Lepelioniai Mound of a mound with a settlement
Also known as Napoleon Hat Mound or Balnakalnis
Lepelioniai village, Stakliskes eldership, Prienai district municipality
Lepelioniai Mound is a nicely shaped hill with the memories of ancient times still lingering across its slopes. It is situated in Prienai district. People call it Balnakalnis. And this is not surprising because the protruding top of the hill resembles a saddle (in Lithuanian balnas) of the horse, an inseparable assistant of a man.
Napoleon Hat is another name of Lepelioniai Mound because its shape is similar to the headgear that had been worn by the Emperor‘s troops. It is said that Napoleon was riding the horse towards Marijampole. Suddenly, a gust of wind had torn his hat of the head and threw it to the side of the road. The gallant French soldiers grabbed the hat, but the conceited commander stopped, looked at a map and ordered his soldiers to bury his hat on the edge of the public road. The soldiers scooped a soil with their helmets. This is how a hill that marks the middle of the way between Paris and Moscow was erected.
For many centuries Lepelioniai Mound is unique in its shape of a cut-out quadrangular pyramid. But according to the ancestors, the hill had a pointed top where only four men could sit. Rye was grown in ancient days on the castle hill, and a wooden castle that stood here was first mentioned in historical sources in the middle of the last century. Numerous traces of a former settlement have also been found: heat-burnt stones, specimens of pottery with a smooth and rough surface, spindles and an arch-shaped brooch with a short fibula.
Neither the castle nor the ancient settlement can be found today. Not very large site of the mound has survived into the present. However, it is sufficient for making it possible to feel the spirit of the ancient centuries and perfect to admire the surrounding countryside. Look around and you will see Lepelioniai village that is located nearby!
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