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Rite' Marga Hill

Location
State:
Latvia
Region:
Zemgale
County:
Viesītes
Parish:
Rites
Other references to the location
500 m direction NNE from Stupeli castle mound and

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400 m direction WNW from "Panteli" home.
Coordinates
lat=56.1794444444, lon=25.4725
56° 10' 45" N, 25° 28' 21" E
Description

In fact it is a castle mound, but often it is also deemed a cult site. Already in 1882, when A.Bielenstein described it for the first time, he considered this an ancient cult site and published a legend about the Marga Hill as an ancient sacrificial site, where young girls were sacrificed to the gods. In Lithuanian - they were called 'mergas'. A. Bielenstein indicated that the minor occupation layer on the hill does not refer to density of population, but to a cult site attributed to the Stupeli castle mound. In 1926 the researcher of castle mounds - Ernests Brastins - calls it a real castle mound and carries out measurements and describes it in the Book of castle mounds. The castle mound is 21 m high, well-shaped hill with a 30 x 24 m large plateau. On top of the hill there are seen terraces, while around the hill - occupation layer of a settlement.

Narrative

Legend written down by A.Bielenstein: "People tell that during the pagan times sacrifices were brought to gods in this place and young girls had guarded the holy fire on the altar. One of the young girls had committed a sin and had lost virginity. According to the rules of that time she had been burnt.". In summer 2011 the landlady of the "Ziemeli" home - Janina Bicole - told another legend: "A young girl had had a castle on the Marga castle mound. Wooers had come, but the girl had had another in her mind. The wooers had went on fighting until they had burnt the castle down. The daughter - Merga - of the Old Stupelis had burnt, but her boyfriend and the child had stayed alive. The Old Stupelis had stayed at his castle mound. At the Marga Hill the brother of her father-in-law had found a big silver brooch, which is thought to have been given away to a museum. This had happened before the kolkhoz' period. It is said that on the long hill there is a spring, from which, measured "by a chain", there is a buried coffin full of treasures - as it is said, this had been published on journal "Atputa" or "Sieviete". Next to the hill witch-doctors had lived, one was called Bicole Marija, and the other lady also lived nearby. They had practiced witchcraft on each other.."

Attraction
Good.
Availability
Rather easy accessible. Still - approximately 1km by feet.
Infrastructure, management, facilities
On the slope of the hill there is a large stone with engraved title of the hill. Nearest town - Nereta. Nereta: small shops and sightseeing objects (mainly natural) - secular trees, secular stones, as well as architecture objects. Direction Akniste,
Local info
On the slope of the hill there is a large stone with engraved title of the hill.
Capacity
10 - 40
Publicity
Known
Legal Status
Private
Comments
On top of the hill there is a viewpoint - a plateau in the forest facing South. The hill was once described by the writer J.Veselis. The landlady of the nearby "Ziemeli" home - Janina Bicone - has studied local history and gathered various stories about Marga Hill, which she is ready to share. Not far from this site there is Lake Vinaukas.

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