Veršvai Hill Fort

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Vilijampolė, Kaunas
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The Veršvai Hill Fort, or Lampėdžiai Hill Fort, located In Vilijampolė on the cape of the hill chain of the right bank of the Nemunas, dates back the 14th century. According to archaeologists, a wooden castle stood here at the time and was destroyed during the battles against the German Crusaders. Thus, this hill fort is an important site in regards to the creation of the Lithuanian state.

The platform is almost quadrangular, oblong and 12 × 9 metres in size. A 3.5 metre-high, 20 metre-wide mound was established on the eastern side of the platform. On the southwestern slope, two metres below the platform, is a 3 metre-wide terrace. The slopes of the hill fort are steep and their height is about 37 metres. The hill fort is overgrown with broad-leaved trees and bushes.

During excavations that took place in 1986, a 1 metre-thick cultural layer dating from the 1st millennium BC to the 14th century was found along with places for pillars, pottery and remnants of a smithery from the 18th and 19th centuries.

At Veršvai Hill Fort, on the north side, was a settlement dating from the 1st millennium BC to the 13th century. It was excavated in between 1985 and 1997. Before building the city’s western bypass, the remains of buildings, flint scrapers, iron knives, sharpening whetstones and parts of a millstone were found.

About 1km southeast of Veršvai Hill Fort is a burial ground dating from the 2nd to the 14th century. It was excavated between 1938 and 1941 and again in 1954. About 700 unburned and cremation graves of people and several graves of horses were investigated here. Various grave goods were found at the site.

The hill fort has been photographed by the photographer Balys Buračas. He says in his diaries that he visited the site in 1931 and heard from a local inhabitant that the middle of the hill is empty and there should be a basement underneath. Also, Buračas succeeded in capturing the origin of the name of Lampėdžių Valley that can clearly be seen from the hill fort. It’s said that a long time ago, laumės (good witches) would gather in the valley, swim and have a good time. In doing so they left their footprints in the sand, and so the place was called the Laumpėdos (Foot of the Good Witch), later the name assimilated.

The people of Veršvai make many contributions to the management and popularisation of the hill fort. Community celebrations, national and traditional Baltic festivals, where people from Kaunas and the guests of the city are always invited, are organised at the location.

Veršvai Hill Fort

Vilijampolė, Kaunas

The Veršvai Hill Fort, or Lampėdžiai Hill Fort, located In Vilijampolė on the cape of the hill chain of the right bank of the Nemunas, dates back the 14th century. According to archaeologists, a wooden castle stood here at the time and was destroyed during the battles against the German Crusaders. Thus, this hill fort is an important site in regards to the creation of the Lithuanian state.

The platform is almost quadrangular, oblong and 12 × 9 metres in size. A 3.5 metre-high, 20 metre-wide mound was established on the eastern side of the platform. On the southwestern slope, two metres below the platform, is a 3 metre-wide terrace. The slopes of the hill fort are steep and their height is about 37 metres. The hill fort is overgrown with broad-leaved trees and bushes.

During excavations that took place in 1986, a 1 metre-thick cultural layer dating from the 1st millennium BC to the 14th century was found along with places for pillars, pottery and remnants of a smithery from the 18th and 19th centuries.

At Veršvai Hill Fort, on the north side, was a settlement dating from the 1st millennium BC to the 13th century. It was excavated in between 1985 and 1997. Before building the city’s western bypass, the remains of buildings, flint scrapers, iron knives, sharpening whetstones and parts of a millstone were found.

About 1km southeast of Veršvai Hill Fort is a burial ground dating from the 2nd to the 14th century. It was excavated between 1938 and 1941 and again in 1954. About 700 unburned and cremation graves of people and several graves of horses were investigated here. Various grave goods were found at the site.

The hill fort has been photographed by the photographer Balys Buračas. He says in his diaries that he visited the site in 1931 and heard from a local inhabitant that the middle of the hill is empty and there should be a basement underneath. Also, Buračas succeeded in capturing the origin of the name of Lampėdžių Valley that can clearly be seen from the hill fort. It’s said that a long time ago, laumės (good witches) would gather in the valley, swim and have a good time. In doing so they left their footprints in the sand, and so the place was called the Laumpėdos (Foot of the Good Witch), later the name assimilated.

The people of Veršvai make many contributions to the management and popularisation of the hill fort. Community celebrations, national and traditional Baltic festivals, where people from Kaunas and the guests of the city are always invited, are organised at the location.

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