Šiauliai Tourism Information Centre


Nature / landscape

Aizkraukle Hillfort is an old hillfort of the Daugava Livs with an ancient city on the right bank of the Daugava surrounded by two streams flowing into the Daugava, the largest of which is called Askere. The steep slopes of the Aizkraukle Hillfort ensured its good protection. The hillfort site is 0.5 ha in size with 0.1 ha of the forecourt, 3 ha of the ancient city and harbour. On its western side stood the main castle, 100 meters long and 45-65 meters wide, which was separated from the anti-castle on the eastern side by a moat. At the southeastern end of the forecastle, a defense rampart about two meters thick has survived, and the castle rampart was about four meters high. Aizkraukle and Lejasžagaru old cemeteries are in the vicinity of hillfort, where a total of about 100 graves dating back to the 10th12th centuries have been uncovered. In 1980, archaeologists excavating Livonians’ Hillfort uncovered fragments of an ancient brick castle wall. Aizkrauklė’s Livonian castle was first mentioned in the text of the chronicle of Henrik Latvis about the Livonians and Lithuanians who attacked Riga in 1204. It was the easternmost port of the Livonians on the Dauguva waterway, and the lands of the baptized Selonians and Latgalians - Koknese and Jersika - began further on. During the Livonian Crusades, in the summer of 1205, the Crusaders burned the castle of Aizkraukle, forced its inhabitants to accept the Catholic faith and give hostages. The Livonian Brothers of the Sword built the Aizkraukle brick castle during Master Wenno’s time, not far from the burned castle of Livonians. In the summer of 1211, following the agreement between Bishop Albert and the crusaders, the Order of Sword Brothers acquired the entire Aizkraukle district and a third of the Salaspils and Dole Island districts together with the people of the respective districts, their fields, fishing, courts and clans. Around 1229, the Battle of Aizkraukle between King of Semigallia Viestardas and the troops led by Markvarts, the governor of Aizkraukle Castle took place near it. On March 5, 1279, the Grand Duke of Lithuania Traidenis with the regiments of the Semigallians defeated the Teutonic forces near Aizkraukle. From 1252 to 1478, Aizkraukle was the center of the Aizkraukle Komture of the Livonian Order. It is not known exactly when the new Aizkraukle castle was built at the Karikste estuary in the Daugava, 1.7 km away, which is mentioned in a land survey document from 1420 as the “Aizkraukle house“ ( husz Ascheraden ) of the order opposite the old castle ( Olde borch ).  



Historic land


Nature / landscape