Great Moravian fortified settlements — centres of power, religion, trade and production

Fortified settlements are located throughout Slavic territory. The fortified settlements were located in strategic positions. The most important were established near the largest rivers and on the main roads. They were the main centres of power, religion, trade and production and they also formed the backbone of the defence system.

They were found at Mikulčice and Uherské Hradiště-Staré Město in Moravia, for example, and at Nitra in Slovakia. These fortified settlements already had urban characteristics. In addition to the residences of the princely class, there were also churches, granaries, farm buildings and others. There were cemeteries near the churches, and markets were held within the fortified settlements. Several larger and smaller settlements or the courts of noblemen were located near one another, and the literature therefore speaks of settlement agglomerations. Smaller settlements were the seats of noblemen known as zhupans. In Slovakia, these included, for example, Ducové and Pobedim, while in Moravia they included Břeclav-Pohansko and Brno-Staré Zámky. The most important settlements were those with a guard function located at higher elevations with a good view of the surrounding area. These included Devín. Other fortified settlements were located in lowlands (Pohansko u Nejdku, Rajhrad, etc.).

(Source: Peter Ivanič, University of Constantine the Philosopher in Nitra)