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 being restored.
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 inner town.
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.