THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY IN RŪDNINKAI
The Rūdninkai forest has been well known since the 15th century for its iron ore mines and iron-works, bears and bison, thus, the Grand Duke Casimirus Jagellon (1427-1492) had a luxurious hunting estate. At present, the forest is a landscape preservation park, however, hunting is still performed sometimes. Holidaymakers pick berries, mushrooms and herbs in pinewoods. The forest attracts bird spotters and photographers and in autumn people come to the former Soviet military grounds to listen to black grouses mating sounds. The streams Visinčia and Šalčia are popular among fishermen and canoeists.
In 1470, the Duke Casimirus Jagellon instructed to build a chapel in his hunting estate for parishioners from the surrounding villages. Unfortunately, the chapel burned and the villagers wished to have a church. There also was a pretext – an injured bear attacked the duke, however, his assistant saved his life. The church was built by Casimirus’s son Sigisismund I the Old (1467-1548) and decorated by the duke’s saving wotum “Bear’s Paw”. In the 16th century, the church housed the coffin with the body of the Queen Barbara Radziwill (1520-1551) for one night, when the mournful procession carried it from Krakow to Vilnius. In the middle of the 17th century, the temple and the hunting estate were burned down by Russian Cossacks. The present-day wooden church has been charming since 1790. In the middle of the 19th century, an altar was brought from the closed Trakai Cistercian Church.
Near the Rūdninkai cemetery you will find the monument of 5 m height, erected in 1975, commemorate that in 1863, the Rūdninkai forest became the stronghold for all those, who responded to the rebels’ call to squad, which was hiding in the forest for several weeks, withstood the attack of the Tsar’s army on 9th of March, 1863.