Lithuania's iconic Gediminas Hill closed to visitors after landslide

Landslide below pedestrian walkway on Gediminas Hill Photo © Ludo Segers @ The Lithuania Tribune

Specialists on Saturday decided to close the Gediminas Hill in downtown Vilnius to visitors after a landslide on its eastern slope.

Culture Vice-Minister Renaldas Augustinavičius said the hill had been closed for preventive reasons, not actual danger to visitors.

In his words, the hill would remain closed "until further notice." The Kazio Škirpos Avenue will also be closed to pedestrian and automobile traffic for some time.

The Saturday's landslide was reported to be among the bigger ones lately, measuring 24 m in length and 20 m width.

The landslide under the main pedestrian path caused the path to rupture. The path had been closed to visitors for some time already, however, was still used by specialists doing the repair work. The path should be repaired by Wednesday or Thursday.

Another landslide of soil and turf was also reported last Friday.

Lithuania's Culture Ministry has pledged to present hill management plans until next summer along with the potential costs. In Augustinavičius' words, the landslides are pulling up the costs. The government earmarked 3 million euros for putting the hill in order last summer, with another 6 million euros expected next year.

Archeological tests on the Gediminas Hill this year revealed remains, which have almost been confirmed to have belonged to the most prominent leaders of the 1863 uprising against the tsarist Russia, Zigmantas Sierakauskas and Konstantinas Kalinauskas.

Source: BNS
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