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State Cultural Reserve of Kernave (LT)
The area around Kernavė, in the district of Širvintos, has been of major inportance for the nascence of the state of Lithuania. It was here that the medieval capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was situated. After the 14th century, most archaeological remains were covered with peat, leading to a great treasure trove for archaeologists due to the wonderful conservation circumstances.
It is from 2006 onwards on the UNESCO World Heritage List. According to UNESCO, “The archaeological site of Kernave presents an exceptional testimony to the evolution of human settlements in the Baltic region in Europe over the period of some 10 millennia. The site has exceptional evidence of the contact of Pagan and Christian funeral traditions” and “the patterns and the impressive hill-forts represent outstanding examples of the development of such types of structures and the history of their use in the pre-Christian era.”
Since the 1960s, Kernavė has been scene of several Summer festivals with a folk and mild patriotic character (The Rasa Festival & the Mindaugas Festival). Demonstrations of ancient handcraft techniques are as well performed for the public in the context of Days of Live Archaeology in Kernavė, a festival that brings together numerous experimenters and re-enactors. On some of the hills, and Medieval dwellings have been reconstructed on the basis of data from the excavations.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.