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Kernave (Kernavė)

Kernave (Kernavė)

The town was the first capital of pagan Lithuania. According to legends, Palemonas’ grandson Kernius has founded the town. Also the town might have been the capital of Lithuania in Grand Duke Mindaugas’ (the founder of Lithuania) times. There is no historical source which would mention the place where Grand Duke Mindaugas capital was.

Kernavė had been mentioned in historical sources after Mindaugas’ death in 1279. In Herman Vartberge’s and poetical Livonia chronicles Kernavė is mentioned as a domain of Grand Duke Traidenis. Traidenis could have been one of King Mindaugas’ relatives, who wanted to rule after the King’s death. Traidenis ruled since 1269 till 1282. At that time Kernavė was one of the most significant Lithuanian economical and political centres.

First of all when you come to Kernavė you might visit town’s museum. The history of the town is presented in the museum. Your start-point might be neo-gothic red bricks’ church of St. Virgin Maria Skaplierinė that was built in 1910-1920. In the graveyard of the church there are the mosaics dedicated to the 600th anniversary of Baptising of Lithuania. Artist Jadvyga Grisiūtė made the mosaics of local stones in 1987. The mosaics are 15 cross-stand places for sacred services. Kernavė’s Parson and writer Nikodemas Švogžlys (1899-1985) is buried in the graveyard of the church. His pseudonym was Milžinas; he thought that in 1251 King Mindaugas was baptized and inaugurated in Kernavė. There is a rectory right beside the church. In the yard of the church there is a flower-lined Lithuania-shape pool.

Behind the church on the steep there is an observation ground. From the ground you can see one of the most beautiful sites in Lithuania – mounds, valley, and meandering Neris River with an island. The place of the ancient Kernavė’s church is marked on the ground (15th -18th cent.).

On the spot there are two chapels built in 18th and 19th century. The one is octagonal wooden chapel that is shackled with hand-made nails, and the other chapel is octagonal stone. The stone chapel was Remeriai – Puzinai family mausoleum, and the wooden chapel was of Jazdauskai family mausoleum. During the restoration works an egg-like “living” stone was found in the wooden chapel. Bio-energy specialists state that this stone was used during pagan rituals and is loaded with spiritual energy. You can found more about bio-energy secrets in architect’s Algirdas Alekna “Paslapčių” museum.

For many year modern pagans celebrate Rasos holiday – the holiday of the shortest night of the year (June 22) – on Kernave’s mounds. This celebration is organized by Lithuania union of romuva (ancient pagan temples were called romuva).

Have a look on the mounds. One of them is Mindaugas’ Throne Mound that earlier was called Pilies Mound. To the south from this mound there is Aukuras Mound where a castle has been situated. It is easy to found Smailiakalnis Mound or Lizdeika Mound that has jag. Pilies Mound is the biggest. There are many legends about Kernavė’s mounds. One of the legends says that there was an underground road to Trakai and Vilnius. In Kernavė the road was shut with metal gate, in Trakai – with silver gate and in Vilnius – with golden gate. By the other legend when Lithuania was baptized in 1387 and the pagan Temple of God Perkūnas in Vilnius was destroyed. At Lizdeika Mound Magus Lizdeika was living together with his priestesses, who were nursing the Holy Fire on Aukuras Mound. He was preaching, and explaining people’s dreams. The valley in Kernave is named after the most beautiful priestess Pajauta.

In 1986 in Pajautos Valley archaeologists has found the ruins of 13th century feudal town. It is one of the oldest Lithuanian towns.  It is set that first people has settled in Pajauta Valley in 9th – 8th century B.C. The lower Kernavė was prospering until crusaders’ incursion. At the end of 15th century the settlement was destroyed by crusaders. In the beginning of 15th century New Kernavė was developing on the right Neris River bank.  Honourable past of Kernavė is represented on the emblem of Kernavė – a knight near gates of ruined town. On the bottom of emblem is a note “It is better to die than to lose freedom.”

Every year in the beginning of June during “Kernave Archaeology Days” festival the grand quiet in Kernave is perturbed by regenerated past. On Pilies castle mound and in Pajauta Valley there are theatricalised shows of knights’ battles; archery, many dexterous folk artists and other people work their job. A unique atmosphere is fortified by old music rhythms, smell and delicious food that are prepared according to middle ages recipes. Dip into joyful uproar of the festival and feel the spirit of middle ages! Don’t blunder away a chance to coin, to throw a pot yourself, to ride a horse, or to taste ancient food. There are activities for curious children – special competitions and other middle ages games are waiting for them.

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Half-day tour to Trakai

Trakai (4 hours tour) is one of the oldest Grand Duchy of Lithuania residence and capitals. Trakai is the second capital of Lithuania.

Tour to Kernave

Kernave village (4 hours tour) located on the banks of the river Neris (35 km from Vilnius) has been known as the capital of Lithuania before Trakai and Vilnius. 

Country life museum in Rumsiskes

Country life Open Air Museum of Lithuania (6 hours tour) is a unique and one of the largest (195 ha) open-air ethnographic museums in Europe.

Baltic Highlights



Jewish Heritage tour Lithuania

Lithuanian Medieval Tour



“Lithuanian beekeeping” Tour

Beer road



Bird watching tour in Lithuania

walkable vilnius 150x150px


Vilnius is a great place for pleasant strolls. It is green, full of cultural diversity and cozily compact. So compact, that in just a few dozen steps from the gallery, you find yourself in a park, followed by a baroque church, and off to the castle after a cup at the local cafe. Thus, in a short time you get to not just see, but also hear, touch, taste and tune into the soul of the city.

Is it just us, or are you already planning a weekend trip?

Get to know Vilnius from within.

Fly & Lease of campers in the Baltic.

Camper on the road

Take a tour and discover Baltics by yourself!

You will be able to travel comfortably throughout Baltic Sates in our campers, as passengers really may feel themselves like home and take any necessary stuff with them, even their most loved cup for coffee.
A virtue of motor homes is the possibility to be in the cabin in all companionship while going from place to place.
Moreover, you will be free as you will be independent from hotels and every evening you will be able to spend in any place you wish!

Prepaid individual transfer :

no trouble with money exchange upon arrival,
no need to take care oftaxi search,
no language problems !

The driver will wait for you at arrival hall with your name on the card, will help you with luggage and will safely transfer you to agreed place.
Please fill in the Transfer Reservation and we will contact you within 24 business hours with confirmation

KIA CARNIVAL  25 EUR (max 5 persons)                                                
MERCEDES-BENZ VIANO  35 EUR (max 7 persons)

per car only!