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Vladař Hill (Záhořice) 

Záhořice – Vladař HillVladař Hill (literally meaning "Ruler") rises 693 metres above sea level on the right bank of the Střela River. It is a typical table mountain and one of the landmarks of the southern edge of Doupovské hory (Doupov Mountains). Except for the top, the basaltic double-knob is covered by an oak and hornbeam forest with sycamore and Norway maple, linden, white beam, hedge maple, and pine. The hilltop is a grass plain with a small pond in the middle. The surroundings are covered with stands of thermophilic scrubs, e.g. hip roses and hawthorns. The hill is subject to protection as a State Nature Reserve.

An extensive primeval fortified settlement covered the major part of the hilltop even if fortified sites were also found at the western and northern foot of the hill where the slope is less steep. The rampart system is of two types. The top plateau is encircled by a circumferential wall built of stones with a caked core. Entry to the plateau from the north is still visible in the stone wall, but the main gate was probably located in the west where the funnel-shaped wall descends along the access path, which is still in use today. Apart from the circumferential wall, we may also find traces of original internal arrangement. The lower terrain level, on which the village of Záhořice (568 metres above sea level) is situated, forms the extramural settlement of the primeval fortified settlement on the hilltop. The massiveness of the ramparts surrounding the latter site is significantly greater and different from the stone-wall fortification at the hilltop. The ramparts, composed of layers, rise above the surrounding terrain and they have moats on the outer side. Double or even triple lines are visible in some parts. Their total length amounts to some 2.5 kilometres. The overall rampart system is quite complex and sophisticated and its essential role in certain historical events cannot be completely ruled out, e.g. in 1421, the Hussite army defended itself on the site against the superior forces of the Pilsen Landfriede The presence of the Swedish armies commanded by General Baner is documented in 1639. The rampart system was precisely measured by employees of the Archaeological Institute in Prague only in March 2002.

The oldest ceramics found on the site date back to the beginning of the fortified settlement in the Early Bronze Age (Cheb group belonging to the Urn Field Culture) and its duration up to the Hallstatt Period. Most of the fortification systems undoubtedly date to this period as well. Rather sporadic findings from the Late Latenian horizon suggest that the older exceptionally positioned site had been used rather randomly within long distance trade and tribal migration. The similarly scarce findings of ceramics from the Middle Hillfort Period indicate that the Slavs may have also used the fortified settlement only for a short period of time.

Links:

http://prirodakarlovarska.cz/clanky/vladar
http://priroda-kv.cz/lokality/vladar/index.php