True Lithuania

Kernavė Castle Hills

This UNESCO inscribed scenery consists of several small round hills near the banks of river Neris. Until the 14th century Teutonic attacks every one of them was crowned by a wooden castle as Kernavė was the capital of Lithuania until 1321 and the home for Grand Dukes Traidenis and Vytenis. None of the castles remain today.

The surrounding town of the era had up to 5000 inhabitants. However, it has also turned into dust. The area is now best known for its lovely scenery, a nice background for a short summer hike.

Castle hills at Kernavė. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

To better imagine that old pagan town start your visit by checking out the refurbished archeological museum. Its atmospheric dimly lit halls offer a nice selection of Stone Age, Iron Age and Medieval tools, jewelry and weapons, well explained by interactive screens and 3D graphics.

The nearby modern Kernavė village is very small (population 350) but it has a church (1920) and a chapel near the archaeological site.

Kernavė has been a pagan town throughout its 1300s golden age. It received one of Lithuania's earliest churches in 1430. Limits of that church are now marked by stones. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.