What images appear in your mind when you hear the word “exposure”? Often these are just plain slopes, strange rocks, meaningless at first sight. However, when speaking about exposures, we should forget the words “meaningless”. When really, this heritage of nature is like an encyclopaedia, telling us about the Earth, seas and forests, climate or even the far away cosmos. It is hardly surprising that exposures are abundant in the naturally rewarded Lithuania, so everyone wishing to immerse in the secrets of the Earth, have the opportunity to visit them.
In Lithuania the exposures are scattered in the whole territory of the country, so this way it allows you to visit many wonderful places and see much more than you’d expect at first. So pack everything you need, get into your car or a bus and go an unforgettable knowledge trip!
One of the best known and impressive exposures is Pūčkoriai, located in the municipality of Vilnius city. This is the highest exposure in Lithuania, going up an amazing 65 meters. In this incredible geological monument, layers of 20 000 years of age emerge. This allows travelling back to the times of the ice age, when glaciers covered the Pūčkoriai exposure, which shortly after marbled the slopes with sophisticated carvings. This is why this breath taking place is called the exposure of the ice age.
Looking down from its top, magnificent scenery appears – from here you can see the neighbourhoods of Vilnius, admire the sophisticated bends of Vilnia, see the Pūčkoriai manor and even the former cannon foundry, where once the soldiers of the czar Peter I and Napoleon armies repaired their cannons. Also, unforgettable scenery of nature opens up – the extending hills and forests are worth seeing in every season.
Another interesting place is located in the district of Prienai and was given a very Lithuanian name – Ožkų pečius (Goat Oven). The conglomerate rock tells us a story – long ago, this rock was loved by roe deer, which would climb the surface of the rock and would mistake humans to thinking they were goats. Having climbed the rock, the roe deer would warm themselves and spend time pleasantly in the sunshine. This is exactly why the conglomerate was given the name of Ožkų pečius (Goat Oven).
The height of Ožkų pečius (Goat Oven) is only 6 meters, the rock looms in the confluence of Nemunas and Verknė rivers. Every year it is destroyed by the rain or wind, and by the visitors, wanting to test its strength. You shouldn’t miss an opportunity to this magnificent monument of nature, before it returns to where it once came from.
Another exposure best known for its incredible steepness is the exposure of Gastilionys. The object of natural heritage, looming in the district of Kaišiadorys, can be seen best from the Kauno Marios Regional Park. The slope of the exposure reaches 20 meters in height, and its steepness does not remind of a scarp, but rather an impregnable wall. The exposure expands for about 600 meters, so the view is truly spectacular.
This creation of nature bears a large part of history of history and Earth changes. When looking at this magnificent wall created by the exposure, we see the layers of moraine loam laid down by the 2 ice ages. In the middle of those layers one layer of sand can be observed, it is guessed that it was formed when a lake was here between the ice ages. It’s unbelievable how much can be discovered just by looking at the simple rock. Incredibly, next to the exposure of Gastilionys, the thickest pine tree in Lithuania has been growing for 300 years. Nearby, lays the only lake in whole park, Paežerojus, which is best known for its dark waters. So it’s safe to say that Lithuania keeps surprising us with its nature’s tricks – coming to see one magnificent object, you find the additional two just nearby.
For those planning to visit the heritage rich region of Utena, one shouldn’t forget one of the interesting objects of natural heritage – Šeimyniškiai exposure with a conglomerate rock. The promising duo does not disappoint – there are only few ever peacefully resting rocks like this in Lithuania. Though the rain ruthlessly destroys these rocks, they still bring joy to the hearts of geologists and tourists. However, you shouldn’t delay to visit them – it’s no wonder that the folk proverb says that “constant dripping wears the stone away”.
Also, one of the largest mounds in Lithuania – Šeimyniškiai Mound – looms here and allows to go back to the times when on top of it a magnificent castle of Užpaliai stood, which was constantly attacked by enemies and eventually was buried with earth. The breath of the past is clearly felt here, so it’s a perfect place for those thirsty for the history of Lithuania.
Magnificent views and the even more spectacular story behind it – this is what you should think of when hearing the word “exposure”. It may be hard to believe that such places are so abundant in Lithuania and that all of them tell their different stories. Only one glance will turn into an unforgettable touch to the great history.
You can learn more about the exposures of Lithuania at the www.lietuvosgamta.lt website. Here you will find the photographs, clips and an audio guide of the exposures. And when you have chosen the exposure that is most interesting to you, you’ll find its coordinates and location on the map. All is left to do is to wish you a beautiful and purposeful journey!