City wall of Zwolle
Safety of the city
The city Zwolle is surrounded by a wall, the city wall. The Sassenpoort is one of the gates in that wall. The city wall was useful to protect the city from attacks of the hostile troops.
In 1572 the city of Zwolle was captured by Willem 4th van den Bergh. They came through the city walls. The people, who were standing on top of the city wall near the Sassenpoort, were throwing boiled water to the people. They could also use boiled oil but water was much cheaper.
The people hoped that they would be saved and free if they surrendered. They were free but the soldiers stayed in Zwolle. They stole all the things from the Broerenklooster and took food from the local people.
The city wall in 1572 was not protecting the whole city. Only a part of it.
Zwolle stayed out of trouble for many years. So the city wall had no function. The city was save.
During the nine years of Parma were Zwolle and Kampen the only cities in Overijssel who weren’t recaptured by the Spanish’
In the ten years of Maurits (1588-1598) was Zwolle on a good course. It was a military base. The city was converted to a walled town. Zwolle had built an extra island (noordereiland) with a new canal (achtergracht).
Maurice wanted Zwolle to join the big defence line. That was a line that the northern part of the country could clear from the Spanish. In the first place Zwolle didn’t want to join the Union of Utrecht. But when the stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe and Overijssel defected to the Spanish People, decided Zwolle to support the Union of Utrecht.
The city walls weren’t strong enough for the fire cannons of the Spanish people. They had to build bastions and defence walls. Examples of bastions nowadays in Zwolle are the Suikerberg, Nahuysplein and the Badhuiswal. The Nahuysplein is
The bastion nearest to the Sassenpoort. The bastions aren’t unbroken but the remains are still there in Zwolle.
The Luttekepoort was a three quarter round tower with thick walls. That was made because the increased firepower of cannons. It is a gate in the city wall.
A bastion is an angular structure to protect outward from the wall of an artillery fortification. Full developed bastions existed of two faces and two flanks. It was a good way to protect the city. Through the years, bastions were made stronger.
Bastions are lower than towers and are normally of similar height to the curtain wall. On top of the bastion, it was difficult to scale, but for the artillery it was easy to destroy. They made a ditch in front.
Bastions were flat sided rather than curved in contrast with typical medieval buildings. It covered a larger area than normal towers. This allowed more cannons that could fit and provided enough space for the crew to operate them.
There are different types of bastions.
In 1619 there were 12 bastions built in the city wall of Zwolle. They were never used. The walls blocked the expansion of Zwolle so the people demolished the walls. It was good for the crisis. The Sassenpoort was never demolished, because of its beautiful status.