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Mīlakši Cult Site – the juniper and stone site (Mīlakšu kulta vieta — paegļa un akmens vieta)

Location
State:
Latvia
Region:
Vidzeme
County:
Rauna
Parish:
Drusti
Other references to the location
In the intersection within the Milakši homestead group, on the top of the hill.
Coordinates
lat=57.25591159083303, lon=25.942843599264478
57° 15' 21" N, 25° 56' 34" E
Description

The Mīlakši Cross Stone is a stele-shaped stone — reddish granite with 9 carved crosses. It lies in the yard of the Vecmīlakši homestead. The height of the over-ground part of the stone is 1.4 m, width 0.57 m, thickness up to 0.35 m. The stone has been moved and is not located in its original place. (materials of the Monument Documentation Centre of the State Inspection for Heritage Protection) (Rauna municipality, 2012, ER). 9 crosses have been carved in the stone block. In Mīlakši surroundings there are several places which are connected with ancient traditions. In 1838 the owner of the Drusti homestead H. Hagemeisters wrote that in ancient times in Mīlakšas homestead there had been a stone where sacrifices were brought. At the end of the 19th century writer J. Upītis recorded that in his youth he himself had seen a big blue stone at the Kalna Mīlakšas homestead with a juniper on the E side. Sacrifices had been laid on the stone. At the Mīlakšas homestead there are ancient burial mounds, however, as it is stated in year 1739 documents, in the neighbouring Vīļumi homestead 13 stone idol images were liquidated. (Urtāns, 1990)

Narrative

There is a legend that “in ancient times the best bite was sacrificed to the gods and it was always done before the people tried the food themselves. Each landlord laid sacrifices in his own particular place. In the vicinity of the Gatartieši Kalna Mīlakši I myself saw in my youth a big, blue stone, in the morning (eastern) side of it there was a big juniper growing. The stone was a remarkable sacrifice place where meals to gods were often brought in containers. However, once a man for an unknown reason – either because of hunger or too much confidence ate the sacrifice. Since that time gods have not been treated at the stone and the juniper, instead a sacrifice place was chosen inside the house, in the fireplace.” (J. Upītis)

Attraction
A stone at the lilac bushes behind a burnt-down building (the remains of the building were being removed at the moment of inspection).
Availability
In the centre of Mīlakši, the stone is visible from the side of the road.
Infrastructure, management, facilities
No
Local info
No
Capacity
0 - 9
Publicity
Known
Legal Status
Private
Comments
The stone had been moved here from the direction of the Medņi homestead during the Soviet times.

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