Leonardsturm, Photo by H. Hoelscher, around 1880

Alsfeld towered!Construction of the Leonhard tower

The building “begun in the year of our Lord 1386 on the day of St. Mark (April 25)” is the only gate tower of the medieval fortification still standing today.

We owe the exact determination of the year of construction to the Gothic inscription in the stone pointed arch above the entrance gate to the tower, located at a height of 6 meters. At that time, the entrance was from the city walls. The tower, a landmark of the town, has a height of 27 m, which corresponds exactly to the circumference of the round tower at the base. The diameter is 8.60 m, the wall thickness is 2.40 m, and the top platform is at a height of 21.25 m. The tower has a cone on top. On top of it is a cone, which is another 6.20 m high, the whole crowned by a wagon wheel with a stork’s nest on it, which also explains the popularly used name “Storksnäst”.

The tower was a combination of lookout and watchtower, which at the same time had a defensive function, as evidenced by the embrasures. It was also used as a prison, where prisoners were lowered through a hole in the lowest vault by means of a reel (rope or chain winch). The popular name “Lennert” derives from the linen weavers’ guild that was obliged to maintain the tower. MNic