Purmaliai Hill Fort

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Putinų str. Purmaliai, Klaipėda
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If you drive north along the old road between Klaipėda and Palanga and turn right as soon as you leave the city, you’ll find Purmaliai Hill Fort 250 metres away. Before the Purmalė stream and after you come down the ridge of the hill, head northeast direction and find the valley of Purmalė. From Labrenciškės it is possible to reach the hill fort on foot.

The hill fort, attributed to the ancient Curonian land of Pilsotas, is one of two hill forts in the territory of Klaipėda City , the second being Žardė Hill Fort. Purmaliai Hill Fort has been known to scientists since the 19th century, when the German archaeologist Emilis Hollackas (Emil Hollack) marked it on a map.

The name of the hill fort is related to the name of the stream, and its meaning can be translated from the Latvian word purmala meaning the edge of a swamp. The Latvian language has always been very closely related to the extinct Curonian language.

The 9-metre mound dates back to the period from the 1st millennium to the 13th century. The northern and eastern edges are steep and reach down to a stream. The platform of the hill fort is oval is oriented along a north-south axis and its 10 metres long and 30 metres wide. The platform also had a cemetery. Its western and southern edges have a mound (semi-circular, 35 metres long, 2 metres high and 18 metres wide) with a 2 metre-high outer slope. The northern part of the platform has been washed away by the Purmalė stream and the mound has been damaged by pits. The mound is overgrown with broad-leaved trees, and so is best seen during the winter months.

In 1963, the Lithuanian Institute of History conducted the exploratory archaeological dig at the hill fort. To the southeast and covering an area of 0.3 hectares is the hill foot settlement, excavated in 1980 and again in 1986. Its cultural layer is up to 40cm thick and contains pottery, burnt stones and a place for a post.

It’s said that over 1,000 years ago a stone-built celestial observation system, that exists to this day, was constructed here. This ancient observatory is considered to be the predecessor of the celestial observation system in Palanga, which is located on the Birutė Hill. You need to look hard for it on the eastern outskirts of the settlement in the hollow that’s overgrown with trees. There are six special stones in it. In this place, the Curonians not only watched the heavens and measured equinoxes and solstices, they also made sacrifices to the gods at an alkvietė, a place of sacrifice in ancient Lithuania.

Another reason to visit the hill fort is for the confluence of the Purmalė and Dangė rivers, which is just a few hundred metres away and that’s especially popular among local fishermen.

Purmaliai Hill Fort

Putinų str. Purmaliai, Klaipėda

If you drive north along the old road between Klaipėda and Palanga and turn right as soon as you leave the city, you’ll find Purmaliai Hill Fort 250 metres away. Before the Purmalė stream and after you come down the ridge of the hill, head northeast direction and find the valley of Purmalė. From Labrenciškės it is possible to reach the hill fort on foot.

The hill fort, attributed to the ancient Curonian land of Pilsotas, is one of two hill forts in the territory of Klaipėda City , the second being Žardė Hill Fort. Purmaliai Hill Fort has been known to scientists since the 19th century, when the German archaeologist Emilis Hollackas (Emil Hollack) marked it on a map.

The name of the hill fort is related to the name of the stream, and its meaning can be translated from the Latvian word purmala meaning the edge of a swamp. The Latvian language has always been very closely related to the extinct Curonian language.

The 9-metre mound dates back to the period from the 1st millennium to the 13th century. The northern and eastern edges are steep and reach down to a stream. The platform of the hill fort is oval is oriented along a north-south axis and its 10 metres long and 30 metres wide. The platform also had a cemetery. Its western and southern edges have a mound (semi-circular, 35 metres long, 2 metres high and 18 metres wide) with a 2 metre-high outer slope. The northern part of the platform has been washed away by the Purmalė stream and the mound has been damaged by pits. The mound is overgrown with broad-leaved trees, and so is best seen during the winter months.

In 1963, the Lithuanian Institute of History conducted the exploratory archaeological dig at the hill fort. To the southeast and covering an area of 0.3 hectares is the hill foot settlement, excavated in 1980 and again in 1986. Its cultural layer is up to 40cm thick and contains pottery, burnt stones and a place for a post.

It’s said that over 1,000 years ago a stone-built celestial observation system, that exists to this day, was constructed here. This ancient observatory is considered to be the predecessor of the celestial observation system in Palanga, which is located on the Birutė Hill. You need to look hard for it on the eastern outskirts of the settlement in the hollow that’s overgrown with trees. There are six special stones in it. In this place, the Curonians not only watched the heavens and measured equinoxes and solstices, they also made sacrifices to the gods at an alkvietė, a place of sacrifice in ancient Lithuania.

Another reason to visit the hill fort is for the confluence of the Purmalė and Dangė rivers, which is just a few hundred metres away and that’s especially popular among local fishermen.

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