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Im Juni/Juli 1389 wurde durch den Erzbischof zur Verbesserung der Verteidigungskraft der Burg und Sicherung des Meertores mit dem Bau des Meerturmes begonnen. Der Meerturm gehört einem Turmtyp an, der erst in der letzten Dekade des 14 Jh. zu beobachten ist.
Historischer Kupferstich von 1746
© Stadtarchiv Xanten


In June/July 1389, the construction of the Meerturm began under the archbishop to improve the defensive capabilities of the castle and secure the Meertor (gate). The Meerturm belongs to a type of tower that was only observed in the last decade of the 14th century. The other gate towers provide entry into the city through their passage on the ground floor. The Meertor was built to the side of the defensive tower. Compared to the other city gates, the Meertor was quite small. This was because the area in front of this gate and the Meerturm was marshy, and an attack from this direction was not to be feared. Hence, the Meerturm, built to protect the passage, was mighty. In the Low German language, "Meer" refers to a marsh or lake. The marshy area in front of the Meerturm gave it its name. This was later forgotten, and it even received the name Martpoort, meaning Martyr Tower. With its thick walls, it survived the demolition attempt at the beginning of the 19th century. The protected tower shows, on its south side, the outline and height of the old city wall due to the irregular masonry. It also shows something else. A marking within the road pavement. The dark basalt lava marking indicates where the north side of the Meertor once stood. Today, the Meerturm and the Meertor are part of the Siegfried Museum.
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