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Puntukas stone

Original version
Long time ago, Puntukas stone lied deep in the wood. Nobody had ever known or heard anything about it. In the place, where the Anykšta river now falls into Šventoji river once lived the Anykšta family. Mother Anykšta was a mighty sorceress. She had a magic omen the sight of which alone made the devils fall through the ground. The devils were angry with mother Anykšta and her family. So the oldest of the devils decided to kill her and block up her hut with a stone.The devil called his son and ordered him to fulfill his wish for him. The young one tried out different ways to lift the stone, but it wouldn’t move. Then the devil sent his senior son to complete his errand.The devil tried in vain as the stone wouldn’t move all the same. The oldest devil got mad and shouted, “Shame on you! How come you all have grown so weak that you can’t move a pebble! Watch me! Old as i am, i’ll only use one hand to send it onto that hag’s hut.” The whole family of the devils gathered around the stone to watch. The oldest of the devils attempted at the stone from different places, but the stone would still be standing in its place. Soon the devil got exhausted. Seeing that his sons with their children were laughing their heads off, the devil grew even more cross and gave a whistle. All the devils swarmed all across the woods. The devil told them, “Take this rock, my children and throw it upon the hut of that witch Anykšta!”. To obey him, with much difficulty, they started carrying the stone. The Thunder God was a big enemy of the devils.Upon seeing them, he would shoot a fiery arrow right away. This time was quite the same. It wasn’t long before he struck and made the devils flee in all directions. The stone, however, fall on Puntukas’s house.This is how Puntukas stone got its name from the man who had lived in that place. He’d been an evil, wicked man who had never got along with people. No one saw him ever since. But they started calling the stone by his name – Puntukas.
Alternative versions
Locals say that Puntukas used to be in the forest, but when the people built the local church on a path used by Velnias, ruler of the Underworld, he became very upset and decided to block the entrance of the church with Puntukas. It took a major effort for Velnias to move the stone, but with the help of all the evil spirits under his command he was able to lift it and to start carrying it. They were working at night and in secret. However, just as they got to the edge of the forest, the first rays of dawn appeared in the east and a rooster started to crow. Velnias and his helpers were so startled, that they dropped Puntukas at its present location and ran away.
Main characters
Sorceress Anykšta, devils, Thunder God/Dundulis
Connected artistic / architectonic / historical heritage
Puntukas stone, also known as Dvaronių stone is the second biggest boulder in Lithuania it is located 6 km to the south from Anykščiai town in the Anykščiai Pinewood landscape reserve, Dvaronių village on the banks of river Šventoji. In 2000, this boulder was announced as a geological natural monument it is also considered to be history and mythology monument aswell. Not only the stone itself, but the legend is mentioned in poem The Forest of Anykščiai, written by famous lithunian poet Antanas Baranauskas. Not too far from the place where Puntukas stone rests stands The century-old neogothic red brick church with twin spires, designed by the architect Nikolay Andrejev, is the highest church in Lithuania with its 79-metre-high spires being the first detail the visitors coming to Anykščiai can see. In one of the versions of the legend about Puntukas this exact church was supposed to be chrushed by the devil.
Local traditions or historical connections
On the south side of Puntukas during the years of German occupation, in the middle of the summer of 1943, the sculptor Bronius Pundzius completed the bas-reliefs and words from the testaments of Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas, the pilots that have flown across the Atlantic Ocean. It took him 180 days to complete the work. Because of it was damaged in 1945, during the 1970 decade it was restorated. Next to Puntukas The Treetops walking path emerged, located in the famous Anykščiai Pinewood is the only treetop path in Eastern Europe. The path is in the level of the tree crowns and it lasts for 300 meters, evenly going up to 21 meters high. It is common for the people of Anykščiai region to celebrate biggest events close to this stone beacause it is considered one of the most important landmark in whole region. Some people suggest that Puntukas stone and oaks surroundings this area are the remains of pagan sanctuary.
Didactical Relevance
The most popular and the second biggest boulder in Lithuania according to its size (after Barstyčiai Stone), always was one of the most important natural landmarks in country, not only in the region. Stones of this size is not common in a country of lowlands, so the common opinion is that Puntukas was brought by the glacier 14-20 thousand years ago. Being unique object it had special meaning to the local people, that it is why there is opinion that it might have been used for religious purposes during pagan times, which Lithuania was the last country to give up. Motive of devils and spirits being somehow a part of the reasons why the stone end up here is used in local folklore, so there are several other legends where Puntuko stone takes a big part in story. Choosing this stone for engraving the monument for national heroes also shows what importance in countries mindset it takes. Knowing the history and the legends surrounding this boulder is as important as knowing the key events in country, because it is inseparable object to Lithuanian cultural heritage.
Didactical Activity
Connections with specific subjects: • Cultural aspect – students can discuss the importance of mythological creatures in legends of traditional folklore. • Geography aspect – students can discuss the real reasons why the stone end up in this location • Historical aspect – representation of nation heroes pilots Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas, why this stone was chosen and if it’s the best way for representing nations gratitude • Arts - draw the suroundings of Puntukas stone in pegan times/ when devils tried carry the stone • Direct visit and virtual visit: it can be visited by using directions on the link as well google earth(google maps) link" target="_blank">" target="_blank">" target="_blank">" target="_blank">" target="_blank">" target="_blank">" target="_blank">" • Skype call with Anykščiai regional park representative which could give you a tour and talk about Puntukas stone and Anykščiai region • Quality virtual tour in Anykščiai and it‘s most famous objeckts like Puntukas stone" target="_blank">" target="_blank">" target="_blank">" target="_blank">" target="_blank">" target="_blank">" target="_blank">


Puntuko stone
Drone footage of the stone and surroundings
Puntuko stone
Alternative story video in Lithuanian language which is well understood even without English language
PUNTUKO stone animated cartoon


Puntuko stone
Old picture of puntuko stone
Puntuko stone
Puntuko stone
Anyksciu stone
Church near the stone

PDF version of the legend in national language