Garz Slavic Fort

Garz, Germany

Garz Slavic fort was an ancient burgwall. The earthworks have an oval shape, are about 200 metres long and 140 metres wide. There is an entrance roughly in the middle of the western side. Towards the lake of Garzer See to the south the ramparts are lower.

The castle was mentioned in 1165 as Borgar Gardz, when there were small-scale skirmishes with Danish warriors in front of the castle. The castle itself does not appear to have come under attack, but gradually fell into ruins afterwards. In 1300, the Prince of Rügen, Vitslav III, built a new castle and a chapel inside the original fort. After his death in 1325, the castle finally fell into disrepair. On the ramparts is now a war memorial to those who fell in the First World War and, in its immediate vicinity, is the Ernst Moritz Arndt Museum, where one can learn more about the history of the place.

The Garz fort is now a protected archaeological site. It ranks, in terms of size and degree of preservation, as one of the most important Slavic strongholds.

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An den Anlagen 4, Garz, Germany
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Details

Founded: 8th-9th century
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Germany
Historical period: Part of The Frankish Empire (Germany)

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en.wikipedia.org

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Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.

King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.

The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.

It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.