SKALIŠKĖS CONGLOMERATE ROCK NEAR VILNIUS

2020.06.12

The Skališkės rock (cave) is one of the most interesting sites in the Neris River valley. It is on the right bank of the Neris, near Nemenčinės settlement, Vilnius district. If you want to visit the rock, you have to go several hundred of meters upstream from Skališkės village.

Since 1984, Skališkės rock is a geological heritage monument of Lithuania. It combines several geological objects: a cave, a conglomerate and a spring falling from the rock. At the bottom of the cave, close to the river, another small spring flows from beneath a stone.

The cave has several names. It is called Skališkės, Liucionys, Šventoji, or Verkianti.

The Skališkės rock is a conglomerate formed by consolidation of gravel. Gravel layers formed during the melting of glaciers. At that time, the water level in the Nėris River was considerably higher. Later, with water flow slowing down and river bed deepening, gravel layers got exposed and the formation of abundant springs started. Sedimentation of calcium carbonate occurred, and sediments filled the gaps between sand and gravel. In such way, the earlier loose and fine deposits got consolidated and became hard rock. The Skališkės rock is 15 m wide and 3 m thick. In the course of time, water was continuously falling down from the rock and washed out a 6 m deep cave.

The rock has earlier been a point of pilgrimage to the Gates of Dawn in Vilnius. Historical sources say that in the 19th century there was a chapel and a cross on the rock. A tradition to pray, place crosses and burn candles on the rock still stands. People say that the water falling from the Skališkės rock has magic powers and can treat eye diseases.

The Skališkės conglomerate is a unique nook of nature in Lithuania.

You can learn about conglomerate structure in the Museum of Minerals.

 

Text and photos by Birutė Poškienė