The magnificent legend of the origin of Kaunas

Once upon a time when our ancestors still worshipped Perkūnas and other gods, there lived goddesses, the daughters of Dausos. One of them, called Aleksota, had become fond of the wooded banks of Nemunas. Having descended from the clouds and strolling along the bank, the goddess Aleksota befriended the locals, and often helped them to get out of trouble. People loved the goddess – they built an altar for her in a lovely grove, brought offerings, and sent their daughters to watch the holy fire. However, the old Perkūnas did not approve of this friendship between the goddess and the people.

Once Aleksota ran into a young hunter Dangerutis. They fell in love with each other, but their happiness did not last long. As he stumbled upon Aleksota and Dangerutis chatting cheerfully, Perkūnas grew furious and cast a lightning bolt at them, hoping to pin them down to the ground forever. Aleksota swiftly managed to change the course of the lightning, and it struck her altar instead. As they recovered from fear, Dangerutis and Aleksota vowed never to separate from each other.

With the help of the locals, Dangerutis began to build their home. Helpers came in crowds to join him and Aleksota. Their new home arose quickly – stunning and monumental, a true temple. Soon after, Aleksota and Dangerutis were blessed with a son, Kaunas. Newcomers, who could no longer find room in the valley of Nemunas and Neris, began to settle in their neighbourhood. They were all united by the name of their first citizen – Kaunas.