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Walled Town Collection

In the 1300s, Marco Polo bid farewell to his beloved Venice, a walled town that had nurtured him

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Marco Polo leaving Venice, 1300s

Marco Polo leaving Venice, 1300s
Marco Polo leaving Venice on his journey to China, 1338. Color lithograph reproductioin of a manuscript: Bod. Misc. 264

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Medieval castle

Medieval castle
Knights entering a castle in the Middle Ages. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Tower of London in the late Middle Ages

Tower of London in the late Middle Ages
London during the time of Henry VII (1457-1509). Color lithograph reproduction of an illuminated manuscript: Roy 16F, ii

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Spain, Catalonia, Costa Brava, Tossa de Mar, Overview of bay and castle at dusk (MR)

Spain, Catalonia, Costa Brava, Tossa de Mar, Overview of bay and castle at dusk (MR)

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem

Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem
Marketplace in Jerusalem at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, 1800s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageWalled Town Collection: GEUR2A-00057

GEUR2A-00057
Medieval walled city of Nuremberg, Germany, 1400s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageWalled Town Collection: By Jerusalem. Study, 1921. Creator: Anna Katarina Boberg

By Jerusalem. Study, 1921. Creator: Anna Katarina Boberg
By Jerusalem. Study, 1921

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Walkers Pillar, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 1860. Artist: R Wallis

Walkers Pillar, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 1860. Artist: R Wallis
Walkers Pillar, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 1860. Walkers Monument, a doric column eighty feet high, was erected to perpetuate the memory of Reverend George Walker (1645-1690)

Background imageWalled Town Collection: The Siege of Colchester by the Parliament Forces... 1648, (1944). Creator: W Keymer

The Siege of Colchester by the Parliament Forces... 1648, (1944). Creator: W Keymer
The Siege of Colchester by the Parliament Forces Under the Command of General Fairfax, 1648, (1944). Map of the town of Colchester in Essex which was attacked by Parliamentary commander Lord-General

Background imageWalled Town Collection: View at dusk of Vila Vella, the medieval old town of Tossa del Mar, Costa Brava, Catalonia

View at dusk of Vila Vella, the medieval old town of Tossa del Mar, Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Westgate, Canterbury, 1898. Creator: Unknown

Westgate, Canterbury, 1898. Creator: Unknown
Westgate, Canterbury, 1898. Grade I listed Westgate, a medieval gatehouse in the city walls of Canterbury were built from Kentish ragstone c1379. From " Our Own Country, Volume VI"

Background imageWalled Town Collection: October - the Louvre, 15th century, (1939). Creators: Paul Limbourg, Jean Colombe

October - the Louvre, 15th century, (1939). Creators: Paul Limbourg, Jean Colombe
October - the Louvre, 15th century, (1939). Octobre - Le Louvre. Peasants sowing seed in a ploughed field: the man on the right is broadcasting by hand, as magpies eat the fallen grain

Background imageWalled Town Collection: GMDE2A-00032

GMDE2A-00032
Baghdad straddling the Tigris River. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Italy, Apulia (Puglia), Lecce Province, Gallipoli old walled town

Italy, Apulia (Puglia), Lecce Province, Gallipoli old walled town

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Christ and the Samaritan Woman, 1310. Creator: Duccio di Buoninsegna

Christ and the Samaritan Woman, 1310. Creator: Duccio di Buoninsegna
Christ and the Samaritan Woman, 1310.

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Peking City Wall. From: Far Eastern plates, 1911. Creator: Ernest Stephen Lumsden

Peking City Wall. From: Far Eastern plates, 1911. Creator: Ernest Stephen Lumsden
Peking City Wall. From: Far Eastern plates, 1911.

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Six landscapes. A man wearing a cloak, and his dog. (H43), 1640-1690. Creator: Anthonie Waterloo

Six landscapes. A man wearing a cloak, and his dog. (H43), 1640-1690. Creator: Anthonie Waterloo
Six landscapes. A man wearing a cloak, and his dog. (H43), 1640-1690. From a series entitled 'Six landscapes' depicting a man wearing a cloak walking along a road with his dog

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Garibaldi in England: arrival of Garibaldi at the townhall, Bargate, Southampton, 1864

Garibaldi in England: arrival of Garibaldi at the townhall, Bargate, Southampton, 1864. Creator: Unknown
Garibaldi in England: arrival of Garibaldi at the townhall, Bargate, Southampton, 1864. View of '...the picturesque old Bargate, in Southampton, at eleven o'clock on the Monday

Background imageWalled Town Collection: The Taeping Rebellion in China: interior of the walls of Soo-Chow, 1864. Creator: Unknown

The Taeping Rebellion in China: interior of the walls of Soo-Chow, 1864. Creator: Unknown
The Taeping Rebellion in China: interior of the walls of Soo-Chow, 1864. Engraving from a photograph, '...illustrative of the capture of the Chinese town of Soo-Chow by the Imperialist troops

Background imageWalled Town Collection: The War in Schleswig: Prussian ammunition-train entering Flensburg - by our special artist, 1864

The War in Schleswig: Prussian ammunition-train entering Flensburg - by our special artist, 1864. Creator: Unknown
The War in Schleswig: Prussian ammunition-train entering Flensburg - from a sketch by our special artist, 1864. '...the Prussians...have brought up heavy siege-guns and trains of ammunition

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Skating at Florence, 1864. Creator: Unknown

Skating at Florence, 1864. Creator: Unknown
Skating at Florence, 1864. Engraving from a sketch by L. Caldesi. In Florence this year our English residents and visitors have been able to enjoy skating with as much zest as has been done

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Troops in front of city gate. Creator: Romeyn de Hooghe

Troops in front of city gate. Creator: Romeyn de Hooghe
Troops in front of city gate

Background imageWalled Town Collection: The Storming of Delhi, the Cashmere Gate, 1857. Creator: Unknown

The Storming of Delhi, the Cashmere Gate, 1857. Creator: Unknown
The Storming of Delhi, the Cashmere Gate, 1857. This spirited Engraving, from an original Sketch, represents tha exciting scene of the storming of Delhi, at the Cashmere gate, by our brave troops

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Progress of the Prince of Wales in British North America - Quebec, Canada East... 1860

Progress of the Prince of Wales in British North America - Quebec, Canada East... 1860. Creator: Unknown
Progress of the Prince of Wales in British North America - Quebec, Canada East - from a drawing by our special artist, G. H. Andrews, 1860. The future King Edward VII visits North America

Background imageWalled Town Collection: View of Capua, from Monte St. Angelo - from a sketch by our special artist, Frank Vizetelly, 1860

View of Capua, from Monte St. Angelo - from a sketch by our special artist, Frank Vizetelly, 1860. Creator: Unknown
View of Capua, from Monte St. Angelo - from a sketch by our special artist, Frank Vizetelly, 1860. The Sketch from which our Engraving is taken was made...shortly before the battle on the Volturno

Background imageWalled Town Collection: The city of Antioch, 1860. Creator: Unknown

The city of Antioch, 1860. Creator: Unknown
The city of Antioch, 1860. A glimpse of Antioch is caught from the shoulders of Mount Casius. This grand, bare peak, 5700 feet high, rises abruptly from the sea

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Lisbon Captured by French Troops under Robert of Normandy. Creator: Crispijn van de Passe

Lisbon Captured by French Troops under Robert of Normandy. Creator: Crispijn van de Passe
Lisbon Captured by French Troops under Robert of Normandy

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Tien-Tsin, on the banks of the Peiho River, 1860. Creator: Unknown

Tien-Tsin, on the banks of the Peiho River, 1860. Creator: Unknown
Tien-Tsin, on the banks of the Peiho River, 1860. The British in China. Small vessels only can approach the mouth of the Peiho River

Background imageWalled Town Collection: The Entry into Jerusalem, mid-late 17th century. Creator: Willem van Herp

The Entry into Jerusalem, mid-late 17th century. Creator: Willem van Herp
The Entry into Jerusalem, mid-late 17th century. Christ rides a donkey into Jerusalem. He blesses the multitude as a woman spreads a cloak on the ground to welcome him. People hold palm fronds

Background imageWalled Town Collection: View towards Visby ring wall. Creator: Victor Forssell

View towards Visby ring wall. Creator: Victor Forssell
View towards Visby ring wall, Unknown date

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Single Leaf of Elephants on a River Bank, late 10th century AH/AD 16th-early 11th century AH

Single Leaf of Elephants on a River Bank, late 10th century AH/AD 16th-early 11th century AH... Creator: Unknown
Single Leaf of Elephants on a River Bank, late 10th century AH/AD 16th-early 11th century AH/AD 17th century. This Mughal painting depicts elephants on the bank of a river in a rocky landscape with a

Background imageWalled Town Collection: The Medieval Walls of Nijmegen, 1643. Creator: Jan van Goyen

The Medieval Walls of Nijmegen, 1643. Creator: Jan van Goyen
The Medieval Walls of Nijmegen, 1643. The remnants of the medieval castle and a section of the walls of the city Nijmegen, on the Waal River in the eastern Netherlands

Background imageWalled Town Collection: View of the Walls of Maastricht with the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk in the background, 1670

View of the Walls of Maastricht with the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk in the background, 1670. Creator: Josua de Grave
View of the Walls of Maastricht with the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk in the background, 1670

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Illustration for Basedow's Elementary Work, 1770. Creator: Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki

Illustration for Basedow's Elementary Work, 1770. Creator: Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki
Illustration for Basedow's Elementary Work, 1770. Plate: Table XXXIII(d). A popular illustrated textbook for children

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Cityscape in winter, 1780-1848. Creator: Martinus Schouman

Cityscape in winter, 1780-1848. Creator: Martinus Schouman
Cityscape in winter, 1780-1848. Figures on the ice

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Walled River and Bridge with Buildings Above, 1860. Creator: Felice Beato

Walled River and Bridge with Buildings Above, 1860. Creator: Felice Beato
Walled River and Bridge with Buildings Above, 1860

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Imperial Building behind High Wall, 1860. Creator: Felice Beato

Imperial Building behind High Wall, 1860. Creator: Felice Beato
Imperial Building behind High Wall, 1860

Background imageWalled Town Collection: View of the Fortress of Saint-Michiel, near s-Hertogenbosch, 1672. Creator: Josua de Grave

View of the Fortress of Saint-Michiel, near s-Hertogenbosch, 1672. Creator: Josua de Grave
View of the Fortress of Saint-Michiel, near s-Hertogenbosch, 1672. Attributed to Josua de Grave

Background imageWalled Town Collection: City wall with a tower and a gate, viewed from the inside, 1788-1846. Creator: Jan Hendrik Verheyen

City wall with a tower and a gate, viewed from the inside, 1788-1846. Creator: Jan Hendrik Verheyen
City wall with a tower and a gate, viewed from the inside, 1788-1846. On the right a house with a statue of saints in a corner niche

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Casting the Dice for Life or Death, 1680-1720. Creator: Jan van Huchtenburg

Casting the Dice for Life or Death, 1680-1720. Creator: Jan van Huchtenburg
Casting the Dice for Life or Death, 1680-1720

Background imageWalled Town Collection: City Wall with Gunpowder Magazine, 1830. Creator: Carel Jacobus Behr

City Wall with Gunpowder Magazine, 1830. Creator: Carel Jacobus Behr
City Wall with Gunpowder Magazine, 1830

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Fountain against a city wall, in which a staircase has been built, 1700-1748

