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Jatzvingian Burial Site at Szwajcaria/Suwałki


Szwajcaria--sometimes spelled "Szwajcarja"--is about 3 km northeast of the Suwałki city limits on Route 8, which leads to the Lithuanian border crossing at Budziszko (about 20 km from Suwałki). At the top of a hill, at the end of a long road off of Route 8, it's very easy to miss--but the search is definitely worthwhile. It's a beautiful, forested, peaceful, and quiet connection to an ancient past.

A sign in both Polish and English provides the following information, as well as a drawing depicting a burial:
drawing from sign at site

  • The site is dated from the 2nd to the 5th century C.E.
  • The people associated with it are identified as the "Jacwing's ancestors."
  • The most striking aspect is a burial mound about 6-21 meters wide that consists of several stone layers.
  • Both "crematory and skeletal" graves have been found at the site.
  • Artefacts found in the graves include bronze, iron, glass, and occasionally silver ornaments, pots, tools, and weapons; these artefacts are currently in the Suwałki regional museum and the state archeological museum in Warsaw.
  • "Princes' graves" were particularly richly furnished.
  • Apparently, in later periods, warriors were buried with their horses.

If you click on the following thumbnails, you'll go to a page that presents each in a large and clear (but perhaps slow-loading) format:

link to burial site map
Map of burial site
link to picture of artefacts
Pictures of artefacts
link to cross-section of graves
Cross-section of graves
link to mound
Mound of stones
link to mound
Big Mound of stones
link to mound
Second Mound of stones


Click here to link to Landscape page  Landscape Click here to link to Town of Raczki page  Town of Raczki
Click here to link to Parish Church page  Holy Trinity Church Click here to link to Shrines page  Wayside Shrines
Click here to link to Dowspuda page  Dowspuda & Pac Palace Click here to link to Links page  Raczki Area Links
Click here to link to Raczki history page  Raczki History Click here to link to Ostrowski genealogy page  Ostrowski Family from Raczki