Kartavu Hill nature trail

Kartavu Hill – a hilly area covered with forests, and the little River Biktsupīte flowing through it. Here, arranged are the nature trails, where you can see the grand alley of larches, and the spruce forest on a hilly terrain, the Karātavu (the Hanging) Spruce, the hillfort rampart, and diversity of the flora with rare trees, as well as see deserted and new beaver-made dams. At the Kartavkalns hill, at one point there was a settlement of the ancient Latvians. There is a theory that the Janupils Kartavkalns could be Babote mentioned in the Chronicles of Rhymes (Atskaņu hronika), because it is the only hillfort with a rampart located between Dobele and Kuldīga. Legends say that the old castle has sunk in the hill, which will reappear once its name is guessed, and instead the castle built by crusaders – Jaunpils – would sink. This legend gave inspiration to the poet Auseklis, who wrote the poem “Castle of light” in the mid 19th century.

Kartavkalns Hill

Ancient Latvian castle mound (considered such) was inhabited by Zemgale natives in 10th–13th century. Its dimensions are 55 x 80 m with a 7 m high embankment on the southern part. According to one version, this is the Babote mentioned in the Livonian Rhymed Chronicle, because this is the only castle mound with an embankment between Dobele and Kuldīga.

Kartavkalns (The Hanging Hill) Hill was named after the gallows, which Matthias “Thies” von der Recke ordered to erect 300 years ago to scare away plunderers. The barons of Jaunpils ordered to plant a larch avenue and beeches on the hill. Tales and legends refer to this place as the location of the Old Castle.

Nowadays it is a picturesque landscape object with nature trails of various types and difficulty. Here you will find a model of the ancient wooden settlement and an observation tower with a view to the centre of Jaunpils. There is also a picnic place with a campfire spot!

A bicycle road leads from the town centre to the observation tower on Kartavkalns Hill.

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