Plateliai Manor Park

Plateliai Manor Park was formed at the 19th century already and occupied the 6.2 ha area. Although the park is small, but its conformation and flora reflect the hilly and rich in greenery landscape of Plateliai surroundings. The park is mixed, dominated by the elements of the landscape. Alleys and paths are devious; the lawns are irregular in form. There are two small ponds in the park. Park is dominated by native tree species: ashes, maples, limes, hornbeams, rowans. Most of them are large in size. Here also are growing spectacular trees assessed as natural monuments: the thickest ash in Lithuania, called the Ash of the Witch and Lime of Plateliai. Near the ash there are remnants of the foundations of the burnt down wooden manor from the central palace.

The most well-known natural monument you will find in the Manor Park is a Lime of Plateliai. Its height is 27 m, the trunk volume at 1.3 m height is 5.50 m. It is believed that lime is about 200 years old. Lime of Plateliai was announced as the natural monument in 1997.

Another natural monument, famous for its spectacular looks, is Elm of Plateliai. Its height is 26.3 m, the trunk volume at 1.3 m height is 5.05 m, and the age is about 200 years. Elm of Plateliai was announced as the natural monument in 1997.

The pride and decoration of the Plateliai Manor Park is Ash of the Witch – the thickest ash of Lithuania. Its trunk volume at 1.3 m height is 7.3 meters. According to the measurement data of 2016, the trunk volume is 7.41 m, height is 32 m, and the age is more than 200 years. Ash of the Witch was announced as the natural monument in 1960. Several stories are known about this unique tree. According to one of them, in ancient times, witches and devils used to misled people to take away goods from them. Once there was one incident with the village woman, who was going home late at night and witches misled her. The woman was running around the Manor Park, thinking that she was in the forest which is unfamiliar to her. She was wandering around until she got tired. Then he sat down under the ash-tree to take a rest and fell asleep. At that time, the witch grabbed her loaf of bread and wanted to eat it, but the cocks started to crow… Then a witch got angry and crashed a loaf of bread into the tree, which turned into a knot… And the tree was called by people as the Ash of the Witch. Some are saying that the devil tried to fold four ashes together and they became as one trunk some day. Others claim that the woman strapped three bewitched trees with her headscarf on which birds were not perching. Those trees grew up together, and even the mark of the headscarf’s knot is present. Others still claim that the witches are still visiting this ash and they gather together here at night in order to talk things over. After the meeting, they are flying to the Šatrija Hill.

Horse chestnuts, black locusts and common lilacs have also survived as exotic plants. In the eastern part of the forest stand, which surrounds a large pond and is like a natural grove, spruces, pine trees and white willows are growing. The northern part of the park alley is planted with small-leaved lindens, and the alley of the southern edge – with maples and horse chestnuts. The narrow forest stands with devious contours, surrounding small irregular spaces, are formed from the maples, oaks, ashes, rowans and hornbeams.

Plateliai Park is the largest bat area in the territory of Žemaitija National Park. 7 bat species are registered here, most of which are recorded in the List of extinct and endangered species of Lithuania. You can also find more protected plants in the park: lichenized fungi (Phaeophyscia endophoenicea), wall scalewort, greater butterfly orchid, etc. There are also some protected animals in the park: great crested newts, clouded Apollo, grey-headed woodpecker, etc.

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