Jiesia Hill Fort

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Aleksotas, Kaunas
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The Jiesia or Pajiesys Hill Fort, also known as Napoleon’s Hill, is located on the left bank of the Nemunas at the confluence of the Jiesia and Nemunas close to Piliakalnio Street, between Panemunė and the railway bridges. The steep hill fort, overgrown with broad-leaved trees is a natural hill standing 63.6 metres high. During the autumn, winter and spring, when the trees don’t have so many leaves, a panorama of Kaunas opens up.

Along with many others, the archaeologist Petras Tarasenka explored this hill fort. According to him, the position of the hill fort suggests that there could have been a dwelling with a small castle, and at the south-eastern foot on the hill there might have been a fishermen and farmers’ settlement.

The settlement was further explored in 1997 and there remains no precise knowledge as to when it was established. The cultural layer of the settlement dates back to the period between the 14th and 17th century. Also on the one-hectare territory, rough and thrown pottery as well as a brass ring have been found. Archaeologists attribute these findings to the sometime between the 11th and 13th century.

It’s believed that in June 1812, Emperor Napoleon watched the French Army crossing the Nemunas for three days and three nights from this hill, which is how it got its other name. In the memories of his contemporaries it’s stated that on the eve of the crossing, the commander arrived here and put on the frock-coat and hat of a colonel. After exploring the area, Napoleon ordered that cannons, the fire of which were used to cover the troops crossing the river, be brought to the hill fort. However, this wasn’t needed as the army didn’t face any resistance.

In 1913, Tsar Nicholas II visited Kaunas and the mound. The intention was to build a monument dedicated to the campaign, but the idea was never implemented.

In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the campaign that inspired many Lithuanian people to escape Russian oppression, more than 1,000 military reconstructions repeated the crossing of Nemunas by the French Army. Enthusiasts from Lithuania, France, Russia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Latvia all participated.

Recently, ancient Baltic celebrations have been being celebrated on the hill, where Tautiška giesmė (the Lithuanian national anthem) is sung on July 6.

Jiesia Hill Fort

Aleksotas, Kaunas

The Jiesia or Pajiesys Hill Fort, also known as Napoleon’s Hill, is located on the left bank of the Nemunas at the confluence of the Jiesia and Nemunas close to Piliakalnio Street, between Panemunė and the railway bridges. The steep hill fort, overgrown with broad-leaved trees is a natural hill standing 63.6 metres high. During the autumn, winter and spring, when the trees don’t have so many leaves, a panorama of Kaunas opens up.

Along with many others, the archaeologist Petras Tarasenka explored this hill fort. According to him, the position of the hill fort suggests that there could have been a dwelling with a small castle, and at the south-eastern foot on the hill there might have been a fishermen and farmers’ settlement.

The settlement was further explored in 1997 and there remains no precise knowledge as to when it was established. The cultural layer of the settlement dates back to the period between the 14th and 17th century. Also on the one-hectare territory, rough and thrown pottery as well as a brass ring have been found. Archaeologists attribute these findings to the sometime between the 11th and 13th century.

It’s believed that in June 1812, Emperor Napoleon watched the French Army crossing the Nemunas for three days and three nights from this hill, which is how it got its other name. In the memories of his contemporaries it’s stated that on the eve of the crossing, the commander arrived here and put on the frock-coat and hat of a colonel. After exploring the area, Napoleon ordered that cannons, the fire of which were used to cover the troops crossing the river, be brought to the hill fort. However, this wasn’t needed as the army didn’t face any resistance.

In 1913, Tsar Nicholas II visited Kaunas and the mound. The intention was to build a monument dedicated to the campaign, but the idea was never implemented.

In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the campaign that inspired many Lithuanian people to escape Russian oppression, more than 1,000 military reconstructions repeated the crossing of Nemunas by the French Army. Enthusiasts from Lithuania, France, Russia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Latvia all participated.

Recently, ancient Baltic celebrations have been being celebrated on the hill, where Tautiška giesmė (the Lithuanian national anthem) is sung on July 6.

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