Aukštieji Šančiai Hill Fort

6°C
Šančiai, Kaunas
Listen
Routes

In Aukštieji Šančiai, not far from the centre of Kaunas, is a hill fort known as both Šančiai Hill fort and Aukštapilis. The Aukštieji Šančiai oakwood, that covers the hill fort and that’s located on the upper terrace of the right bank of the Nemunas, is a smaller remaining part of an oak forest that once surrounded the city. You can find the hill fort when driving from K. Baršausko Street before you reach the cemetery.

In 1924, the hill fort was described by Domas Šidlauskas, who formed the basis of the Aesti religion: No-one probably knows that there’s a hill fort in Aukštieji Šančiai. Even though the location is very beautiful and people constantly go past it in all directions, most people don’t even notice it since it’s covered with oak trees, spruce trees and hornbeams.

The steep slopes of the hill fort that dates back to the beginning of the 2nd millennium are overgrown with random broad-leaved trees reaching a height of 30 metres. A small, 4.5 metre-long and 8 metre wide platform is square and quadrangular in design. On the western side of the platform is a 1.5 metre high and 15 metre long mound.

Members of the ancient religious community Romuva, the so-called Romuvians, established a sanctuary next to the hill fort. In 2013, a fire altar was built on a platform next to it. Here, people celebrate Baltic holidays and perform different rituals. If you were to go deep into the oakwood, you’d find an oak tree marked by god of thunder, Perkūnas. The members of the Romuva community formed a paleoastronomic calendar around it, a circle made of stone that’s 14 metres in diameter and made of 12 different sections.

Like many other hill forts in Kaunas and Lithuania there are any legends concerning this one. One says the hill is haunted. Someone here has even seen white horses.
In 2003, in an oakwood near the hill fort, the remains of German prisoners from the Second World War were found. Later they were exhumed and reburied at the Aukštieji Šančiai Military Cemetery nearby. Whilst visiting the hill fort, you should visit the cemetery too. It was established in 1891 on a site that was outside that the city at the time and that was originally intended for soldiers from the Kaunas Company of the Russian Army. In total, seven funeral sections formed over time in the cemetery. Russian, German and Lithuanian soldiers are all buried here. The rows of graves at the second site of Lithuanian soldiers have been designed to represent the Columns of Gediminas.

Aukštieji Šančiai Hill Fort

Šančiai, Kaunas

In Aukštieji Šančiai, not far from the centre of Kaunas, is a hill fort known as both Šančiai Hill fort and Aukštapilis. The Aukštieji Šančiai oakwood, that covers the hill fort and that’s located on the upper terrace of the right bank of the Nemunas, is a smaller remaining part of an oak forest that once surrounded the city. You can find the hill fort when driving from K. Baršausko Street before you reach the cemetery.

In 1924, the hill fort was described by Domas Šidlauskas, who formed the basis of the Aesti religion: No-one probably knows that there’s a hill fort in Aukštieji Šančiai. Even though the location is very beautiful and people constantly go past it in all directions, most people don’t even notice it since it’s covered with oak trees, spruce trees and hornbeams.

The steep slopes of the hill fort that dates back to the beginning of the 2nd millennium are overgrown with random broad-leaved trees reaching a height of 30 metres. A small, 4.5 metre-long and 8 metre wide platform is square and quadrangular in design. On the western side of the platform is a 1.5 metre high and 15 metre long mound.

Members of the ancient religious community Romuva, the so-called Romuvians, established a sanctuary next to the hill fort. In 2013, a fire altar was built on a platform next to it. Here, people celebrate Baltic holidays and perform different rituals. If you were to go deep into the oakwood, you’d find an oak tree marked by god of thunder, Perkūnas. The members of the Romuva community formed a paleoastronomic calendar around it, a circle made of stone that’s 14 metres in diameter and made of 12 different sections.

Like many other hill forts in Kaunas and Lithuania there are any legends concerning this one. One says the hill is haunted. Someone here has even seen white horses.
In 2003, in an oakwood near the hill fort, the remains of German prisoners from the Second World War were found. Later they were exhumed and reburied at the Aukštieji Šančiai Military Cemetery nearby. Whilst visiting the hill fort, you should visit the cemetery too. It was established in 1891 on a site that was outside that the city at the time and that was originally intended for soldiers from the Kaunas Company of the Russian Army. In total, seven funeral sections formed over time in the cemetery. Russian, German and Lithuanian soldiers are all buried here. The rows of graves at the second site of Lithuanian soldiers have been designed to represent the Columns of Gediminas.

Leave a comment
E-mail address

Comment*

Send
Comment sent successfully!