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Full of Legends Stone Puntukas

Puntukas is the second largest boulder in Lithuania. It is situated around 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to the south of Anykščiai on the left bank of the River Šventoji. It was believed to be the largest stone in Lithuania until the discovery of Barstyčiai stone in Skuodas in 1957.

Puntukas to its present location was brought by glaciers during the last glacial period (the 18th – 12th millennium BC), probably from Finland. It measures 6.9 metres (23 ft) in length, 6.7 m (22 ft) in width, and 5.7 m (19 ft) in depth (including 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) underground). Formed of Rapakivi granite, it weighs about 265 tons. Its reddish mass includes large crystals of potassium feldspar surrounded by green rings of oligoclase.

In 1943, sculptor Bronius Pundzius engraved portraits and quotes of two Lithuanian pilots, Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of their deaths during the transatlantic flight with an aircraft named Lituanica. As local legend has it, velnias (devil in Lithuanian mythology) carried the stone to destroy the Anykščiai Church, however a rooster started crowing. The devil withdrew back to the underworld, leaving Puntukas behind. The legend was featured in the famous poem Anykščių Šilelis by Antanas Baranauskas. According to another story, a brave Lithuanian warrior Puntukas was killed and burned (a usual pagan custom) on the stone. Since then, it is known as Puntukas stone. Other legends claim that the stone was a pagan shrine and the oaks growing around are relics of the sacred groves.

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