A Guide to Zamość

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Bastion is a structure projecting outward from the main enclosure of a fortification...

Bastion is a structure projecting outward from the main enclosure of a fortification, situated in both corners of a straight wall and facilitating active defence against assaulting troops. 


Caponier is a type of fortification structure. The fire coming from the structure sweeps along the bottom of the attendant ditch and so prevents the enemy from establishing itself there.


Cornice is a horizontal moulded projection that completes a building, a wall or the upper slanting part of an entablature located above the frieze. Since it protrudes from the surface of the wall it protects the elevation of a building from rainwater in addition to performing a decorative function.


Counterguard is an element of fortifications in the form of a two-armed earth embankment, erected in front of the bastion in the moat. Its function was to protect the faces of a bastion; it was also used as an infantry fire position.


Curtain wall is a section of a straight defensive wall stretching between two bastions of a fortress.


Entablature is the superstructure of mouldings and bands, which lie horizontally above columns, resting on their capitals. Entablatures are commonly divided into the architrave, the frieze and the cornice.


Entail is landed estate with its own statute and laws. During its heyday Zamość Entail comprised almost 4000 sq. km of land. It lasted till 1944.


Entrenchment is a high embankment or a building erected inside a fortification facility, e.g. a bastion, to allow the defenders to observe the whole area and shoot at the assaulting troops.


Facade is the main and the most impressive elevation of a building, usually with the main entrance.


Frieze is the wide central section part of an entablature, which lies between  the architrave and the cornice. In interiors, the frieze of a room is the section of wall above the picture rail and under the crown mouldings or cornice. By extension, a frieze is a long stretch of painted, sculpted or even calligraphic decoration in such a position, normally above eye-level.


Frontage is a stretch of front elevations of buildings situated in a row on one side of a street or a square.

Gargoyle is a carved stone grotesque with a spout designed to convey rainwater from a roof and away from the side of a masonry walls of a building.


Mitre is a traditional and ceremonial headdress.  Tsarist mitre – Great Russian Tsar Crown -  the highest and most important royal insignia of the House of Romanov.


Moat is a deep, broad ditch, either dry or filled with water, that surrounds a castle, building or town, historically to provide it with a preliminary line of defence.


Orillions are projections which form the faces of a bastion in fortifications.


Parapet  is a wall-like upper barrier at the edge of a roof, terrace, balcony or other structure; it was supposed to protect the roof.

Pilaster is a slightly projecting column built into or applied to the face of a wall,  usually consisting of a capital, a shaft, a base and a plinth. They have a structural and decorative function. 


Portal s a general term describing an opening in the walls of a building, gate or fortification and especially a grand entrance to an important structure.


Postern is an underground passage allowing the occupants of a fortress to come and go inconspicuously. In the event of a siege, a postern could act as a sally port, allowing defenders to make a sortie on the besiegers.


Ravelin is a triangular fortification or detached outwork in front of the innerworks of a fortress (curtain walls and bastions). The edges of a ravelin are placed so that the guns there can sweep fire upon the troops that have to run along the fortification curtain. The wall facing the fortress is low and the angles of the others such that the ravelin provides no shelter to attacking forces if taken or abandoned by defenders.

Rosette is a round architectural ornament in the shape of a rose.


Rustication is an architectural feature that contrasts in texture with the smoothly finished, squared block masonry surfaces.