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It is believed that from the 14th century this place had pillars designed to observe celestial bodies, as well as a temple. This period is also associated with the origin of religious significance of the area which prevailed among the locals until the 20th century. Legendary tradition associates the hill with the protector of the sacred fire, and later – duchess Birutė.
If you find yourself walking through one of the most beautiful locations in Palanga – Birutė Park – be sure to also visit Birutė Hill. Here, centuries-old sacred Birutė pine forest still thrives in the territory of the former Tiškevičiai Manor. It surrounds the legendary Birute Hill standing 21 meters above sea level and overlooking the magnificent view of the sea.
You will not only have a good time in nature, but will also be able to travel to ancient times – the fact that people lived here a long time ago is proven by discoveries of ceramics on the hill dating back to the first millennium. The settlement complex of the Curonians usually consisted of a castle, one or more settlements and an oblation table. A castle and oblation table on the Birutė Hill date back to the 10th – 13th centuries; a village was also established at the foot of the hill. At the end of the 14th century – beginning of the 15th century, a defensive wall was built on the hill which was probably burnt during fights with Crusaders.
Later, a pagan sanctuary with paleoastronomy observatory was built here. This sanctuary is associated with the name of the priestess Birutė, the wife of Duke Kęstutis and the mother of Vytautas. It is said that she lived here and kept the holy fire burning, and was buried here after her death.
In 1898, a neo-Gothic chapel designed by architect K. Mayer was built on the top of Birutė Hill. In 1976, the chapel was decorated with stained-glass created by the artist L. Pocius.