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Lithuania

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Pagan heritage: sites and artifacts
===Pagan heritage: sites and artifacts===
* '''Thunder God Temple''' ''(Perkūno šventykla)'' - the biggest known Lithuanian pagan temple constructed supposedly by Duke Gerimundas in 1265. Archaeological investigations in 1986 have revealed the exact location of the temple and confirmed the legends and texts of chronicles which say that [http://www.katedra.lt/ Vilnius Cathedral] was built at the site of the pagan shrine. Remains of the temple can be seen in the cellars of Vilnius Cathedral. Tours only accompanied by a guide.
*'''Tverai Sacred Site''', Tverai elderate, Rietavas district. Although [http://www.tverai.lt Tverai] village, an ancient capital of Samogitia, can be a very interesting place to visit in itself, Lithuanians link this name to a place which, although still in Tverai elderate, is 3 km 400 m east from Tverai central square and situated in ''Ruškis Landscape Reserve'', which is a strange hilly forest with a lake Ruškis in the middle. South-west corner of this forest, framed with a medium-size 25 m height [http://www.piliakalniai.lt/piliakalnis.php?piliakalnis_id=445 hill-fort], is probably one of the most mysterious places in Samogitia. The hill-fort is separated from the forest with a deep ravine of a narrow stream that springs slightly further, its murmur you can hear all the time. Winding deceptive paths leads you between the hills from one stone artifact to another, until you finally start to understand the stories that old local people tell about the spells of this place that makes people to get lost. Directions: head east Varniai direction, road No 3203, as soon as you leave the village you already see the forest in a distance by left side of the road, and a serpentine stream that flows across the fields by the right side of the road. When you reach the stream turn left, the road takes to the entrance to the forest where you find a parking lot and a sign that informs that this is a ''"Ruškio kraštovaizdžio draustinis"''. As you enter the forest, there are other info shields with the scheme of the object locations and some other information.
* <see name="Karmazinai Mound" alt="Karmazinų piliakalnis" address="Karmazinai, Dūkštos elderate, Vilnius district" directions="Some 0.8&nbsp;km northwest of the Karmazinai village, 40&nbsp;m from the right bank of the Dūkšta river, close to its confluence with Neris" lat="" long="" phone="" tollfree="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.piliakalniai.lt/piliakalnis.php?piliakalnis_id=759" hours=" "></see> 54°49′09″N, 24°55′52″E. Early type hill-fort (600-800&nbsp;A.D.), used as a place of worship (lith. ''alkas''). Numerous legends tell the stories about the temple standing on its top in the past, stone idol, hidden gold, drowned bell and giant oaks of size that made people wonder. Oaks, although rather sparse, still grow in the area fulfilling the hearts of Lithuanians with warm feelings and chills…. and probably making foreign guests to wander why. If you stand on the top of the hill, and coincidentally hear the sound of bells in the Dūkštos church 4&nbsp;km away, you can feel that the hill echoes under your feet as if it was hollow. One of the endless highlights of ''[http://www.neriesparkas.lt/ Neris Regional Park]''.
* <see name="Birutė Hill" alt="Birutės kalnas" address="Palanga Botanical Park, LT-5720 Palanga" directions="Some 200&nbsp;m away south-west from Amber Museum, at the southern end of Love Alley (Meilės alėja)" lat="" long="" phone="" tollfree="" email="" fax="" url="" hours=" "></see> 55°54′20″N, 21°03′10″E . The relict dune at the seaside of Palanga, linked with a story of priestess Birutė, who married to the Grand Duke of Lithuania Kestutis and gave birth to Vytautas, the most famous Lithuanian Grand Duke. In 1989 the archaeologists found the evidences of a pagan sanctuary, observatory and elements of wooden fortifications which had existed on the top of Birutė hill in 14th-15th century. Best known place of worship in Samogitia, although every settlement had its own one.
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