- Rapola Castle
Rapola Castle ("Rapolan linnavuori" in Finnish) is a
hill fortin Sääksmäkiin the municipality of Valkeakoski, Finland. As is the case with most hill forts in the Baltic area not much is known about its exact origins or purposes. One postulation is that it was built by the inhabitants in their struggles against invading Novgorodians and Swedes. The name "Cuningas de Rapalum" appears with 24 other names in a bull by Pope Benedictus XIIfrom the 14th century found in the Registrum Ecclesiae Aboensisof the Turku Cathedralconcerning the excommunication of insubordinate inhabitants of Sääksmäki. [article in Finnish [http://www.saaksmaki-seura.fi/pannabul.htm] ] . It has been postulated that this name may bear echoes of a title for the lord in Rapola as "kuningas" (Finnish for "king").
According to excavations, the castle seems to have been in operation during the 13th and 15th centuries. Parts of it may be even earlier, since the area has been inhabited already in the 7th century.
The castle was partly constructed on a natural hill that was eventually entirely fortified. Remains of the earth walls are still visible. The castle was 400 meters long and 200 meters wide.
References and notes
* [http://www.nba.fi/fi/mjhrapola Rapola Castle at the Finnish National Board of Antiquities]
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