Tasting tour: Hospitality of Biržai region
This is a unique country in the whole of Lithuania. Here, the words “So that you dissapered” that are said to the not friendly person can come true in the literal sense … Because you can just take it and see it through the ground! When groundwater leaches into the depths of soluble layers of gypsum, limestone, dolomite, chalk or salt, the ground collapses called sinkholes. There are already about 9,000 in their area and they are constantly growing!
We will start the tour from Pasvalys. This city is famous for its sculptures. One of the most adventurous is Musician Antanėlis. Antanėlis, who has become a legend of the city of Pasvalys, is a strange musician of the Lėvuo river Bridge. Oh, Antanėlis loves to talk! Touching the right hand, he talks about the most beautiful places in Pasvalys. And by touching the left hand, we will learn the legend of Antanėlis. And when you add your palm to the saga, you can hear a poem about the old Lėvuo river bridge read in a northen lithuanian dialect.
The so-called herald of the Nation, the popular poet Bernardas Brazdžionis, is also immortalized in a sculpture in his native land. A few years ago, the city was decorated with a monument to the Grand Duke of Lithuania Sigismund Augustus. It was this ruler of Lithuania who made Pasvalys famous in the 16th century. (1557) signed the so-called Pasvalys treaties with the Livonian Order, their purpose was to prevent a threat from the East.
Admired Pasvalys St. John the Baptist Church of the 18th century we are traveling towards the Pasvalys Mill Museum. There are about 400 exhibits under the open sky: 300 – millstones, 66 – bowl-shaped stones, 7 – “footed” stones, 1 – stone – landmark. After all, not everyday so many stones and their products can be seen in one place!
We continue our journey in the so-called city of the Dukes of Radvilas – Biržai. This is the northernmost territory of Lithuania, located near Latvia border. Biržai people sometimes joke that they visit Riga more often than Vilnius, because they are closer to it. The city has the oldest pond in Lithuania, which has long been called a real lake – Širvėna, where dukes grew water-nut agar (lot.Trapa natans), which has already disappeared in Lithuania.
This region is famous for its sinkholes depressions, and the most famous of them is the Cow’s Cave. It is the most famous and best researched geological monument in Northern Lithuania. Speleologists believe that it is about 200 years old. Its diameter is 10-12 meters, depth – about 12.6 m. There is an open hole in the bottom of the pit. Legend has it that at the present site of the collapse, there was once a lost cow, and only the end of the chain remained at the rock…
We will test our strength by climbing the 32-meter-high Kirkilai observation tower. Climbing the observation tower offers wonderful views – 30 water-filled sinkholes called the lakes of Kirkilai Reserve. Sometimes, under certain conditions, they turn a variety of colors during the summer. And the shape of the tower resembles a canoe or a sinking boat.
We will visit the only 16th century in Lithuania. Italian type bastion fortress – Biržai Castle. The fortress and the city formed a single defensive complex that saw many battles. People have always been seduced by legends, especially those related to love. It is said that the walls of the famous fortress protect the terrible secret of its longevity – the Commander of the Armed Forces of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the famous soldier Kristupas Radvila Perkūnas, who ruled Biržai, ordered the construction of the castle. The castle was already under construction, but one and the same southeast corner of the castle was taking over and collapsing. He restored that angle several times, but this one soon turned over again as if enchanted. The builders of the castle decided to seek advice from a hermit, who still worshiped the Thunder as his parents used. The old man advised to stop the couple of newlyweds returning from the church house at full moon and bring them to the enchanted corner of the castle. If the young man voluntarily agrees to be bricked up in that corner for the sake of the homeland, and if the bride does not separate from her husband, wall them both up. Who knows, maybe someone will be able to discover the brick couple? ..
For those who do not want to leave the beautiful Biržai Castle, we invite you to visit the exposition “Old Brewery” and have fun in the educational program for adults “A Biriečė vaišin dainodamūs”. During it, we will get acquainted with the accessories of the old brewery, the tradition of brewing in the Biržai region and the traditions reminiscent of the hospitality of the Aukštaitians. Sitting at a table covered with white tablecloths, you will taste Biržai feast. Together with the folklore ensemble, you will listen to horns and listen to ancient archaic singing. And you will dance and sing yourself.
Let’s go to the homestead of Sodeliškės manor near Biržai. Here we will discuss cognitive-educational
excursion “Grain Road”. Let’s visit the only 1924 windmill in Lithuania! Halfway through the tour, we will travel to the cozy homestead where we will find out as our ancestors baked bread. We will be able to form our own loaf from the prepared dough ourselves and everyone can smell the delicious smell of baked bread! While the bread is baking, we will have a chance breathe in, taste home-made non-alcoholic beer, game snacks, home-made cheese or gourmet-flavored venison sausages. That’s not all! The strengthened are waiting for the antiques car exposure and farmed animals such as deer, fallow deer, mouflon, alpaca, donkey, sheep, goats, rabbits, poultry attendance.