The interesting Lithuania: rocks, caves and pits

The interesting Lithuania: rocks, caves and pits

Little does anyone know that in Lithuania, you can find caves, mysterious endless pits and stone rocks washed away by the waters thousands of years ago. These interesting objects of nature are rare in Lithuania, therefore, since the old ages they have been shrouded in legends explaining their mysterious nature. And even scientist can’t explain the origins of some of them.

One of such mysterious objects is the funnel shaped pit of 4, 5 hectares in width and 40 meters in depth, called the Devil’s Pit located in the forests in district of Trakai.  The pit covered by litterfall is surrounded by coniferous trees, with a never drying swamp in the middle of the pit. You can climb into the pit safely and come out of it with the help of stairs made especially for this purpose.

Some scientists say that the pit was formed by a meteorite, which fell here thousands of years ago. Others say that the pit is a work of underground waters or moving glaciers. It is guessed that in the place of the pit, the earth gathered by the sliding glaciers buried a large ingot of ice that later melted and left a giant hollow. However, there is no consensus on the origins of the pits. There is not enough scientific evidence to finally prove one or another theory. It’s no wonder that the locals have created many legends about the Devil’s Pit. One of them says that there was a church standing in its place, where a wicked priest was hitting on a young girl. A mysterious passer-by saw the priest with the young girl, cursed them both and buried them together with the whole church underground. Others say that a carriage carrying the new church bell was going over it. The carriage, together with the bell, fell through the pit and the bonging bell can still be heard today during the night time.  The locals also say that if you come to the pit at night and listen really well, you can hear the devils feasting and making noise. People talk that the pit is endless and it is testified by the legends about domestic animals falling through the pit and emerging in the lake nearby.

If you’re planning to visit the Devil’s Pit, just close by you may find another similar wonder of nature – the sinkhole of Strėva.  It’s a 10 are wide hollow, where you can reach its centre by climbing the 20 meters high slopes. And there’s a surprise in the centre. A small, dilapidated roof peeking out of the ground – the remains of a wooden building that has fallen through the hollow. Locals say that this used to be an inn here where the devils would hold their feasts. The observational path surrounding the hollow will help you stay on track in the surrounding picturesque areas.

And if you wish to find the Čiobiškis Cave located in the district of Širvintos, you’ll have to wonder around for a bit. Not everyone finds it instantly. Is if it itself realises how rare and exquisite it is in our country, the cave made up of sandstone layers is hiding in the density of the forest. The depth of the cave is 10 meters, and inside it there are two borrows connecting two each other. The height of the cave at the entrance reaches up to a meter and a half and goes down gradually. However, you should not snoop around here – the scientists warn that the cave is not stable and may collapse at any moment. In fact, the historians do not exclude the possibility that this cave was once used for the needs of the first people. What a convenient habitat and a shelter it must have been to hide from the predatory animals!

The Skališkių Rock, which you can visit near the capital Vilnius on the right slope of Neris, remembers the first humans as well. The height of the rock, which was formed by the glaciers thousands of years ago, is 3 meters, and underneath it there is a 6 meter deep cave. The water from the springs drips from the rocks. During the winter it turns into delightful icicles, called the stalagmites and stalactites. In the old times, the locals believed that the rock and the cave underneath it are sacred and the water from the spring had healing properties. The legend says that if you wash your eyes with the water from the spring the world would open up in the brightest of colours. But once a very fussy lady washed her dog’s face with this water. And the spring water has lost its healing powers since.

In the 19th century a chapel and a large cross were standing above the rock. People called the rock Sacred (orig. Šventąja) and would come to pray there. Till this day the superstitious people and pilgrims leave candles and pictures of the sacred inside the cave lying under the rock.

If you wish to visit the Sacred rock, you’ll find its coordinates and a map at the www.lietuvosgamta.lt website. You’ll be able to see the each of the nature’s objects in unique photographs, listen to the advice in the audio guides and view video recordings about the nature of Lithuania. You’ll be able to find each object easily by using the coordinates and maps provided in the website.