- Cape Arkona
Cape Arkona ( _de. Kap Arkona) is a cape on the island of
Rügenin Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. Cape Arkona is the tip of the Wittowpeninsula, just a few kilometres north of the Jasmund National Park.
The temple fortress of Arkona, today called "Jaromarsburg", was the religious centre of the Slavic Rani in the
Early Middle Ages. The temple was dedicated to the deity Svantevit, who was depicted with four heads. The temple housed an important horse oracle in Slavic times, where the behaviour of a white stallion could decide peace or war (horse oracles have a long history in this region, being already attested in the writings of Tacitus).
Today, only about a quarter of the old fortress is left, as the
chalk-promontory it was built on is slowly eroded by the Baltic. Rescue excavations are in progress.
In 1168 Arkona was destroyed by Danish invaders (see
Absalon). This event preceded the forced Christianizationof the region's inhabitants.
There are two old
lighthouses at the cape, one constructed in 1827, the other one in 1902. The former is one of the oldest still existing lighthouses of the Baltic Sea. It was constructed by the famous architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
In 1927, the cape's name was given to a German liner, the SS "Cap Arcona".
Prior to the
German reunification, Arkona was often considered the most northern point in the German Democratic Republic. However, the site Gellort is located about one kilometre northwest.
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