Where there lives the fairy tale? To Ragan Kalnas - Gore of Witches.
Very few people from the tourists visiting Klaipeda and Neringa will refuse to visit the well-known Mountain of Witches - to Ragan Kalnas . This amazing place with a set of the wooden carved sculptures representing heroes of national legends is behind the fishing settlement of Yuodkranta on Curonian Spit, in 19 kilometers from Klaipeda.
Fantastic heroes lodged on one of the most beautiful dunes 42 meters high. Dune slopes grew with century pines long ago, and to top the twisting shady track conducts. To the East from a dune waters of the Curonian Bay gleam - I exhaust with Kurshyu in Lithuanian, and to the West from top waves of the Baltic Sea are visible.
In XIX - the beginning of the 20th centuries residents of Small Lithuania (it is the historical ethnographic region of Prussia where there lived Prussian Lithuanians) exactly here liked to celebrate Yonines - night on Ivan Kupala. On sailing small boats and by small steamships across the Curonian Bay choristers and musicians from Tilsit gathered on the spit (Sovetsk now), Rusne, Klaipeda, have fun all night long and till the dawn looked for a fern flower.
But the mountain to Yono not only people was fallen in love. They say that already from time immemorial arranged the feasts of the witch yes devils here. Even the most important witch Rage, happened, appeared on an annual sabbath in honor of the shortest night. Then be afraid, people, magical charms: say that witches not only can frighten, but also to send different troubles, to eclipse the sun, to turn the person to stone … The place is special, a side of the mystical and real worlds where the imagination is born, a creative power wakens.
Joonas Stanyus - the forest warden Yuodkrante - once having felt this atmosphere, thought: why to national masters not to represent in a tree of characters of the fairy tales and legends existing centuries in national folklore?
In 1979 the Lithuanian national masters decided to create on Yono`s the mountain as called then a dune, a peculiar fantastic museum of a wooden sculpture. For Lithuania the wooden sculpture was always the developed art. It met in the roadside crosses and small chapels decorated with a rich carving and volume figures of Jesus Christ and the Mother of God and in churches, quite often decorated the home yards. Besides religious, often it was possible to meet wooden sculptures on fantastic and household plots, sometimes satirical character.
And here having gathered for the first time in creative camp in Yuodkrante in that, 1979 far already, national masters from Zemaitija are woodcarvers and smiths, created 25 sculptures. The next summer - one more meeting, then - the third. Since then almost annually in Yuodkrante national masters gathered, creating new fantastic sculptures, restoring old. In 1988 on the mountain sculptures, intended generally for children appeared.
Now on the mountain of Witches more than 80 sculptures from an oak with details from metal. All sculptures are created on the project a sculpture of Sergey Sharapov and the architect Algimantas Nasvitis . And all this solid heritage - a gift of national masters to the city of Yuodkrante, Lithuania and all who at least once visited the mountain of Witches.
Fantastic heroes, devils, witches create the atmosphere of the fairy tales and legends existing centuries in national folklore. Each sculpture has the history, a legend.
is costed Here by the storyteller who was “abandoned“ on the Mountain of Witches by God Perkunas angered by , for the fact that that refused to tell it all night long fairy tales. Want to listen - you come to the storyteller at dark night if you venture, he such interesting stories will tell you - will listen with delight … to
A these sculptures - three witches guarding a fern: one entices the passerby, allegedly wishing to show where a flower, another makes a fool of him words, and the third threatens with the broom. As we know, the fern blossoms only once in a year - on the night of Yonines. The flower only for very short time blossoms and to find it incredibly difficult. But the one who will find it will be able to see the treasures closed in the earth, to learn to understand language of birds and animals. Many men of courage tried to find a fern flower, but nobody managed to make it.
Here is a sculpture and the fisherman Kastitis, hard work extracting seafood, and the faithful fisherwoman expecting return of the husband. At top of the mountain heroes of the legend on Naglis and Neringa settled down. the Guide will tell you this legend of the fisherman`s daughter who to protect fishermen from intrigues of an angry Dragon, constructed a sandy embankment, a braid having separated the gulf from the sea.
A here near the steep slope which is densely bound by roots of old trees cost Gates of hell . They are braided by roots too, and among them there are big and small heads of the wriggling witches. Here it is always gloomy. Behind a gate - the lord of hell Lucifer, having risen from a chasm, threateningly gets closer to the traveler: goes on the promised soul. Speak to be cleared of sins, it is necessary to pass through Gates of hell.
And still we met cheerful musicians on a rural junket, dancing couples. There are numerous carved benches for rest here, and entertainments for children - a rural swing, a hill, a horizontal bar, the turning barrel. At the end of the way there is a figure of a rooster whose morning shout banishes darkness. Under it and an inscription: “Gaidis uzgiedojo - Smeklos isbegiojo“ - “A rooster uttered a crow - the darkness escaped“.
Having finished travel on this fantastic place it is possible to get different local souvenirs from the foot of the mountain and to have a bite in small cafe.
If tourist ways bring you into Klaipeda, by all means visit on Ragana - Kalnas!