Not so far from monastery, near the bank of Nemunas river there are two hills. The first hill, walking from the monastery side, is called Church mound. Here the first Liskiava church stood, possible, from 14th century. Walking further there is Castle mound. The wooden castle stood here, and later, at the beginning of 15th century the construction of new stone castle began, but it was finished soon just making groundwork and a bit of first tower. After winning Grunwald battle against Crusaders (1410) there was no need to finish this defensive spot.
It is recommended to go up mounds to see great panorama of Nemunas river, monastery.
Near the bank of Nemunas river and Liskiava mounds the big stone lies – it is one of archeological items. There are two versions of how the stone got a small pit with a shape of, let’s say, hoof. By the name of stone the hoof shape was trampled by evil or bull. Knowing story visitors try to sit on stone for a while or at least to touch ;)
It is possible that stone was used in pagan times for cult of their Gods.
At the end of 17th century the ruler f Liskiava Vladislovas Jurgis Kosilla gave Liskiava land to Dominican monks with an agreement to build here a new church and monastery. Essemble of St. Trinity Church and Dominican monastery was constructed in 1704 – 1720. The outer look of centralized church is in baroque style, interior is decorated in Rococo. Actually Liskiava’s church rococo altars is said to be one of the most beautiful in Lithuania.
Church houses a museum of religious items at the vault. The most interesting and shocking to me were tombs of few Liskiava monks with glassy cover (you could see entire body). Bodies got mummified in time.
The monastery is used as culture house of Liskiava folk.
Panara is a village between Merkine and Liskiava. The village is not important itself, but the monastery of Panara (a bit outside village, in forest) is interesting. It is modern monastery, working just for a few years, having new wooden church. The main works of Panara monks is to watch after and cure alcoholics (rehabilitation place) and cultivating of medicinal plants. Monks have modern house with solar cell, and it helps to dry plants. Later they pack a tea here that is on sale around Lithuania.
Panara is about 4 kilometers away from Liskiava.
Merkine is a small town surrounded by confluences of four rivers – longest river of Lithuania Nemunas, Merkys, Stange and Strauja. This place in mean of nature and strategic location was thankful to create here significant medieval city with wooden castle on mound.
Merkine was first mentioned in year of 1359 as a castle place. In 15th – 17th centuries it was among the most significant top 10 cities in Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Place is interesting for historical spots and great view from Merkine mound.
Merkine is about 21 kilometers away from Liskiavia.
For further information watch my Merkine VirtualTourist page.
The name of Druskininkai has come from word "druskininkas", that means "salt-man". The name of this city was firstly mentioned in 1596. Before that time there was a medieval castle to fight against Teutonic Order. In 1837 Druskininkai got the name of the spa due to mineral waters.
Town centre is between Nemunas river and Druskonis lake, where nice biking routes are made. What is more, it is hard not to see that there ar so much parks and forests around and different looking sanatoriums - some left from Polish occupation time between First and Second World Wars, some from Soviet times and some are more modern, built recently.
Favorite thing: Dzukija region, where Liskiava is located as well, is part of South Lithuania that is gifted by beautiful sceneries of forests, Nemunas banks, some silent lakes. Liskiava is in Dzukijos national park territory, preserved by the state. From the mounds of Liskiava you could see the other part of Nemunas, the white monastery complex on the hill, wooden village’s houses.