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One of the most historically fascinating sites of Visby is the 2 mile long medieval city wall which encircles the oldest part of the city of Visby. The wall is one of Europe's oldest and is the longest of its kind. The limestone wall was erected in the 13th and is punctuated by as many as 40 towers all of which are intact. Some of the more important towers are the "Powder Tower" and the "Maiden's Tower" ("Jungfrutornet").
The Maiden's Tower takes its name from the curious legend, but perhaps fact, that the young daughter of a local goldsmith was walled up alive in the tower walls as punishment for betraying the town because of her love for the Danish King Valdemar Atterdag!
The wall is punctuated by a few draw gates, but I could not find the names of these gates. Although two sections of the wall appear to have been breached during assaults, and portions of the wall have been re-built, the wall remains in magnificent condition for its age. Preservation of the wall is an on-going effort.
There is no doubt that the city wall provided residents inside a mighty fortification against invaders and attackers and street plans inside the wall (also originating in the 13th century) were modeled on early Viking settlements. No streets inside the walls followed straight lines. Curving and twisting streets were meant to baffle any intruder who did make it inside the walls by ensnaring him in a labyrinth.
The phenomenal city wall contributed greatly to the city's designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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