Photo: Axel Polsfuss, By Axel Polsfuss (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Stolberg in the Harz region is located in a deep valley, which provides protection for the town. Therefore, the town has no other defences. Between 1260 and 1280, this gate was built on the west side purely as an entrance into the valley.
As the stables for the palace transportation donkeys were located close by, the gate was originally called ‘Eselsgässer Tor’ (Donkey Alley Gate). Later the road was renamed Rittergasse (Knights’ Alley) and the gate was also renamed.
Originally, the gatehouse was much larger and featured another stone tower. However, during a severe storm in 1635, parts of it collapsed and the building had to be renovated. Just five years later, a similar thing happened and the decision was made to renovate the Rittertor from scratch. Palisades and a ditch were created for safety.