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2012.07.03 11:28

The remains of the German castle

2012.07.03 11:28

Lithuanian archeologists have found the remains of the German castle, close to the Latvian border. They maintain that the remains date from the 13th century.

Lithuanian archeologists have found the remains of the German castle, close to the Latvian border. They maintain that the remains date from the 13th century.

Parts of arrows and swords from the 13th century were found during excavations in Zagare, a small town near the Lithuanian-Latvian border.  These findings stand for a testimony of a fierce fighting that had been going between the Baltic tribes and the Teutonic knights in the period of the Baltic Crusades.

However, the most important finding was the remains of the 13th century German castle. Archeologists have also found the traces of a rampart, a layer of burnt logs and clay plaster. According to the scientists, this castle belonged to Teutonic knights and the Archbishop of Riga.

Archeologists base their assumption on historical treaties between the Livonian Order and the Archbishop of Riga. They also emphasize the importance of other minor findings, such as brooches and coins, which were common to the inhabitants of the Livonian Order castles. Livonian Order was an autonomous Livonian branch of the Teutonic Order.

If the assumption is confirmed by more detailed analysis, the discovered castle will be included in the list of Livonian castles. These castles were built by Teutonic knights, mostly in Latvia, during the Baltic Crusades. Among best known are Sigulda and Turaida castles.

Baltic Crusades were undertaken by the Teutonic military orders and their allies against the pagan nations inhabiting southern and eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. The East Baltic world witnessed significant transformation through this military conquest. Many Baltic tribes were defeated, forcefully baptized or eradicated.

However, the Teutonic Knights were stopped by the Lithuanians who later founded the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Video material that was submitted to European Broadcasting Union:

Shotlist:

1. The excavation site

2. The castle remains

3. Soundbite (Lithuanian), archeologist, Ernestas Vasiliauskas: According to Zemgale division treaty of 1254, the Archbishop of Riga go Semigallian lands of Zagare and Silene. In the later document from 1271 August 23, the Archbishop of Riga and Livonian Order agreed that if Livonian Order builds a castle in Zemgale, the Archbishop will give away Zagare or Silene.

4. Findings

5. More shots of the excavation site

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