Kruminiai settlement of a mound with a settlement
Kruminiai village, Matuizos eldership, Varena district
A beautiful Kruminiai Castle Hill is situated in Varena district. There is also a village with the same name located nearby. There is no wonder why the old people had given such the name to the hill. Or maybe the name of the site of the village is after the mound? It is hard to say….
The castle hill is situated near the bend of the old River Verseka. There is also today Kruminiai pond in the valley of the river. According to the sources of literature of the 19th century, there is a mound on the bank of the River Verseka, not far from Kruminiai village. The local peasants often find various finds on the mound. Who knows how many old riches are still hidden in these running waters!
Norkunas fortress stood on the hill in the Medieval times. It is probably precisely for this reason there are so many people in the today‘s village whose surname is Norkunas!
Unfortunately, neither the castle nor its remains have survived into the present. But this is not surprising because the castle was probably built of timber and was later destroyed by fire. Most likely, some enemy was displeased with the glory of the castle: maybe the enemy wanted to occupy the local lands, or maybe, moved with envy, destroyed the fortress… However, the specimens of stone pavement, pottery and animal bones survived successfully into the present preserved in the turf of the hill.
The old people also remember an old settlement that was situated in the foothill of the mound. Skillful and hardworking people lived here, and did everything to help the rulers of the castle. They, for example, tried to forge a better axe for their masters or to offer them a fatter piglet. The beautiful surroundings of the place inspired the locals to do their daily routines! Lots of various household items, such as iron awls, ceramic spindles, fragments of pottery and a tiny cup, that are the witnesses of the contemporary life, were found in the foothill settlement during archaeological excavations. There is a dyke close to the castle hill. The burned logs that were cut in an upright manner were found in the dyke. A wooden cross was erected by someone in the 20th century on one of the edges of the mound. But it has not survived into the present. There is also Kruminiai site of graves situated nearby.
The hill is now situated in a private plot. But the owners of the plot are good people, maybe they will allow the visitors to climb on the hill that overlooks a beautiful Verseka pond…