Re-enter password

Šatrija hillfort

Once upon a time, the locals decided to build a church. They worked hard all day but the next morning they found it buried underneath a mound of soil. On the next day, they worked twice as hard till the sun went down. Yet, in the morning after, they woke up to the same thing once again. The folks then decided to do it the smart way and gathered a large group of people, and this way they managed to almost finish the construction of the church in a single day. This, however, did not appeal to the devils at all. In wrath, they brought huge bags of soil and again buried the church underneath it during the night. This was how Šatrija Hill appeared. However, a big stone happened to be in one of the devil’s bags that managed to break through the roof of the church and dent the hill itself when falling down. Despairing that all their work would go to waste, the devils decided to use the church for a purpose. They dug out a cave and hid all of their treasures in the church…

According to another folktale, the church once belonged to some Swedish men who were so tall that the people used to call them giants. Once upon a time, the priest of the church said that the giants would not stay so gigantic forever and would start growing smaller. The Swedish got so angry at the priest that they buried the church under a mound of soil… Yet another legend has it that it was the witches who buried the church underground rather than the giants. As years passed by, the church rotted away and crumbled down making the hill look dented.

There is one more popular myth that narrates about the witches of Samogitia who used to hold their sabbath on the same hill every night. They would dance the night away and revel until the crack of dawn. One night, the witches got so carried away that they missed the time of the rising sun and the crows of the roosters. The first sunrays of the day scared them to death. The witches grabbed their besom brooms hectically and swiftly flew away. One of them, however, could not find her besom. She started desperately running around and screaming “Where’s my besom, where’s my besom???” The locals heard that, and ever since that day they started calling the place Šatrija Hill, the English for which would be “the besom hill” (the name “Šatrija” is derived from the Lithuanian word “šatra”, which means a twig used for making a besom).  Even today, people still say that Šatrija is the capital of the Lithuanian witches. Putting the story of the witches aside, it is a confirmed fact that this territory was run by Tadas Blinda, who is known as the Lithuanian Robin Hood...

Šatrija Hill has been an object of historical research for many years. Archeological findings have confirmed that the place was already inhabited 2100 years ago. A wooden castle stood on the hill in the 14th century, which was well strategically placed and proved to be a serious challenge for most enemies due to the steep eastern and western slopes of the hill.  It is believed that this place was a sacred pagan center that existed until Christianity reached Lithuania. Those who still pray to the old Samogitian gods gather on Šatrija Hill on the third Saturday of July every year to pay their respects to the element of fire.

The 228-meter-high hill was formed after the last glacial period. When standing on top of the hill, it is possible see Medvėgalis which is the largest Samogitian hillfort located over 35 km away. The Pašatrija (a.k.a Luokė) Hillfort located on Šatrija Hill is enrolled in the List of Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Lithuania.