The Legend of the Founding of Vilnius

The Legend of the founding of Vilnius

Photo by Eugenijus Radlinskas

One day Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas went for a hunt ten miles away from his then capital Trakai.

Hunting was successful – the Duke came upon a huge beast, taurus, and killed it.

As it was too late to go back to Trakai, Grand Duke Gediminas stopped at Šventaragis valley and took a night’s sleep there. Then, during his sleep, he had a dream that on the mountain a large iron wolf was standing and it was howling so loud as if it were hundreds of wolves howling inside him.

Gediminas woke up from his sleep and said to his priest Lizdeika: „I have dreamt a strange dream“ and described everything that had happened in his dream. Lizdeika was the chief pagan priest. He said: „Grand Duke, iron wolf means that the great capital will be located here and a howling of the wolf means that the sound of this capital will be heard all over the world“.

Next day, Grand Duke Gediminas, immediately sent people and founded one castle in Šventaragis valley, another – on a high mountain nearby. And for those castles he gave a name of Vilnius.

Russian: Легенда об основании г. Вильнюс
Lithuanian: Vilniaus įkūrimo legenda – Gedimino sapnas