Kernave in Sirvintos – Lithuania

The tourist attractions at Kernave make up some of the most important historical sites in Lithuania. As the former capital of the Lithuanian Grand Duchy, it boasts of some impressive artifacts.


This archaeological site can be found at the district of Sirvintos. It is at the southeast of Lithuania. The site can be found at the Valley of Pajauta and the Neris Bend. It is close to some hill fort mounds. The site is to the right bank of the Neris river. It is 35 kilometers (22 mi) from Vilnius and 21 kilometers (13 mi) from Sirvintos.

What to See

The main tourist attractions at Kernave are the churches. Alongside the new church is the old churchyard. The church foundations have been dug up. During the 500th anniversary in 1930, a monument was set up there.

The grounds of these churches served as the burial ground for the residents of the area. There are a couple of chapels in here. The older chapel was built in the 13th century. The newer one was constructed in 1920.


Archaeological evidence shows that the site was first inhabited during the Paleolithic era, albeit by only a few. The number of inhabitants expanded during the Mesolithic and Neolithic eras. The earliest mention of the town is recorded in 1279. It was mentioned as the Grand Duke Traidenis’ capital. That same year, the place was attacked by the Teutonic Knights.

During the Lithuanian Civil War in 1930, the place was attacked and razed. The castle and Pajauta valley were also burned. The remaining residents settled at the hilltop.

For several years, the area was forgotten. Archaeologists eventually uncovered the site. Excavation of the hill forts were conducted by the Wladyslaw Syrokomla and the Tyszkiewicz brothers. Excavations resumed after World War II.


Tours to the site are widely available. The price will be around 80 to 90 Euros. At these rates, you will have a guide. Some tours do not provide a guide. They are cheaper.

Other Info

The site comes to life during summertime. Folk festivals are held including the famous Rasa festival. It is also the site for the Mindaugas Coronation Day. This takes place on July 6. The event is a showcase of folk music, war games and ancient crafts.

If you are interested in visiting the tourist attractions at Kernave, make sure to compare the different travel packages available. In many cases, you will be allowed to visit other nearby sites.