Folklore in the forest: The Hill of Witches in Juodkrantė, Lithuania

The Hill of Witches (Raganų Kalnas in Lithuanian) is a public trail system through a forested sand dune just off the main road in Juodkrantė, Lithuania. The forest here is teeming with mystical wood carvings, all representing figures from Lithuanian folklore and pagan traditions. I came across photos of the Hill of Witches as I was doing research for our travels to Lithuania. I thought it was something Lucia would love to see and it turned out to be a major reason we decided to visit Juodkrantė.

Hill of Witches (Raganų Kalnas) | Juodkrantė, Lithuania

There are no actual witches to be found on the hill. The name derives from the pagan festivals that were held on the hill during Midsummer’s Eve festivals. The wood carvings began showing up in 1979 and the collection has expanded to its present-day total of 80.

Hill of Witches (Raganų Kalnas) | Juodkrantė, Lithuania

Most of the wood carvings are friendly looking; a few are downright scary. Some are even interactive, inviting visitors to sit or play. We enjoyed a late-morning walk in the woods this past summer. The kids had a blast and I couldn’t stop taking photos. So, come, join us on a fairy-tale walk in the woods…

Hill of Witches (Raganų Kalnas) | Juodkrantė, Lithuania

Looks a bit ominous…

Hill of Witches (Raganų Kalnas) | Juodkrantė, Lithuania

What detail. What an expression.

Hill of Witches (Raganų Kalnas) | Juodkrantė, Lithuania

These guys look like troublemakers

It is free to visit the Hill of Witches. Depending on how leisurely you care to walk, plan to spend at least 1-2 hours there.


Hill of Witches | Juodkrantė, Lithuania

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15 Responses to Folklore in the forest: The Hill of Witches in Juodkrantė, Lithuania

  1. Faye October 13, 2016 at 9:33 pm #

    These sculptures look creepy yet interesting. Barely not to visit this place at night. It might give you a heart attack if you’re not aware. Thanks for the glimpse. I enjoy reading it.

  2. Elena October 15, 2016 at 4:58 am #

    Wow, so happy to see these creatures :). We spent a week in Juodkrantė as a part of our honeymoon ages ago. Good to know that the witches are still there.

  3. Vicki Louise October 15, 2016 at 6:44 am #

    It’s like a real life fairytale wonderland! All those carvings are so intricate and detailed – I hope the collection continues to grow! But I might give it a miss at twilight – i’d be scared they’d come to life!

  4. Erin Klema | The Epicurean Traveler October 15, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

    What a quirky and fun trail! Maybe I’d go hiking more often if trails always had legends and folk art. 😉

  5. mark wyld October 15, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

    Some truly amazing wood carvings here. My kids would also love this experience. We have not been to Lithuania but never say never

  6. Vedante | The Lavish Nomad October 16, 2016 at 3:56 am #

    I can imagine going there at night haha. Looks fun. Very interesting sculptures.

  7. Sarah Ebner October 16, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

    Just the kind of place I like visiting – and reminds me a little of a place in the Austrian Tirol which is also all about witches and wonderful to walk around too – Hexenwasser.

  8. Rachel Pearson October 17, 2016 at 4:19 am #

    Sounds like a magical place. 80 wooden statues is impressive, although I am sure that I’d find some of the creepy! I do like the idea that some of them are interactive though!

  9. Nicci O'Mara October 18, 2016 at 6:29 am #

    What an amazing place to visit. My boy’s imaginations would go into overdrive seeing all of those carvings. Imagine the stories!

  10. Craig Zabransky January 16, 2017 at 5:37 pm #

    Great images, love to attend a festival there… Sure it’s special.
    Stay witching, Craig

  11. Erin Marie Musich January 16, 2017 at 7:45 pm #

    Super cool! Would love to visit this place. A little disappointed there are no actual witches, but I’ll make due.

  12. Raul (@livetotravel) January 17, 2017 at 6:34 am #

    That looks like a cool place, kid or not!

  13. Traveling Ted January 17, 2017 at 10:26 pm #

    Incredible wood sculptures. I think I might be too scared to visit, so I am just going to live vicariously through this post although I probably won’t sleep well tonight.

  14. Amy June 7, 2017 at 4:42 pm #

    Do they still have festivals there?

    • Francesca June 7, 2017 at 5:45 pm #

      Ya know, I’m not sure. I want to say no but I can’t with 100% certainty. Sorry!

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