Bražuolė hill

  • Draugystės str. 10, Bražuolė, Trakų r.

bražuolės piliakalnisBražuolė hill fort and settlement are 600 m to the south west of the village of Bražuolė, 1.8 km from Trakai, 1.1 km to the north of Lake Akmena and 800 m to the right of the Trakai-Vievis highway, on the right bank of the river Bražuolė in Bražuolė Hydrographic Reserve. To the north and east it is surrounded by the marshy valley of the Bražuolė and on the other sides by a ravine 12-16 m deep and 6-7 m wide in the ravine bottom and on the southern and south-eastern slopes there are remains of a stone floor. In the eastern approaches to the hill fort there is a marsh with a pond and dam at the north end.The hill fort was built on one of the natural hills that firmed at the end of the Ice age on the western slope of one of the two flows of the river Bražuolė. This off-shoot of the Bražuolė feeds the marsh on the east side of the hill fort. When the fort was built the ditch was extended artificially and the southern and south-western slopes are steep, 15-25 m high with a stone bed.The hill fort yard is an irregular rectangle, 210 m long north-south and approximately 110 m wide at the south end and 95 m wide at the north end. On the edges are the remains approximately 440 m long, 2.5 m high and 10-15 m wide of an embankment. About 50 m west of the north-eastern side of the yard are fragments of an embankment 0.4-0.8 m high, 4-6 m wide and nearly 40 m long near the main embankment which divides the yard into two parts. On the western side of the yard are remains of a marshified pond. The slopes of the hill fort are wooded.The hill fort was excavated in 1950, 1955 and 1972. A plot 100 m² was investigated. During excavations four cultural layers were found (end of second millennium B.C.- mid-14 century A.D.) 1.1-3 m thick. The first cultural layer was 0.1-0.2 m thick with pottery (second millennium- first millennium B.C.), flint chips and at the edge of the yard burned remains of wooden defense constructions. The second layer of the yard contained 2 ditches at the edge 0.8-0.5 m high, 4 m thick (at the base) with charred wooden construction remains and a ditch. In the layer they found pottery (1-4 century A.D.). During the formation period of the third layer (5-8 centuries A.D.) both bulwarks were raised up to 3 m and the breadth (at the base) already reached 6-8 m. On the middle embankment a wooden defensive wall was found covered with clay. Both embankments were repaired 10 times. In the fourth layer formation period a 0.8-1.5 m thick layer of gravel was poured onto both embankments and a double defensive wall 1.5 m thick was built and next to the embankment at a turn a tower was built. In the cultural layer archaeologists found traces of pottery typical of the first millennium-early second millennium A.D. In the Middle Ages a well fortified wooden castle stood on the site and was commanded by a local duke and afterwards the grand duke of Lithuania. From 1386 it belonged to Grand Duke-King Jogaila-Władysław II. It was in this castle that on July 6 1382 Grand Duke Jogaila and representatives of the Teutonic Order concluded the Treaty of Bražuolė. In 1953 a peasant farm house stood on the hill and the yard was ploughed.South-east of the hill fort the remains of an ancient settlement have been found. In 1978 the north and north-eastern slopes of the hill which had begun to suffer from erosion were reinforced.

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