Built in 1520 and situated on the western side of Konstanz’s Old Town area, Schnetztor stands as one of the oldest surviving examples of medieval fortification in Europe.
The impressive structure was designed by master builders from Augsburg and Ulm, and it features two towers with an arched gateway between them. The towers are connected by walls which were originally topped with battlements, but these have since been removed due to their deteriorating condition. One tower still retains its original roof, while the other has been replaced with a modern version over time.
Schnetztor served both as a defensive fortress against invading armies and also as part of Konstanz’s customs system for goods entering or leaving the city. It was equipped with several weapons, including cannons, which could be used to fire upon enemies if necessary. In addition, there were guard posts at each corner where soldiers would stand watch day and night, ensuring no unauthorized persons passed through into Konstanz’s inner city limits without permission.
In more recent years, Schnetztor has become something of a tourist attraction in Konstanz thanks to its unique history and architectural beauty. Visitors can explore inside the gatehouse itself where they will find displays featuring artefacts from its past such as old coins, tools used by guards during their duties, even some pieces from ancient siege engines.