Identification of the most recent fortified structures
and recognition of surviving historical evidence
The aim of the Radkersburg fortress was to defend the
town as well as the Styrian border and to protect the capital,
Graz, between the Middle Ages and the 18th century. After abandonment
of the fortress in 1773, the grounds were given over to the town
and then sold to the inhabitants, which meant that parts of the
wall came into private possession after 1773.
In the mid 19th century, fortresses all over Europe started to
be demolished because narrow walls and town gates did not allow
towns to expand. In Radkersburg, room for expansion was feasible
and only the rear town gates had to be pulled down to let wagon
traffic through. In 1838 the Ungartor on the north side and in
1878 the Grazertor on the south side of the town were removed.
Restoration of the damaged parts of the bastions and conservation
of their precious cultural heritage was already a priority for
the people living in Radkersburg in the 1920s. They decided that
the whole ring of walls of the fortress had to be restored, but
it was not clear who was to bear the cost for this work, since
36 parts of the bastion were in private hands.
The restoration works on the Clergymen’s Bastion in the
Obal gardens area were only commissioned around 1950, by the Roman
Catholic parish in Radkersburg. The small house on the Obal tower
had already been demolished following a fire.
Part of the medieval town wall in the Bourgeoisie Bastion area
was uncovered again in 1972. Sections of the edges of the medieval
town wall had to be removed to make room for a south-Tyrolean
centre in 1938, in the vicinity of the medieval defence tower
of the Kapuziner Bastion. The foundations of the walls of the
Kapuziner Bastion and the Bourgeoisie Bastion have been preserved
up to the present day. The area of the Ungar Bastion is currently
Nowadays the townscape of Bad Radkersburg has its origin in well
thought-out building policies, which have been implemented since
the immediate post-war years.
The policy of restoring the old part of the town, and protecting
and preserving historic buildings and monuments flourished again
in Radkersburg, in the period following the destruction caused
during the Second World War. Protection of the medieval town centre
was seen as an important objective. The bastions, ramparts and
moat were considered special elements for the town’s image.
In August 1968, a prohibition order on building was issued in
order to preserve the town moat, to “maintain the overall
image” and to safeguard the old fortress belt as a green
area. In 1991, the principle of keeping the town moat as a green
area had to be given up because of bad parking problems in the
In 1977, a part of the Clergymen’s Bastion in the area near
the primary school was restored by the city council. Five years
later, parts of the medieval fortress and the Renaissance wall
at the Bourgeoisie Bastion were exposed, restored and partly reconstructed
during construction of the new secondary school, and the gothic
wall was made visible to its entire height from the Gym through
openings in the wall.
In the following years, the Clergymen’s Bastion in the parish
garden area was renovated. Restoration of the wall in the Ungar
Bastion area is now in progress.
In 1978, as a reward for all the efforts made regarding the townscape
and conservation of buildings and monuments, the town of Bad Radkersburg
- to date the only town in Austria to obtain this - was awarded
the European Gold Medal for conservation of buildings and monuments.