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Lithuanian legends & lore:
Gediminas' Dream

iron wolf

"Iron wolf" (part of a sculpture by Metalo Forma)

One day Grand Duke Gediminas, ruler of Lithuania from 1316 to 1341, went hunting in the forest of Šventaragis' Valley. (Click here to read about Gediminas.) Lithuanian forests were renown for their primeval state and abundance of game - a true hunter's paradise. Before Gediminas realized how late it was getting, night fell and he had to spend the night in the forest. During the night he dreamt about a large wolf in iron armor howling with a voice of a hundred wolves on a nearby hill.

In the morning, puzzled by the dream, Gediminas sought out the help of Lizdeika, a local sage, to interpret the dream for him. Lizdeika told him that the wolf's iron armor and loud voice meant that a powerful fortress would be built on the hill and that its fame would be heard far and wide.

Gediminas promptly gave orders to build a fortress on the hill and moved his headquarters to this new site. The city of Vilnius, the current capital of Lithuania, grew up around it. (Click here to read more legends..)