Description of activities
The Hill of Witches is a unique museum of wooden sculptures where fiends, devils, witches and other characters of folklore reign supreme revealing
to visitors natural and mystical spirit of the place.
Majority of the sculptures of the Hill of Witches are situated round the picturesque Dale of Fir Trees (German Tannental). This valley constitutes a natural forest amphitheatre shaped by parabolic dunes, the Hill of Eve, starting with the end of the 19th century, also served as a place for gathering of large crowds (up to a 1000 strong) of local Lithuanian population that used to converge here coming from across the Curonian Lagoon every year on St. John’s day to prey in a mystical atmosphere of the woods and visit the popular resort of Juodkrantė. This tradition was especially alive before the First World War although it persisted throughout the interwar period as well.
The makers of the Hill of Witches, wood carvers and blacksmiths, who were assembled from all over Lithuania in 1979 were inspired by the beauty of the landscape and mystical atmosphere of the parabolic dune slopes overgrown with centenary pine and fir trees that gave an impetus to embody characters of fairy tales and legends in wood. During the first creative workshop folk artists made 25 sculptures and dedicated the set to the International Year of the Child (1979), while 50 wood carvers and blacksmiths created 71 sculptures in the course of three folk artists workshops that spanned from 1979 to 1981. The project was led by sculptor Steponas Šarapovas and architect Algimantas Nasvytis.
The ensemble of the Hill of Witches, which has delighted and intrigued visitors to Neringa for four decades, is regularly amplified and renewed: 12 game sculptures were added in 1988, while in 1999 restoration of sculptures counting several decades commenced. In 2002 part of the sculptures that succumbed to a humid climate were replaced with new ones, and annually held woodcarving symposia offer a possibility to renovate the most damaged sculptures.
The exposition of wooden sculptures on the Hill of Witches in Juodkrantė is among the most-visited tourist attractions in Neringa.