A fort, cemeteries and grave goods show long settlement in Grobina
A Fort and Cemeteries
Grobin is located on the eastern edge of the Baltic Sea. A fort was built in a loop of the River Ãlande, which protected it on three sides, and there are three cemeteries which have been dated to between 650 and 800. These overlie a Neolithic grave. There were at least 2,000 barrows discovered. One cemetery was military in character, like that in the Mälaren Valley, close to Birka, in Central Sweden. Birka was on the route which the Vikings took as they explored the Baltic. The other two cemeteries indicate a community of people with origins in Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea.
The grave goods were very rich and include swords, spearheads, helmets, belts, brooches, neck‐rings, suspension plates, chains, bracelets, necklaces, combs, keys, and pottery. These appeared to be Scandinavian in style and origin. One included a later 7th-century stele (picture-stone), which are otherwise unique to Gotland where hundreds have been found. Whilst there are few Scandinavian female graves from the 9th century – the true Viking period – the Scandinavian male graves appear to belong to seafarers.
There are traces of a contemporary settlement, visible as anthropogenic soils (ground which has been impacted by people) extending for 2km along the north bank of the river.
In the mid-9th century, the local people rebelled against the Swedish rulers. A Danish fleet tried unsuccessfully to fill the gap. In the ensuing conflict, according to Rimbert’s 'Vita Ansgari' written in 875, “Seeburg”, now believed to be Grobin, was pillaged and burnt by the Swedes. Excavations in 1929 and 1930 found evidence of this, including large concentrations of Swedish arrowheads from near the walls of the fort.
Today, there is little evidence of Viking Grobina as most of it is in underground burial sites. Artefacts discovered are on display at Liepāja Museum and the Latvian National History Museum along with Viking-themed exhibits.
Curonian Viking Settlement
Enterprising townspeople have created an industry around their Viking heritage. Curonian Viking Settlement offers a great opportunity to explore the life of Curonian Vikings.
In the settlement you can try the Viking clothes, explore the legends, learn Viking fighting skills and take a trip in a Viking style boat across the castle lake.
The annual Seeburg Vikings’ city festival reflects local pride in their town’s heritage.