The “Swedish mountain” settlement in Volkovysk
Despite the extravagant name “Swedish Mountain”, referring to the geographically-known Scandinavian state with its capital in Stockholm, this hill is not located in Sweden, but in the city of Volkovysk, and it is a marvelous monument, came down fr om the depths of centuries.
“Swedish Mount” settlement in Volkovysk is the name of the defense city complex that emerged in the 10th century. It is believed that this is the highest point of those that surround Volkovysk. “Swedish Mountain” is large enough, and its base is in a form of a circle. The area is surrounded by a huge shaft where there is a special entrance. In addition, the mountain was reinforced with wooden walls.
There are a large number of original legends, how the mountain got such a peculiar name. These variations in one way or another are connected with the Swedish army. The first legend says that the powerful Swedish army had been attacking Volkovysk for a long period of time. Simple soldiers, who met their death on the battlefield, were carefully placed into a large mass grave, with a high mound above, hence the name. Another legend makes some adjustments to the first one: it is believed that the great Swedish military officer was buried under the mound. The third version draws a parallel between the name of the mound and Swedish headquarters located on it. If to compare this version with the first two ones, this one seems to be more prosaic and rational.
The second mountain is called Zamchische. It is smaller than “Swedish Mount” in terms of height, but the size is much more impressive. Zamchische has a trapezoid shape, one side of which is attached to "Swedish Mount". Zamchishche settlement is also associated with the 10th century.
And the last mountain has a euphonic name Muravelnik, and is located a little further than “Swedish mountain.” The area of Muravelnik has an oval shape and is swampy. The mountain itself is surrounded by a low shaft, and it was settled a little longer than the first two ones – at the beginning of the 12 century.
The researches of archaeological monuments have started in 20-ies of the past century and are still carrying out today, although most of the work has already been done. At first, the residents of “Swedish mountain” were defended with the massive hill with steep slopes, and only later a shaft, fortified with wood, appeared. During this period, Volkovysk was a full-fledged locality. “Swedish Mountain” was its central part, where the aristocrats lived and Zamchische was a city’s part of shopping and crafts. Since Muravelnik located at swamp area, the hill served to locals as a spare bridgehead. With the growth of the city, that territory was completely abandoned. By the 14th century, the “Swedish Mount” settlement in Volkovysk and Zamchische suffered the same fate. Already being a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the city moved to the vicinity of the Volkovya River, wh ere it continued to build, develop and expand.
The “Swedish Mount” settlement in Volkovysk is an amazing monument of the past, thanks to which you can better understand how glorious is this Belarusian city.