Birutė (died 1382) was the second wife of Kęstutis, Grand Duke of Lithuania, and mother of Vytautas the Great. Little is known about Birutė’s life, but after her death a strong cult developed among Lithuanians. Birutė was a priestess who served Pagan gods, suggesting that a marriage to a pagan duchess rather than to an Orthodox duchess from Slavic lands helped to with pagan Lithuania support. Circumstances surrounding her death are unknown.
In 1989 archeologists discovered evidence of a pagan observatory, which had existed on Birutė Hill in the late 1300s, likely built in her honor. To discourage people from worshiping pagan gods and her grave, the Saint George chapel was built atop the hill in 1506. It was rebuilt in 1869 and survives today. It is the highest dune of Palanga on the Baltic Seashore and is part of the Palanga Botanical Garden, which combine to make it a tremendous tourist draw.
The surrounding forest and distant Baltic Sea make for a pleasant afternoon. It is a nice place to go for meditation and prayer and enjoy the panorama from the top of the hill to the sea.