Fountain against a city wall, in which a staircase has been built, 1700-1748. Creator: Theodorus Wilkens
Fountain against a city wall, in which a staircase has been built, 1700-1748

Background imageWalled Town Collection: View of Porte Saint-Denis in Paris, 1745-1775. Creators: Francois Blondel, Anon

View of Porte Saint-Denis in Paris, 1745-1775. Creators: Francois Blondel, Anon
View of the Porte Saint-Denis in Paris, 1745-1775

Background imageWalled Town Collection: View of Malacca from the sea, 1764. Creator: Jan Keldermans

View of Malacca from the sea, 1764. Creator: Jan Keldermans
View of Malacca from the sea, 1764. View of the city of Malacca which can be seen just above the sandbank on the sea-facing side; with houses, trees and palm trees, a Dutch sloop

Background imageWalled Town Collection: The Aurelian Wall in Rome, c.1809-c.1812. Creator: Josephus Augustus Knip

The Aurelian Wall in Rome, c.1809-c.1812. Creator: Josephus Augustus Knip
The Aurelian Wall in Rome, c.1809-c.1812. Construction of this 18-kilometre-long rampart began under the reign of Roman Emperor Aurelian (270-275 AD), which explains its name, the Aurelian Wall

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Rock and town of Scilla in the Calabria region from the sea on the north, 1778

Rock and town of Scilla in the Calabria region from the sea on the north, 1778. Creator: Louis Ducros
Rock and town of Scilla in the Calabria region from the sea on the north, 1778. Drawing from the album Voyage to Italy, Sicily and Malta

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Rock and town of Scilla in the Calabria region on the west coast, 1778. Creator: Louis Ducros

Rock and town of Scilla in the Calabria region on the west coast, 1778. Creator: Louis Ducros
Rock and town of Scilla in the Calabria region on the west coast, 1778. Drawing from the album Voyage to Italy, Sicily and Malta

Background imageWalled Town Collection: Rock and town of Scilla in the Calabria region on the east coast, 1778. Creator: Louis Ducros

Rock and town of Scilla in the Calabria region on the east coast, 1778. Creator: Louis Ducros
Rock and town of Scilla in the Calabria region on the east coast, 1778. Drawing from the album Voyage to Italy, Sicily and Malta



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In the 1300s, Marco Polo bid farewell to his beloved Venice, a walled town that had nurtured him. As he embarked on his epic journey to the East, he left behind the familiar sight of medieval castles towering over narrow streets. The Tower of London stood as a formidable fortress in the late Middle Ages, guarding England's capital with its imposing walls and watchtowers. Meanwhile, far away in Jerusalem, pilgrims flocked to witness the grandeur of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher within another ancient walled town. Centuries later, during the Siege of Magdeburg in Germany's Thirty Years War (1631), this once-thriving walled town became a battleground where destruction reigned supreme. The scars left behind serve as a haunting reminder of past conflicts. On Croatia's Southern Dalmatian coast lies Dubrovnik, an enchanting old town enclosed by sturdy walls overlooking a picturesque harbor. Its timeless beauty has captivated visitors for generations. Across continents and time periods we find ourselves gazing at Walkers Pillar in Londonderry, Northern Ireland (1860). This artwork by R Wallis transports us back to an era when fortified towns were commonplace throughout Europe. Traveling further south along Spain's Costa Brava brings us to Tossa de Mar. Here stands Vila Vella - an awe-inspiring medieval old town surrounded by protective walls that offer breathtaking views at dusk. Not only Europe boasts such treasures; Westgate in Canterbury (1898) showcases yet another example of architectural splendor from unknown creators who crafted this magnificent gatehouse within their walled city. From Marco Polo leaving Venice centuries ago to modern-day wanderers exploring these historic sites today – there is something undeniably captivating about walled towns. They stand as testaments to human ingenuity and resilience while reminding us of our shared history across cultures and continents.