The legend of the bison

The coat of arms of Kaunas (why does the coat of arms of Kaunas depict the bull with a cross between its horns?)

During a hunt, a duke of Lithuania and his troops succeeded in hunting down a bison – the lord of the woods – in a very special place of the thicket of the forest where the two rivers Nemunas and Neris meet.

The beast was speared by a rogatina – a spear used to hunt large animals. The hunters, however, soon noticed a cross made from tree branches sticking out of the wounded bison’s horns. Fearing the wrath of the gods, Lithuanians decided to sacrifice the beast. They erected a huge oak bonfire and burnt the king of beasts as a generous offering to the gods. Later the Castle of Kaunas was built in that place.