Today is the ‘Birthday of Latvia’, as my little son proudly announced to me coming from the kindergarten. Moreover, I was putting some spit and polish on my article about medieval castles in Latvia, so I found a collection of maps listing Latvian hillforts particularly useful.
Hillforts or castle mounds (pilskalns in Latvian, literally meaning ‘častle’ or ‘fort’ on a hill) is not the same as your typical medieval castle. For one thing, they appear early, dating back to the Neolithic period, and disappear from the Latvian landscape around the thirteenth-fourteenth centuries. On the other hand, they are so closely related to the later stone castles, both geographically (often occupying the same site) and historically that I believe they should be studied together.
So, here is the link, feel free to explore and admire, and be sure to visit at least one of them when you have a chance. In a much earlier post I did, in fact, describe my own impressions from one of the most famous hillforts in Latvia, Daugmales pilskalns – according to some of my compatriots, Daugmales pilskalns is in the top ten list of Latvian hillforts – and so it should be.
Source: Latvijas pilskalnu kartes