Lithuania – The Iron Wolf

Grand Duke Gediminas was hunting in the sacred forest near the Valley of Šventaragis, near where Vilnia River flows into the Neris River. Tired after the successful hunt of a wisent, the Grand Duke settled in for the night.

He fell soundly asleep and dreamed of a huge Iron Wolf standing on top a hill and howling as strong and loud as a hundred of wolves.

Upon awakening, the Duke asked the pagan priest Lizdeika to interpret the dream. And the priest told him: “What is destined for the ruler and the State of Lithuania, is thus: the Iron Wolf represents a castle and a city which will be established by you on this site. This city will be the capital of the Lithuanian lands and the dwelling of their rulers, and the glory of their deeds shall echo throughout the world.”

Therefore, Gediminas, obeying the will of gods, built the city, and took it the name Vilnius – from the stream of the Vilnia River.