Rambynas Regional Park at the river Nemunas
Woods, meadows and Prussian flair
Rambynas Regional Park embraces the southern part of Vilkyškiai Ridge and the meadows of the Nemunas valley beside Ragainė Twist. The highest point of the Vilkyškiai ridge is 72.5 m above sea-level. Vilkyškiai Ridge divides Pajūris Lowland (littoral lowland) from Middle Lowland and marks the beginning of the Nemunas delta. Dry pinewoods and swampy leafy forests, dry oakwoods and marshy woods can be found there. Almost the whole wood covering the southern part of the ridge is known as Šereiklaukis Wood, whereas it belonged to Šereiklaukis Manor for several centuries. Due to floods, these meadows have never been cultivated and have remained natural and untouched by humans. The interface of those two big ecosystems – woods and meadows – influences a huge variety of fauna. Besides common mammal, there are rare bat species and a huge variety of sining birds live within the territory of the park. Rambynas regional park is also on the migration route of birds and hosts a large colony of white storks. The stork colony of Bitenai is unusual, because they nest in the pine trees. The Cognitive Natural Path of 1.5 km length leads from the colony of storks to the building of the directorate in Rambynas Wood. The path curves on the ridges of conti-nental dunes on the very riverside of the Nemunas, there-fore splendid panoramic sights to the curve of the Nemunas, Ragainė and Tilsit are open here in all seasons. There are 11 stops established and equipped along the path. The colony of white storks, rare and herbal plants, insects, and mushrooms, formations of continental dunes, floods and fishes of the Nemunas, birds and bats are presented there. From the view point guests are overlooking the river Nemunas and the Kaliningrad region.
Legends and myths
Rambynas offers stories and legends about the past and a deep connection to nature and the spirits.
Paradiesstraße - memories of Lėnė Grigolaitytė, an East Prussian farmer
“Paradise Road” by German writer journalist Ulla Lachauer
Lėnė Grigolaitytė recreates the panorama of the region along the Nemunas River: the works of peasants and fishermen, festivals, people’s experiences and grief come to life, the world of weekly markets in Tilžė and near the border located Smalininkai, where she worked for several years in her own haberdashery.
She tells story about World War II and the great emigration of 1944-1945. After her relatives, friends and neighbors left for West and Germany, she left herself in the homeland that fell under Stalin’s eyes and became part of the Soviet Union, she is telling about a period when she felt alien in her homeland, about agricultural collectivization, deportation to Siberia and her return to her homeland, about her ever-growing loneliness after the death of her mother, father, and finally husband. “I have saved you a homeland,” she says as she walks around Lithuania visiting people from Bitėnai, who are looking for their parents’ homes and only finding abandoned relatives’ graves.
In 2019, with the help of the South Baltic Manors project, a footpath was built in Bitėnai by the Bitė rivulet, connecting the historic Jankai and Grigolaičiai homesteads and other famous places of Bitėnai village to a circular pedestrian path. This place is symbolically called the Paradise Road.
(Translation from Lithuania)
Read an interview with the author of the book about Lene Grigoleit in our story blog.