02Grobiņa Castle Hill (Skābarža Hill) and Ancient Town
It is believed that once there was located the ancient Cours castle Seeburg (Jūrpils). The mysterious Seeburg was mentioned by the Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen Rimbert in the description The Life of Holy Anskar (Vita Sancti Anscari) in 854 AD. In the description, he tells about the conquest of Kursa and Apole (present territory of Lithuania) by Swedish king Olof I. Both Grobiņa and Apole were inhabited by a Baltic tribe - the Kurshi or the Cours.
The castle hill is covered by trees, 23 hornbeam trees are growing there. The hill rises 5 meters above the water level of the nearby resevoir.
The artefacts of the 9th - 11th centuries have been found there, but the castle hill was inhabited in later centuries too. About 5-6 hectars large ancient town site has been found near the hill. It is said that the thickness of the cultural occupation deposits on the hillfort plateau is greater than previously anticipated. According to the archaeological record, the cultural occupation extended from the 5th to the 13th century AD.
Grobiņa castle hill and ancient town is one of the sites in the transnational serial nomination "Viking age sites in northern Europe" to UNESCO`S world heritage list.
Well-maintained walking trails and viewing platforms have been created around Grobiņa castle hill and Grobiņa Medieval castle; visitors can go for a walk, exploring the historical evidence and enjoying the romantic scenery of the Mill Pond.
Grobiņa archaelogical ensemble consists of several archaelogical monuments of the same period: Grobiņa hillfort (Skābarža hill) and the ancient town, Grobiņa Medieval castle with bastions, Priediens ancient burial site, Porāni (Pūrāni) burial mound site, Smukumi flat-grave burial site, and Atkalni flat-grave burial site, which are located compactly in Grobiņa and its surroundings. These monuments mostly date back to the 7th - 9th centuries and they are related to the impressive Scandinavian settlement, which under the name Seeburg was mentioned in the 9th century written sources.
Grobiņa archaelogical ensemble is an authentic and very well preserved set of archaeological sites and structures, mainly from the Viking age. The amount and diversity of materials, gained in archaeological excavations, show that at that time Grobiņa was one of the most important spots of the Viking world in the eastern part of the Baltic Sea. Therefore the sites of Grobiņa archaelogical ensemble are included in the transnational serial nomination "Viking age sites in northern Europe" to UNESCO`S world heritage list.