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Michal Leszczynski | all galleries >> Galleries >> Lithuania 2003 > The Valley of Neris river
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MAY-2003 Michal Leszczynski

The Valley of Neris river

On the way to Kiernawe our group stopped for a short rest in the valley of the river Neris

Neris is a river rising in Belarus, flowing through Vilnius (Lithuania) and becoming a tributary of the Neman River (Nemunas) at Kaunas (Lithuania). Its length is 510 km.

275 km of the river runs through Belarus, where it is called Viliya, and 235 km runs through Lithuania, where it is called Neris.

The Neris connects two old Lithuanian capitals - Kernave; and Vilnius. Along its banks are burial places of the pagan Lithuanians. 25 km from Vilnius are the old burial mounds of Karmazinai. There also are many mythological stones, and a sacred oak.

The issue of the dual naming of the river as Neris by the Lithuanians and Viliya (formerly Velja, meaning "big, great" in Slavic) by the Slavs is complex. Even in Vilnius, there are toponyms including both names, e. g. Neris remains in the riverside names of Paneriai and Paneriškės while Velja is a part of the name Valakampiai, which means "an angle of Velja" in Lithuanian.

Although it has been suggested that Neris is the primeval name of the river, while name Viliya is of a secondary extraction, the dual naming most probably emerged from the confluence of rivers Neris (now known as Narach River, leaving Lake Narach) and Velja, in the historical Slavic/Baltic borderland, each ethnos choosing their own name for the river starting at the confluence. It is moreover evidenced by the fact that the name Neris was never used to name the river Velja up to this confluence. Therefore it has been proposed that the Narach River had in fact been considered the upper reaches of Neris by the Balts in ancient times.

Following in the steps towards the valley of the Neris river

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Hank Vander Velde13-Feb-2011 01:40
Beautiful scenes and images Michal.
Jola Dziubinska12-Feb-2011 22:08
Fantastic green scenery. V.
Colin Storey12-Feb-2011 19:45
Three lovely images and details about this great looking place. v
Jim Coffman12-Feb-2011 19:08
Wow, gorgeous place! I could really enjoy myself here! V
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