Stone Age Ruin of Kastelli

Raahe, Finland

So-called Jätinkirkko (“the giant’s church”) of Kastelli is a rectangular stone rampart measuring 36 x 62 meters. It dates back to the Stone Age and is one of the most significant ancient structures in Finland. The fort was probably built between 2700-2200 B.C like most of the stone constructions in northern Botnia.

The structure is located at top of the hill. The rampart, which is two meters high in its present state, has six gateways. In the environs are more than twenty rock cairns, a representative group of ten trapping holes and a stone age dwelling site lower on the slope.

Kastelli represents the earliest monumental construction in Finland in a form which is rarely found in hunter-catherer cultures. National Board of Antiques has submitted Kastelli site to the UNESCO Tentative List of World Heritage Sites.

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Details

Founded: 2700-2200 B.C.
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Finland
Historical period: Neolithic Age (Finland)

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The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

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The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

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