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Cape Arkona

From Academic Kids

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View on Cape Arkona from Vitt

Cape Arkona is a cape on the island of Rügen in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany. Prior to the German reunification in the near was the northernmost point of East Germany called Gellort. Cape Arkona is the tip of the Witte peninsula, just a few kilometres north of the Jasmund National Park.

Cape Arkona is a point of interest due to an ancient temple fortress and an old lighthouse.

The temple fortress of Arkona was the religious and political centre of the Slavic principality of Rügen in the early Middle Ages. The temple was dedicated to the deity Świętowit, who was depicted with four heads. The temple was housed an important horse oracle in Slavic times, where the behaviour of a white stallion decided about peace and war. Today, only about a quarter of the old fortress are 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 Christianisation.

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.

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