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Lithuanian Essay on Connection with the Heritage of the Countries


The uniqueness and peculiarity of each country is revealed in legends that testify to the heritage of the national culture cherished and protected from generation to generation. Heritage is what we have inherited, both materially and spiritually: buildings, historical sites, archaeological, sacred or natural objects, as well as traditions. We refer to this legacy as the identity of the nation. In 1992, Lithuania joined UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which adopted the Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which declares that the heritage of each nation is the heritage of all nations that must be known and preserved. The historical originality of Lithuania, the abundance and diversity of folklore, the respect for nature and its monuments were determined by the complex flow of historical events and the longest retention of paganism in Europe. The Lithuanians maintained a special connection with nature, which rescued them from enemies and fed them. What is interesting and surprising is the fact that legends, tales and myths were created throughout the European region with the emphasis on the same or similar heritage sites. This is a testament to the fact that the cultures of European countries share many commonalities and are a common heritage of our identity. One of the most interesting legends is the story of the founding of cities. It is an invaluable historical testimony that reveals to members of the community their roots and helps them understand their identity. These timeless stories often reflect the desire to emphasize the grandeur of their origins, the strength of their rulers, their exceptional destiny. Special stories encourage the local community to become more interested in the city in which it lives, to establish a personal connection with it, to familiarize itself with its urban and architectural heritage, and to help travelers learn more about the history and traditions of the geographical areas they visit. Ancient legends often refer to natural heritage sites. It is natural, because man has always lived in contact with nature, was part of it. Particular respect for the natural heritage is felt in the archaic legends, dating back to pagan times. Man respected nature, paid great attention to its wonderful miracles, and always wanted to explain their occurrence. This is how legends about geological objects were created: stones of impressive size or unusual shapes, rocks, boulders, caves, fossils. Often mystical legends mention the hydrographic natural heritage: lakes, rivers, islands, waterfalls, slopes, springs. Being one of the main elements of the world, water is very common in legends. It connects the major strands of the world (heaven, earth and underworld) and marks the beginning and the end of the world (the emergence of the world from the primeval ocean floor and its submergence in the depths of the flood). Even within the same mythical system, heaven and underworld, flowing rivers, springs and stagnant waters, lakes, fresh rain and salt sea, living and dead, are completely differently conceived and valued. The symbolism of water in the myths of the peoples of Europe is extremely broad and varied.

There are stories of extraordinary beauty, extraordinary terrain - mountain complexes, mounds, bays, sand dunes, sanctuaries, parks. Often these are special places, the formation of which is influenced by the conflicts of gods, and there are various mythical creatures. The symbolism of the summit is associated with the power of God. Today, we pay homage to the natural heritage of our ancestral legends, take pride in the uniqueness of our country and invite you to look for similarities and differences for those interested in legends from other European countries

The most famous legend in Lithuania is the story of foundation of Vilnius city. Like many legends of the founding of cities, this is related to the historical heritage of the place: the famous Duke Gediminas, who, according to historians, confirmed the name of Lithuania and Vilnius throughout Europe and abroad, is mentioned in the history of Lithuania. Vilnius was first mentioned in 1323. In letters of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas inviting craftsmen, merchants and monks from Western Europe to come and settle in the city. This duke was of great importance in the history of the whole country and during his reign other cultures enriching the local heritage became established in Lithuania.
Many major cities have their own legend associated with honorable historical names or personalities of noble roots mentioned in these stories, which unfortunately cannot be confirmed by scientific research. Such legends are told about the Lithuanian cities - Kaunas and Trakai.
Heroic, inspirational personalities can also be found in legends from other countries. The Italian legend mentions The devil's column Sant 'Ambrogio. He was a theologician, an archbishop, a Roman Saint, one of the most important people for the Roman Catholic Church in the 4th century. This man's historical legacy is important, symbolizing the Catholic religious struggle against evil.
The story of the founders of the city of Rome, Romulus and Remo, is particularly vivid and memorable in the Italian legend of “Romolo and Remo and the Foundation of Rome”. This legend explains not only the origins of the city of Rome, but also the origins of its founders Romolo and Remo. This legend reflects the significance of the mythological heritage in Italian culture.
It is intresting to note that natural heritage is also important in the legends of the founding of cities.
The legend about the founding of Vilnius marks a geographically important place in Vilnius - the present Gediminas Hill. It is interesting to note that the founding of cities
  legends have an important natural heritage. The towns are usually established by the water (Trakai Castle) at the confluence of rivers (Vilnius, Kaunas), on spectacular hills (Rome).
It is interesting to discover coincidences in different cultures: the Iron Wolf in the legend of the founding of Vilnius symbolizes freedom, courageous strength and responsibility. This animal also plays an important role in the legend of the founding of Rome. 


