Kadaise Lietuvoje (Once Upon a Time in Lithuania)

“A short animated film about the mythology of pagan Lithuania and the founding of Medieval Lithuanian capital Vilnius. According to the legend: ‘Gediminas, the Grand Duke of Lithuania killed a proud and powerful aurochs while hunting and afterwards dreamed a howling iron wolf. The pagan priest Lizdeika prophesied: A capital will arise here, power and beauty of which will be legendary throughout the world. It’s glory will be as mighty as the howl of the iron wolf…’

Lithuania’s pagan ruler Grand Duke Gediminas, was on a hunting trip in the forests of Šventaragis valley around the mouth of the River Vilnia. When night fell, the party, feeling tired after a long and successful hunt, decided to set up camp and spend the night there. While he was asleep, Gediminas had an unusual dream in which he saw an iron wolf at the top of the mountain where he had killed an auroch (European bison) that day. The iron wolf was standing on the top of a hill with its head raised proudly towards the moon, howling as loud as a hundred wolves.

Awakened by the rays of the rising sun, Gediminas remembered his strange dream and consulted the pagan priest Lizdeika about it. The latter interpreted the dream as follows: ‘Let that happen to the Ruler and the Lithuanian State what was fated to happen!’ He told the Duke that the dream was a direction to found a city among these hills. The priest explained that the howling of the wolf represented the fame of the future city: that city will be the capital of Lithuanian lands, and its reputation would spread far and wide, as far as the howling of the mysterious wolf…’

So the Grand Duke of Lithuania, obeying the will of gods, immediately started to build the future capital, and took it the name – Vilnius – from the stream of the rapid Vilnia.”*

*I found this text in the video description of another jewtube posting of the same film albeit of a slightly lesser quality.

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