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The Round Tower, Mysterious and Romantic

The Round Tower in Andernach is one of the mostimpressive medieval towers in Germany. It was built in the XV century, i.e. atleast 40 years before Columbus discovered America! The tower was apparently constructedin two phases. First, the circular base with a shape, usually called churn, wasbuilt. Then the octagonal turret was built.

An importantdetail should be noted: the Round Tower was built entirely at the expense ofthe city. It is believed that in this way the proud inhabitants of Andernachprotested against the power of the Archbishop of Cologne. The tower was erectedat a 50-meter distance from the former Cologne Gate so that he could certainlyget the hint: according to the record, the ruler of the Cologne Electoratecould enter only through these gates. For this reason, the tower was thetallest building in the city - higher than the tower of the elector’s castleand the Assumption Church of St. Mary.

 

At one time, thelower part of the tower was used as a prison. The town residents, declaredsorcerers or witches, were first tortured at the Cologne Gate then thrown intothe dungeon of the Round Tower. In 1509, this sad fate befell even on Andernach’smayor. And for a long time after that the local legend suggested that the sadhowling coming from the tower at night was not the wind noise, but the voicesof tortured prisoners. The French poet Victor Hugo, who stayed in Andernach in1840, described the tower as very romantic in a letter to his daughter. The RoundTower was painted by many artists, among them - the landscape master WilliamTurner.

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