Altoniškės mound

In this cape of the confluence of the Nemunas and Ova brook offering a view of bends of the Father of Rivers and towers of Vilkija church, a wooden castle used to be in the 1st millennium – the early 2nd millennium. The yard area was surrounded by a defence wall. On the side of the valley, 2m below the yard area, the tower was protected by a terrace, assumingly surrounded by a defensive mound and a ditch. The yard area and the mound suffered damage as trenches during the World War I and the village cemetery were set up here.

During excavation of the mound, otherwise called the Mount of Altona, charcoal, ash, other traces of ancient residents were found. An ancient settlement used to be at its foot.

Legends tell that an eternal fire was kept alive here and offerings were made to Goddess Altonė, daughter of oracle Altas, guardian of young men who prayed at the altar asking the goddess to send the best bride. Even nowadays, Lithuanian weddings, baptisms are arranged, and autumnal and spring equinoxes, Midsummer days are celebrated here.

Edmundas Mališauskas photos

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