Everyday arts & poetry magazine

Paradise = 14 ha of Devil’s land

Road to Paradise. Credits Gvidas Pocius

Road to Paradise. Credits Gvidas Pocius

I would have never thought that Wikipedia might be a source of inspiration, but that’s what happened. While browsing its Lithuanian version in search for the meaning of “paradise”, I found myself at a crossroads (or disambiguation, as wikipedians call it):

Paradise in Heaven


Paradise in Lithuania?

The latter one seemed to me a bit fresher as an idea, and my feeling didn’t lie. Here goes the story, just listen.

Paradise does exist…

…and it has all the necessary: a creator, a devil, an apple tree (more than 1), and souls (less than 10). It is located in a tiny village, a hamlet really, in the eastern part of Lithuania. It was designed and created by Adomas Hrebnickis (1858-1941), a scientist, one of those Faustian types, who devoted all his life to… apples, pears, plums and other fruits that all together compose a science called pomology.

It is thanks to Hrebnickis that Lithuania today can boast of its apple-tree landscape so colourful and rich. And so delicious (sure the Golden & Jonagold monopoly is imminent but that’s another topic).

All started in 1890, when Hrebnickis received from his father-in-law a 14-ha land lot people called Velnynė, literally, the Devil’s land: it was all up-and-down and stony – a worst choice for agriculture. Our Faust, instead, decided to turn this place into a thing of beauty. A Paradise. So he did: laying out a huge orchard and planting more that 1,000 types of fruiters. He lived there himself, since 1922.

The part of the story I loved most is the following:

Mire Rojuje.


Died in Paradise. 

That’s what poetry should be like: concise, straight, and true.

Bonus track: a short film

If this story helped set you on the right mood, here’s for you a short film, featuring lots of… oranges: Grandpa (2011), by Saulius Lukoševičius. Nostalgic, slow-paced, and very Lithuanian.

Best Baltic short film at Arsenals International Film Festival 2011, Riga.
Nominated for the best student film in Silver Cranes (Sidabrines gerves) 2011, Lithuania.

Words by Jurga

Say it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: