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funeral pyre

On the wings of fire to the land beyond the hills.

Lithuanian legends & lore:
Šventaragis' Valley

Šventaragis' Valley at the confluence of Vilnelė and Neris rivers in Vilnius Lithuania was the legendary cremation site of Lithuanian rulers prior to the adoption of Christianity by Lithuanians. It is reported that this tradition was established by Lithuanian Duke Šventaragis, who asked his son Skirmantas to help transport his soul to the world of the departed by cremating his remains together with his favorite horse, hunting dogs and hunting falcons at this site. Lithuanians believed that the departed continued life "beyond the hills" in the style that they were already accustomed to and, therefore, needed to be sent there with all of their most treasured possessions. On their final journey great rulers were accompanied even by their favorite servant. (Click here to read more legends.)