(VILNIUS) – Gediminas Hill in Vilnius, one of the most important symbols of Lithuania, might be less waterproof than presumed, the Polish and local experts, who have been analyzing the situation in recent weeks, stated on Thursday.
According to the experts, this poses further threats to the symbolic Vilnius mound.
“It became clear that probably the morainic layer in the middle of the hill could be not that solid and more water permeable than it was thought before; it is an important news for constructors who should prepare more effective measures to prevent deformations,” Jonas Satkunas, director of Lithuanian Geological Survey, was quoted as speaking to reporters, while commenting on Polish colleagues conclusions.
The Lithuanian and Polish geological experts have been doing a geophysical research of the hill since the middle of June.
In Satkunas words, it is necessary to stabilize the southern slope of the hill.
The historic Gediminas Hill, at the very heart of capital Vilnius, has been suffering from land slopes and disintegration in recent months. The situation deteriorated recently due to heavy summer rains and floods in Vilnius.
Due to the forecast of further heavy rains and the risk of landslides, Lithuania’s Ministry of Culture decided to close Gediminas Hill for visitors until July 17.
The Lithuanian military forces are being employed on the hill in order to strengthen the mountain in the face of forecasted challenges of natural forces.
However, the authorities claim that the Gediminas’ Tower, mostly known as Gediminas Castle and placed on the hill, is not at risk at the moment.
“The survey (by Polish experts) showed that the Gediminas’ Tower itself is based on a solid ground, solid geological base, it is proved by geophysical research, the Gediminas’ Tower will not fall down,” Satkunas was quoted as saying by local website Delfi.lt.
However, the government still announced an emergency situation last month due to the situation at the Gediminas Hill.
Gediminas Hill and Gediminas’ Tower, the remaining part of the Upper Castle in Vilnius, are one of the most important symbols not only of the capital city, but also of Lithuania’s state. The panoramic views offered by the Gediminas’ Tower is a must-see on the list of many tourists coming to Lithuania.