Spring Queen’s Quagmire
Queen’s Quagmire is located in the blooming picturesque valley of the Šventoji River. You will be surprised as there is no marsh or swamp there. Queen’s Quagmire is the ancient name for the spring located in the district of Anykščiai, Utena county. It intersects through the village of Pašventupis and enjoys numerous stories about its origin.
To believe ancient storytellers, once upon a time, a Queen resided on that hill. When her kingdom was invaded by the enemies, the Queen, in her carriage pulled by dappled-grey horses, went down the slope of the Šventoji River and drowned herself in the spring. Ever since, this spring of fresh water has been called Queen’s Quagmire. Yet another legend tells that This Queen, at the times when Christianity was being introduced, unwilling to betray her faith, overcome by heartache and despair, drowned herself in one of those venerated pagan marshes of Lithuania. So to remember this Queen, the marsh received the name of ‛Queen’s Quagmire ’. (…) If you ask local people whose name the marsh is bearing they would answer you in this manner. A pagan Queen, unwilling to accept Christianity, yet hearing that more and more of her people had been baptized, mourning over the cut and burned down sacred groves and other pagan worship places, overtaken by despair and heartache, drove her carriage, pulled by four dappled-grey horses, into one of the remaining sacred pagan marshes and drowned herself. It is also believed that in ancient times people would sit around the Queen’s Quagmire feasting and eating butter, cheese, pies, and would throw crumbs into the marsh. Late in the evening, after collecting some branches broken off from the trees growing over Queen’s Quagmire, the people would disperse. Yet another story has it that a pagan priestess drowned herself in this spring unwilling to obey the enemy’s will. On a calm summer night, even nowadays, the surface of the water is still rippling as the priestess on the bottom of the marsh, tangled in underwater weeds stays forever restless. Sometimes this pagan priestess gets up to the surface of the water. Her wreath of rue spreads all over the surface of the marsh water. The priestess gets out onto the bank and gently stroking tree branches, mourns over her young life, which ended too soon.
Queen’s Quagmire is one of the largest fresh water springs in Lithuania. The water is pristine yet the surface is heavily overgrown with the inter-twined branches and there is a green film over the surface. It is also covered by intermingling roots of many trees, and has a multitude of green tussocks in it. That‘s why this spring is called a marsh.