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© Stadtarchiv Nürnberg, A64-1003 

The Königstor Tower

also known as the Frauentor Tower

The Königstor Tower is one of the four massive round towers in the Nuremberg city wall. This wasn’t always the case – originally all the towers in the city wall were square. After the conflict of the Second Margrave’s War in 1553, the city council decided to modernize and strengthen the fortifications of Nuremberg.

As part of this effort, between 1556 and 1564 massive round stone walls were built around four of the square towers: The Laufertor Tower in the northeast, the Neutor Tower in the northwest, the Spittlertor Tower in the southwest and, in 1558, the Königstor Tower in the southeast. The newly fortified circular towers had a diameter of 17 meters and offered better protection from a shot from a cannon. This improvement of the Nuremberg city wall was one of the reasons the town was not captured until 1945.

When the Königstor Tower was rebuilt – at that time it was called the Frauentor Tower – a gate was added next to it. Entry to the city was possible over a wooden bridge and through an inner courtyard. The Frauentor (Women’s Gate) was named after St. Clare’s Abbey, a well-known and important women’s cloister in Nuremberg, in which the famous nun Caritas Pirckheimer lived. Exiting the gate, you could reach the city of Regensburg and other places to the southeast.

During industrialization, cities were challenged by new demands in transportation. With the construction of the main train station and the Königstraße, the entire area was changed and opened for traffic. After the Königstor was built and the abbey was torn down in the 19th century, traffic could only flow out of the gate from the city. Today, the Frauentor is reserved for pedestrians. Before Nuremberg’s Craftsmen’s Courtyard was created in the ward of the gate in 1971, the area was brownfield land, used as a parking lot.