Hospital Gate or Nabburg Gate?
King Ludwig the Bavarian donated a hospital to the town of Amberg. This happened in 1317 and this is also the date of the first documented mention of a Nabburg gate. The name Spitaltor is derived from this event. However, this gate is not the same as the present one, because it was located in a different place. At first, it was even the entrance to the city and was located further inside Amberg as part of the city’s fortifications at that time. These were rediscovered in parts only in 1994.
A new city fortification
In the fourteenth century begins the construction of a new city fortification. This happened, according to a plaque on the George Gate, in May of the year 1326. First, fortified towers and gates were erected, which were then followed by the city wall filling in the gaps. At the end of the monumental construction, the city fortification then comprises five gates and measures a total length of three kilometres. Among them is then also the new Nabburger gate at the place known today. However, it was not until the last third of the 16th century, under Elector Ludwig VI, that it acquired its fortified appearance with its two towers and octagonal superstructure.
Customs and gatekeepers
The gatekeepers at the Nabburg Gate guarded the entrance to the town. On the upper floors of the towers were detention rooms, probably comparable to today’s drunkenness cells. Inmates were usually only there at night; during the day they had to help with the construction and maintenance of the weirs.
In front of the gate there was a pavement toll house until the twentieth century. The so-called Pflasterzoll was levied by the rulers from the fourteenth century until the 1930s in Bavaria. This historic duty was imposed on external commercial traffic, but not on locals. In the middle of the 1950s the small customs house also disappeared when the roundabout was built.
Today one drives through the Nabburg Gate only in one direction. The one-way street only leads out of the city.
Round dance of the gates
Other gates of the city fortification of Amberg are: