Ignalina District Tourism Information Center

Čelniukai stone

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In the forest of Ažubalis there is a stone with a depression called "Velnio pėda"("Devil's Foot").
Stone with foot bluish-gray, fine-grained, irregularly shaped granite, 1.75 m long, 0.75-1.35 m wide, up to 70 cm high. At the top, in the middle, there is a depression 10x26-28 cm size, up to 3.2 cm deep, called the Devil's Foot. The stone is a protected cultural monument of the state.

It is said that the Devil was sitting next to a stone in a grown spruce tree, dancing loudly, dancing on the stone and rubbing his foot. It is said that by placing a cross on the Devil's foot, he would start to retreat - to "grow up".
It is said that a golden plow and a silver harrow are hidden under the stone, or that Napoleon's soldiers, fearing that the Russians would not take the flag of their regiment, buried it under this stone and carved a sign resembling an infantry's foot.

In addition, various tales are told about the stone - "No one will go there without making a mistake".

It is believed that the Čelniukai stone was mentioned in 1622. Petras Pocius donated Kukutėliai village and Erzvėtas manor to Tverečius monastery. Not only the stone but also the surrounding area is called by the common name of the Devil’s Foot. In the legends, the Čelniukai stone is associated with the footstone in Triluščiai.

2021 Čelniukai stone "spread" to Mielagėnai eldership. When adjusting the administrative boundaries of the elderships, it happened in the summer of this year, the Čelniukai stone, which had been in Tverečius eldership and had not moved a centimeter from the place, found itself in Mielagėnai eldership. The Mielagėnai eldership not only inspected the newly “emerged” cultural monument, but in the autumn began work in the Ažubalis forest: arranged the environment near the mythological Čelniukai stone.

Folk artist Mindaugas Milinavičius, who lives and creates in Mielagėnai eldership, Kikižeris, gladly agreed to decorate this heritage object. He carved and gave the eldership a stylized link.