The vara town of Dolna Luzhitsa turned into Slavenburg - the western fortress of the Slavs
The vara town of Dolna Luzhitsa turned into Slavenburg - the western fortress of the Slavs

The western fortress of the Slavs - Slawenburg is located in the old Slavic village of Raddusch, not on the banks of the Spree River, in the Serbian-Lusatian region of Germany - Dolna Luzhitsa - Niederlausitz - federal state Brandenburg. Now there is an interesting museum of ancient Slavic architecture - "Slawenburg-Raddusch". It was opened in 2001 in the immediate vicinity of the village of Radush, on the site of an ancient Slavic round castle found during the mining of brown coal in the late 80s of the 20th century.

Previously, it was the Slavic city-vara Dolna Luzhitsa (9th century AD). The fortress is one of about forty Slavic circular defensive structures that originally existed in Lower Lusatia. These fortresses were built by the Slavs - the ancestors of modern Lusatians - in the 9th-10th centuries. n. e. and served as shelters for the nearby population.

The high concentration of these fortresses in Lower Lusatia is associated with constant pressure from the Germans in this region. The fortress was built from wooden blocks, and a moat was dug around it, filled with water. The internal cavities of the wooden structure were filled with sand, earth and clay.

The museum is a reconstructed Slavic castle, which is a fortress 50 m in diameter with a vast interior space (1200 sq. M).

A round wall-wall 8 m high is composed of oak trunks interconnected with each other, laid in layers, the gaps between which are filled with sand and clay. Such round fortresses were typical buildings for the ancient Slavs who lived on the territory of present-day Germany.

The modern construction is made using technology very close to that of the medieval original. Inside there is a museum with an exposition "Archeology in Lower Luzhitsa", a conference room and a restaurant. The exposition presents the period over the last 12,000 years of the history of the region.

During the Great Migration of Nations, the ancient Slavs came to the lands of modern Saxony in the 6th century AD. Today it is not possible to reconstruct the events of the settlement process in these places. It is assumed that where the Slavs crossed the Elbe (Laba), they met with the Germanic tribes and established good-neighborly relations with them. The Slavs at that time represented several ethnic groups.

According to the evidence of modern history, from about the end of the 6th to the middle of the 13th century A.D. the east, north and north-west of modern Germany was inhabited by a large group of West Slavic tribes of Lusican, Lyutichi, Bodrich, Pomoryan and Ruyan, who are now called the Polabian Slavs. These tribes, according to orthodox historians, in the second half of the 6th century replaced the "Germanic" tribes of the Lombards, Rugs, Lugians, Hizobrads, Varins, Veletes and others who lived here in ancient times.

However, many researchers argue that there is "an amazing coincidence of the tribal names of the Polabian, Pomor and other Western Slavs with the most ancient ethnic names of the turn of the first centuries of our era, known in this territory," mentioned in Roman sources. In total, there are about fifteen such paired, coinciding ancient and medieval Slavic names of tribes that lived in this area. This means that the Slavs lived in Germany, at least from these very first centuries.

Most of the West Slavic tribes suffered an unenviable fate. At the beginning of the 10th century, the German Drang nach Osten (campaign to the East) began, during which the Western Slavs were partly displaced from their lands, partly converted to Christianity and assimilated, and most of them were simply exterminated during the Crusades against the Western Slavs.

Raddush has long lost its defensive significance, but at the beginning of the 20th century it was clearly recognized as a ring-shaped wooden structure.During the existence of the German Democratic Republic, the remains of the fortress were supposed to be demolished in connection with the planned mining of brown coal. In connection with the preparation for this in 1984 and 1989/1990. archaeological excavations were carried out here, and an idol of about 1100 years old was discovered.

East of the Elbe (Laba) and Saale (Zalava) lived the Slavs - cheered, Lyutichi, Serbs and Luzichans. Serbs and Vilchan settled in the Anhalt region. The Slavs lived in tribal communities. The Slavs of that period had a high level of developed crafts, military and commercial affairs. The areas of residence were divided into fields and cornfields 10-20 kilometers long along rivers, lakes and valleys. In the center, as a rule, a family fortress was erected, which was surrounded by several dozen residential and household yards with land plots of different sizes.

At present, hundreds of Slavic round fortresses are known in East Germany. About 40 Slavic fortresses are known in the areas where the Saale river flows, more than 100 fortresses are in the area between the Elbe (Laba), Saale (Zalava) and Oder (Vodra) rivers. The building materials of all these Slavic castles, as in the case of the Slawenburg-Raddusch settlement, are wooden logs and earth …

The original castle in Radusha had a diameter of 58 meters and was surrounded by a 5.5 meter wide moat. It had two gates in the seven-meter walls. In the courtyard of the castle there was a wooden log well 14 meters deep and various residential and outbuildings. On the rampart there is a wide battle area fenced from the outside by a wicker made of willow branches. A wide view of the Luzhitsky landscape opens up from here.

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