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Ģērķi God's (Sacrificial) Hill (Ģēŗku Dieva (Upuru) kalns)

Location
State:
Latvia
Region:
Riga
County:
Ogre
Parish:
Meņģele
Other references to the location
About 300 m W from Ģērķi homestead
Coordinates
lat=56.8391666667, lon=25.3638888889
56° 50' 21" N, 25° 21' 50" E
Description

Ģērķi God’s (Sacrifice) Hill can be found in the meadows of the Ogre River which have long since not been mown and 302 Found

Found

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have overgrown with grass, although once were used as fields. The God’s Hill is marked and well detached in the relief, rounded and loaf-like. It is oriented in the E – W direction, around 20 m long, around 3 m high. It is a well visible elevation covered with big deciduous trees – oaks and lindens. The hill has steep sides with a sharp transition from the slope into the foot plain. Possibly, the hill has been articifically modified because it significantly stands out in the surroundings. On the side of the hill there is a stump of a big oak-tree and its partly rotten trunk. In 1970s when the oak was still alive its circumference was around 5 m, however this oak is not the one to which sacrifices were once brought. The ancient shrine function of the hill is suggested by its names and the folklore recorded since the end of the 19th century about the oak at which gods were fed and about the gods’ revenge after undignified behaviour. According to other legends, the Swedish soldiers shovelled the God’s Hill with their caps and in the hill the Swedish tresures and arms were buried; people were buried here. In a straight line from the God’s Hill, on the other side of the Ogre River there is the ancient Ozolēni burial ground and Anderkaši Hillfort. Folklore makes the author assume that in the last period of using it the God’s Hill could have been a place where home spirits were fed. The ancient archeological sites in the vicinity have a much earlier dating and it cannot be excluded that the God’s Hill had been used as a shrine earlier as well.

Narrative

See attachment

Attraction
Unattractive
Availability
From the road the walk must proceed across fields
Infrastructure, management, facilities
None
Local info
None
Capacity
0 - 9
Publicity
Unknown
Legal Status
Private
Comments
There are no signs about the Ģērķi God’s Hill either in Meņģele, from where a trip should be started through Meņģele estate to the ancient site, or closer to the monument. Ģērķi can be reached along a little-used, but still passable forest and overgrown countryside road, however Ģērķi homestead can today be identified just by bigger trees.
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