Although Wittenberg was granted a town charter in 1293, its town wall only entered recorded history in 1332. For centuries, the town was fortified and could only be entered through one of Wittenberg’s three gates. Moats, external buildings in the form of hornworks, and embankments in front of the moats (the glacis) formed a protective barrier which was repeatedly reinforced and expanded over the centuries.
When the German Emperor ordered the defortification of Wittenberg in 1873, Friedrich Karl Timotheus Eunike (1831–1892) and his successor, Paul Leonhardt (1852–1927), oversaw the transformation of these areas into urban parkland based on English landscape gardens. In 1878, the two town councillors began arranging over 200 species of trees as well as park buildings, footpaths and streams to create inviting scenery for walks and laid the foundations for a green belt surrounding the historical old town. Nowadays, the green belt is a unique garden monument which tells us much about the town’s development and continues to be used for recreational purposes.