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Why is Āraiši settlement called a lake fortress (LV)?

It was established in the course of archaeological excavation (1965–1969; 1975–1979) that Āraiši lake fortress had been built on an island in the lake for defensive purposes and had been fortified in a similar manner to the Viking Age hillforts in Latvia. In addition to the fortifications, the water provided a further obstacle to attack. In Latvian folk legends, such ancient settlements are known as castles that have sunk into lakes. It is said that a beautiful wooden castle had sank in lake Āraiši and in a clear weather it was possible to see it. In the corner of the castle, an axe was cut in. This was not an ordinary axe because it never rusted. The castle was said to have sunk in the very place where there is a small islet in the lake now.

More: Apals.J. Āraišu ezerpils. Historiogrāfisks apskats.- In: Latvijas Vēstures institūta žurnāls.- 1999.- Nr.4.- p. 27-47.

Question in the Native Language: 
Kāpēc Āraišu seno dzīvesvietu sauc par ezerpili (LV)?

Kā noskaidrojās arheoloģiskajos izrakumos (1965. –1969; 1975. –1979.) Āraišu ezerpils celta aizsardzības nolūkā ezera salā un nocietināta līdzīgi Latvijas vikingu laikmeta pilskalniem, papildinot aizsargceltņu sniegto drošību ar dabisko ūdensšķērsli. Arī latviešu tautas teikas šo seno dzīvesvietu dēvē par ezerā nogrimušu pili. Stāsta, ka Āraišu ezerā esot nogrimusi skaista pils, un skaidrā laikā zem ūdens vēl visu varot redzēt. Pils paksī esot iecirsts cirvis, bet tas neesot parasts cirvis, jo nerūsot. Pils esot nogrimusi tur, kur tagad ezerā atrodas maza saliņa…

Plašāk: Apals.J. Āraišu ezerpils. Historiogrāfisks apskats// Latvijas Vēstures institūta žurnāls.- 1999.- Nr.4.- 27.-47.lpp.

Dr hist. Jānis Apals
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