Ringovė Hill Fort

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Ringovė village, Vilkija vicinity, Kaunas district
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Whilst travelling from Kaunas to Jurbarkas, about 5km from Vilkija, it’s possible to visit the Ringovė Hill Fort, which is sometimes called Pilikė or the Humorous Hill. This is an archaeological monument from the early period of feudalism.

The Ringovė Hill Fort, that dates back to the beginning of the 2nd millennium, was established at the cape of the right bank of the Nemunas formed by the ravines of the Ringovė and Krestinava rivers. The steep slopes of the hill fort, overgrown with spruce trees and shrubs, are between 20 and ¬30 metres high. The platform of the hill fort is quadrangular, oblong, 135 metres long and 32 metres wide. Across the platform is a pitting 20 metres wide and up to 1 metre deep.

There are several legends about the Ringovė Hill Fort. For example, it’s said that long time ago a priest fell into the Šventupis creek close to the hill fort along with his carriage. It’s true however that the creek was given this name only after this incident, and its water is said to be consumed as medicine. It’s also reported that around 1364 an attempt was made to build a big wooden castle, Ringė, which was one of the links in the Nemunas defensive line.

On the upper hill of the Ringovė Hill Fort you’ll see a white monument Tėviškės angelas (The Angel of the Motherland), made from tin plate with the Columns of Gediminas on its chest. The sculpture was created on the initiative of the former Vilkija priest, Virgilijus Dudonis. However, the members of the community of the old Lithuanian religion, Romuva, built the fire altar.

The hill fort is part of the Ringovė entomological reserve, the largest reserve in Kaunas district and established to preserve the populations of southern butterflies typical to this location. From the top of Ringovė Hill Fort the picturesque views of the Nemunas open up and the towers of Vilkija’s St. George’ Church can also be seen very clearly.

Every year, Balts’ Unity Day is celebrated on the Ringovė Hill Fort and on most of the other hill forts in Kaunas district (there are 23 hillforts in this particular district). Furthermore, people celebrate Saint John’s Eve on these hill forts, when local pupils are taught by history teachers and poetry readings also take place.

In the nearby Ringovė village, the priest Antanas Mackevičius (1828-1863) was arrested during the uprising of 1863. To remember him, a wayside shrine was built in 1998 to a design by Ipolitas Užkurnis. A monument was built near the house on the outskirts of the forest where Mackevičius was arrested.

Ringovė Hill Fort

Ringovė village, Vilkija vicinity, Kaunas district

Whilst travelling from Kaunas to Jurbarkas, about 5km from Vilkija, it’s possible to visit the Ringovė Hill Fort, which is sometimes called Pilikė or the Humorous Hill. This is an archaeological monument from the early period of feudalism.

The Ringovė Hill Fort, that dates back to the beginning of the 2nd millennium, was established at the cape of the right bank of the Nemunas formed by the ravines of the Ringovė and Krestinava rivers. The steep slopes of the hill fort, overgrown with spruce trees and shrubs, are between 20 and ¬30 metres high. The platform of the hill fort is quadrangular, oblong, 135 metres long and 32 metres wide. Across the platform is a pitting 20 metres wide and up to 1 metre deep.

There are several legends about the Ringovė Hill Fort. For example, it’s said that long time ago a priest fell into the Šventupis creek close to the hill fort along with his carriage. It’s true however that the creek was given this name only after this incident, and its water is said to be consumed as medicine. It’s also reported that around 1364 an attempt was made to build a big wooden castle, Ringė, which was one of the links in the Nemunas defensive line.

On the upper hill of the Ringovė Hill Fort you’ll see a white monument Tėviškės angelas (The Angel of the Motherland), made from tin plate with the Columns of Gediminas on its chest. The sculpture was created on the initiative of the former Vilkija priest, Virgilijus Dudonis. However, the members of the community of the old Lithuanian religion, Romuva, built the fire altar.

The hill fort is part of the Ringovė entomological reserve, the largest reserve in Kaunas district and established to preserve the populations of southern butterflies typical to this location. From the top of Ringovė Hill Fort the picturesque views of the Nemunas open up and the towers of Vilkija’s St. George’ Church can also be seen very clearly.

Every year, Balts’ Unity Day is celebrated on the Ringovė Hill Fort and on most of the other hill forts in Kaunas district (there are 23 hillforts in this particular district). Furthermore, people celebrate Saint John’s Eve on these hill forts, when local pupils are taught by history teachers and poetry readings also take place.

In the nearby Ringovė village, the priest Antanas Mackevičius (1828-1863) was arrested during the uprising of 1863. To remember him, a wayside shrine was built in 1998 to a design by Ipolitas Užkurnis. A monument was built near the house on the outskirts of the forest where Mackevičius was arrested.

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