The legend of Zapyškis

(Dievogala – the upper part of the town)

In ancient times, people used to tend to the eternal flame and burn the offerings to the goddess Altona – the patron of youths. At the top of the mound, under a widespread oak, there was an altar on which the youths from nearby farmsteads would gather and implore the goddess to help them find wives.

A young priestess of indescribable beauty kindled the eternal flame in Altoniškiai; in Dievogala, in the meantime, the flame was watched over by a young priest. In the temple of the goddess Altona, he once saw the beautiful priestess, falling deeply in love with her, and his visits grew more frequent. During one of his visits, the flame of Dievogala – unattended by the young priest – died away. When people saw what had happened, they cried with fear: ‘Dievui galas! Dievui galas!’ (‘The end of God! The end of God!’) From there came the name of the village. After this accident, people burned the young priest alive and the priestess, having lost her lover, died of sorrow.