Eiguliai Hill Fort

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Žaliakalnis, Kaunas
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In 379, the chronicles of Wigand of Marburg state that a marshal of the Teutonic Order, Gottfried of Linden, who was attacking Lithuania, descended from Neris to Eiguliai. This is the first mention of this place’s name. Today, Eiguliai is a residential district of Kaunas. The area’s history from the 14th century can be found in the form of a hill fort that hides here.

The hill fort is on the left bank of the Neris river near the current Eiguliai Cemetery. It can be reached from Jonavos Street. If you turn into the narrow Kamajų Street, find a small passage and climb the concrete steps.

The platform of the hill fort is 70 × 60 metres in size with round corners. It’s uncultivated and its trenches are damaged. At the eastern end, a 5-6 metre mound can be found. It’s believed that the castle of Eiguliai (Egollen) stood on this hill fort and was burnt by the German Crusaders on June 30, 1382. There are those who believe that the rebuilt Vytautas Eiguliai castle was where Vytautas 1390 defeated Skirgaila.

In 1956, as a house was due to be built on the hill fort, the mount was pushed to the side of the ditch through its middle. However, a pioneer of Lithuanian archaeology, Petras Tarasenka, stepped in and the construction works were stopped. While excavating the area, thrown pots decorated with horizontal parallels, wavy lines and various marks along with broken fragments, pieces of burnt clay plaster and arrowheads from an iron crossbow were found.

Close to the present day Eiguliai cemetery is a burial ground linked to the hill fort that was excavated during the interwar period. Here, 47 tombs of people that weren’t burned and four tombs of people who were burned were found, all of them dating from the 4th to the 7th century. Stones were found at the bottom of the tombs of those who were not burned. Iron axes, arrowhead, knives, brooches and rings were found in the men’s tombs, whilst women’s graves contained jewellery in the form of collars, brooches, pins and bracelets as well as lots of glass, enamel and amber necklaces.

In the north-eastern part of the cemetery, Stone Age and Bronze Age settlements were found and explored after the Second World War. Here, the marks of fireplaces, flint arrowheads, scrapers, scissors and pottery were found.

Eiguliai Hill Fort, near the famous Kaunas Clinics, is not the only interesting object in this district. Just a kilometre away you will find the VII Fort of the Kaunas Fortress, which has a museum, provides a variety of lessons for students and allows to see the sign commemorating the Holocaust victims.

Eiguliai Hill Fort

Žaliakalnis, Kaunas

In 379, the chronicles of Wigand of Marburg state that a marshal of the Teutonic Order, Gottfried of Linden, who was attacking Lithuania, descended from Neris to Eiguliai. This is the first mention of this place’s name. Today, Eiguliai is a residential district of Kaunas. The area’s history from the 14th century can be found in the form of a hill fort that hides here.

The hill fort is on the left bank of the Neris river near the current Eiguliai Cemetery. It can be reached from Jonavos Street. If you turn into the narrow Kamajų Street, find a small passage and climb the concrete steps.

The platform of the hill fort is 70 × 60 metres in size with round corners. It’s uncultivated and its trenches are damaged. At the eastern end, a 5-6 metre mound can be found. It’s believed that the castle of Eiguliai (Egollen) stood on this hill fort and was burnt by the German Crusaders on June 30, 1382. There are those who believe that the rebuilt Vytautas Eiguliai castle was where Vytautas 1390 defeated Skirgaila.

In 1956, as a house was due to be built on the hill fort, the mount was pushed to the side of the ditch through its middle. However, a pioneer of Lithuanian archaeology, Petras Tarasenka, stepped in and the construction works were stopped. While excavating the area, thrown pots decorated with horizontal parallels, wavy lines and various marks along with broken fragments, pieces of burnt clay plaster and arrowheads from an iron crossbow were found.

Close to the present day Eiguliai cemetery is a burial ground linked to the hill fort that was excavated during the interwar period. Here, 47 tombs of people that weren’t burned and four tombs of people who were burned were found, all of them dating from the 4th to the 7th century. Stones were found at the bottom of the tombs of those who were not burned. Iron axes, arrowhead, knives, brooches and rings were found in the men’s tombs, whilst women’s graves contained jewellery in the form of collars, brooches, pins and bracelets as well as lots of glass, enamel and amber necklaces.

In the north-eastern part of the cemetery, Stone Age and Bronze Age settlements were found and explored after the Second World War. Here, the marks of fireplaces, flint arrowheads, scrapers, scissors and pottery were found.

Eiguliai Hill Fort, near the famous Kaunas Clinics, is not the only interesting object in this district. Just a kilometre away you will find the VII Fort of the Kaunas Fortress, which has a museum, provides a variety of lessons for students and allows to see the sign commemorating the Holocaust victims.

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