer and lieutenant rader von wurzburg visited the gate and immediately drew up a new plan. It is detailed who received how much for the demolition of the old gate and the construction of the new one. For example, fronters and craftsmen carried the beam up the tower, for which they received 40 mab of wine and 35 wecke.

Throughout the centuries, the lower gate was obviously less valued than the other three city gates. Some chroniclers even suspected that the americans might not have blown it up if it had resembled the jorgen or upper gate. It is certain that it was erected on 21. April 1945 fell into rubble and ashes.

Max lenhardt (†) experienced the demolition as an eleven-year-old bub. The munnerstadt native lived right next to the lower gate at the time.

Around 9 o’clock on the 21st. April americans came to the house and told the family to leave the house until 9 a.M.30 o’clock to leave, he recalled 15 years ago in a conversation with this newspaper.

Pig hidden in the barn

A pig just slaughtered was quartered and wrapped in cloth hidden in the barn. The lenhardts quickly hung out a few more windows and stowed them in the cellar. Max lenhardt and his brothers and sisters were housed with friends, where they looked for a lookout in the attic, from which they had a good view of the lower gate. At 12.30 o’clock they heard a rough bang and saw a huge cloud of dust. This was the end of the lower gate.

In the course of the years there were several efforts to rebuild the lower gate, among others by the former city and district local keeper peter genth. Later it was actually rebuilt, but as a small model. The last time the lower gate was mentioned was twelve years ago. As part of the sculptors’ symposium in 2008, two artists traced the shadow cast by the gate, which no longer exists, on the street.

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