Essay "The establishment of Trakai Castle" 

The legend of the foundation of Trakai castle commemorates an important historical inheritance of Lithuania, because it is the only Gothic castle on an island in Europe. Other important legends include the stories of other countries: the legend of the city of Rome attests to the emergence of the magnificent Italian city, the legend of Mr. Tvardowski and the Polish capital - Warsaw - immortalized in the legend of Wawel and Mr Tvardowski, the Torun mentioned in the legend of the gingerbread. Romanians in the legend of Monolea emphasize the importance of the Monastery of Kurtia de Arges.  

There are even several legends about the foundation of the Trakai Castle: one says that the castle originated as the wish of Duke Kestutis' wife Birutė, while another legend emphasizes the ghost story of the castle. The first version reflects the historical truth of the 14th - 15th century. In this spectacular castle there were important princes - Kęstutis and Vytautas.  

The perpetuation of historical personalities in legends is also typical of Italians, for example, in the legend of the Devil's Column, the protagonist is Saint Ambrose: theologian, archbishop, Roman saint, one of the most important people of the Roman Catholic Church in the 4th century.  

While reading legends of different countries we often meet mystical characters. The legend of Trakai Castle tells about the appearance of the Duke's ghost, the Italian legend about the devil's column testifies to the existence of the devil. The legend of the Trakai Castle has inspired many poets who have created poems or prose pieces about this historical heritage of the country, so the literary heritage of the country also belongs to legends. 


Stones are a geological natural heritage, silent witness to the centuries-old history of each country. These boulders have been worshiped in Lithuania since ancient times, when they were considered sacred, they have names, they have a history and a legend.

The legend stone of many countries is a test or a difficult task for the devil, a means of fighting evil and good.

The negatives of the legend of Puntukas Stone are anxious to harm any tribe of Anyksta, which no devil is capable of and wants to close the family home with stone. But the stone is heavy and needs to be used for a bad idea. The devils trying to make the morning just come usually show that other important fakes of stone use fail. The battle between the good and the blog also portrays the legend of Mount Schlesh, where angels are devilishly likely to be led into a cave by stoning, and these are proper morning light and faint.

The stones are geological objects of natural heritage, it appeared in Lithuania by the last Ice Age, which came down from Scandinavia. But legendary stones often occur when unfortunate people turn them around. Bulgarian legend Belogradchik rocks tells, that the whole family was stoned, and in another version, stoned like an unhappy girl with a baby and monks. In the Romanian legend "Dragon's Garden" the stones appeared when a virgin fossilized or in other versions dragons.

The legend of many countries comes out the connection of narratives to the natural heritage. In ancient times, people's fans played because it was people's homes, food, the only opportunity to take advantage. In Lithuania, the old faith - paganism - survived until the 19th century, as evidenced by the abundance of human-made legends about a unique natural object.

The legend of Neringa reveals a fantastic story of how the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea were washed by the neringa - sand belt. Legend has it that the Curonian Spit peninsula has been flooded by the good - natured giant Neringa, creating safe havens for those who want to be kidnapped and bitter by sea monsters.

Valuable best stories about natural heritage sites are often created as love legends, and wonderful legends of nature's natural masses are portrayed as the beauties of a girl. Bulgarian legend Rhodopa found out about Rhodopa girls and she was a beautiful lady admired by all - men and gods. God Hemus was especially jealous. He did not want anyone else to look at Rhodopa and began throwing stones to make hills to reach the Rhodopes mountain chain.

A similar legend exists in Romania. The natural reserve area for the dragon garden is the geological structure of the rock formed by the natural disintegration of huge blocks of sandstone. One of the Legends of the Dragon Garden reading about girls who loved a soldier. Unfortunately, the girls stepmother did not accept their love, so she cursed the girl who turned into a stone statue.

The places mentioned in the legends of religious heritage are special in their magical power. The legends of different countries reflect the features of Christian and other peculiar religions.

The legend of the Hill of Crosses tells the story of a hill that became holy when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared with her baby Jesus in the embrace in the 19th century. It is believed that prayers on the Hill of Crosses will come true, a prerequisite is to leave the cross and pray.

Italian legends also find religious symbols popular in other Christian lands. In the legend of Saint George and the Dragon, we see an imaginary fight against evil: George fights with the dragon. The dragon was then killed by the Saint. The iconography of this saint is based mainly on this episode, which is commonly known and beloved in all Catholic communities.

In the Bulgarian legend about St. Petka and the stone bread reveals a story whose moral is to follow the example of the faithful and you will be saved.

The legend about the Beautiful Alda teaches that you must cherish the miracle of faith and never try to use it.

Bulgarian legend Belintash believes that special stones have magical power. Belintash - The place of worship of the cult of the Thracian god Sabazios. Thracian god Sabazios and connect the megalithic monument with the cult towards this god.