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       The Castle of Voruta


The vision of Voruta. Painter V. Kavaliauskas


       The castle of Voruta was one of the most important castles during the reign of the first and the only crowned King of Lithuania Mindaugas (1238–1263). Here Mindaugas defended himself in 1251, in time of the internal war. Later Voruta disappeared and its location became a matter of dispute among historians. The hillfort of Šeimyniškėliai near Anykščiai (which was called Varutė Hill by the local people) is the most reliable site of the castle of Voruta.
       The archaeological investigations of the hillfort started in 1990 (chief – Gintautas Zabiela). In 1997 the mayor of the Anykščiai region Saulius Nefas suggested an idea of building a wooden castle on the Šeimyniškėliai (Voruta) hillfort. It was supported by a large number of representatives of intelligentsia not only in Anykščiai, but also in the whole of Lithuania. After long discussions with both the community and experts of cultural heritage protection, the construction of the castle on the entirely excavated hillfort was approved.
       On February 26, 1999, in the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania a declaration concerning the construction of the wooden castle was signed.
       In 2000, the Šeimyniškėliai hillfort became the most widely investigated hillfort of Lithuania because of the sheer size of the investigated area. In 2001 the first element of the castle – a bridge on the rivulet Varelis was constructed.
       You’ll find here more information on the history of the castle of Voruta, the project of the construction of the wooden castle and investigations of the Šeimyniškėliai hillfort.

       Tomas Baranauskas

The main castles of East Lithuania during the reign of Mindaugas (according to Gintautas Zabiela; map from the CD “Lithuania before Mindaugas” © Electronic Publishing House).

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