Panorama of the Parnidis Dune

Parnidžio kopos panorama
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1.46 km nuo Nidos centro

Blown by harsh winds, the Parnidis Dune rises up to as many as 52 metres above sea level. A scenic viewpoint constructed at the top of the dune allows one to see a wide panorama of the surroundings of the town of Nida: the old lighthouse, showing the way for over 130 years to fishermen, sailing in the sea and in the lagoon, the widest point on the Curonian Spit – the Bulvikis Cape, the Sklandytojai Dune, which is the highest in the spit (earlier, its height was 70 metres above sea level), the silhouettes of Nida’s red-tiled houses and the rippling Curonian Lagoon. In good weather, one can see from the Parnidis Dune the other side of the Curonian Lagoon and the peninsula of the Ventė Cape. When a dense fog descends, the surrounding views disappear behind a secret curtain.
The interpretation of the Parnidis Dune’s name is interesting. The locals think that the name originates from the phrase “having crossed Nida” (Lith. “perėjusi per Nidą”), since this wind-swept dune has “travelled” back and forth over Nida several times.
In fact, shifting dunes are particularly sensitive to human visits. According to scientists, when climbing or descending the steep slopes of dunes, each person moves several tons of sand, so travellers are allowed to go on special trails only.
While walking in the dunes of the Curonian Spit and enjoying their serenity, no one counts the time. However, if it is still important for you, a granite sundial built on the Parnidis Dune will accurately show you the time.
The sundial is a 13.8 metre-height stone obelisk, weighing 36 tonnes. Close by, on the small steps covered by the granite flagstones, there are slits to indicate hours and half-hours as well as slits for each month and four more for each of the solstices and equinoxes. The appearance of the sundial has been dictated by the nature itself. One will see here no trace of artistic tricks of any kind. On taking a closer look, one will see that the shape of the steps is similar to the layers of sand that build up due to the blowing wind.
From an astronomical standpoint, the Parnidis Dune is an ideal and indeed the only suitable place for a sundial in Lithuania.