VARNIAI REGIONAL PARK
Location: N55° 43` 0.00", E22° 23` 59.9" | Website: varniuparkas.lt
Spiginas Cape educational trail: 2.5 km. The duration of hiking along the trail is 1.5 hours. This track presents one of the most famous archaeological monuments in the country – Spiginas Cape and an island.
Varniai tourist information center: 6 Daukantas st., LT-88318 Varniai, Tel. (444) 47455, Mob. (687) 20198, (615) 94309, Tel. / fax (444) 47455 (41) 595278
Spiginas Cape is a previous Biržulis lake island, and now it is a hill in the middle of the forest not covered with trees. About 50 ancient Stone Age settlements, burial grounds with Kunda, Narva, Indo-European and cultural traces of the subsequent era have been discovered near the lake Biržulis in Pabiržulis archaeological reserve.
Lake Biržulis. You can trace all our nation's prehistory. This is evidenced by archaeological finds, seeking as many as 10 thousand BC. These are the first traces of people appearance in Lithuania.
Mesolithic camp ruins and a large collection of flint articles were found in Spigins Cape (Biržulis Lakeshore). The people who lived there used to bury their dead on the hill of the Spiginas Island. These tombs are the oldest graves of stone-age people - hunters and fishermen – in Lithuanian territory and one of the oldest in the Eastern Baltic.
The old inhabitants of these places, fishermen, tell incredible stories about Biržulis lake - what fishy it was and what abundance of birds was there. Previously the lake was full of fish and was called not Biržulis but Viržuvis. That is why the little town Juknaičiai located on the northern outskirts of the lake in old times was called Viržuvėnai. Once being one of the largest and richest lakes in Lithuania (area up to 800 hectares), Biržulis suddenly became a ‘victim’ of a selfish human. Today it is significantly abated (about 120 ha, the average depth is less than 1m), but still it is alive thanks to its own power (water springs).
Stervas nature reserve (area 777 hectares) includes the lake Stervas, the wetlands and forests surrounding it. The reserve is an area having status of the most stringent protection. So any human economic activity (forest cutting, hunting, fishing, berry and mushroom picking) is denied here. You can visit Stervas nature reserve only working on some research and monitoring, and for educational purposes, in agreement with the head office of Varniai Regional Park.
Sprūdė mound is like a mysterious pyramid highlighting the beautiful heights of Samogitia, reminding us the rich and glorious past in the battles for the human place under the sun of our posterity – the Balts. In historians and archaeologists’ view, the mound is ascribed to the "gunpowder epoch" - the period of fights with Crusaders. The mound area covers 26 hectares. Defensive ditches are preserved here as well as the traces of ramparts up to four meters tall, and the traces of the old entrance to the castle. According to legends a wooden castle of Duke Sprudeika, Lithuanian King Mindaugas’ brother, used to stand there. There were equipped basements – shelters – under the castle. After provoking the King, the Duke Sprudeika fled to Samogitia and there, in his own territory on the mound Sprūdė, which was the safest and most conspicuous place, he founded the castle, but the brother's anger was more insidious and he found the Duke there. Before the Varniai Regional Park foundation the mound was completely immersed in greenery sprouts, it was not seen driving the way Pavandenė - Janapolė. Subsequent landscaping logging uncovered a part of the castle hill with preserved mighty ramparts and ditches. A 3.5 m wide and 320 m long gravel driveway was made to the mound, as well as the parking place of 675 m2, the wooden stairs, wooden ornamented pillars, trails, information stands, an observation platform of 73 m2 on the top of the mound, a 18 m2 rest area with benches.