Dirvonai pines

Two interesting pines in the village of Dirvonai received state protection. People consider them sacred. A cross is attached to one, and a wayside shrine on the other. When there was no church in Bazilionai, residents of the village of Padegliai used to go to Kurtuvenai to pray. Pilgrims used to stop at Dirvonai to pray, greeting the Kurtuvėnai church from afar. The old residents of the village of Sodeliukai had heard from their parents that the pine trees were marked in 1912 – 1914. All kinds of incredible stories are told about it. Here is one of them. 

This old man named Liaudins had died in the village of Dirvonai. When going to church, after dark, people kept meeting the deceased dressed in black by the pine tree. Suspecting that the devil was leading the deceased, the villagers nailed a cross to the pine tree and the departed walked no more.

It is said that after the war, one Soviet collaborator shot at the crosses and later hanged himself. His son also died under tragic circumstances.

The shrine’s story is not as grisly. Some man, who came from Piktuižiai, simply had a dream of the Virgin Mary, who asked him to build a wayside shrine. The man made a beautifully carved, green-painted shrine with a figure of Virgin Mary. It hung on a tree for a long while before it perished during the war. Soon, another one appeared in place of the old one, but it too was destroyed by someone. Now hangs the fourth and a relatively new shrine.

Residents of Dirvonai and Sodeliukai still come to the sacred pines to pray, they bring flowers and light candles during religious holidays. In 2004, the two pines of Dirvonai have been declared a protected botanical natural heritage object by the municipality.