Smardonės šaltinis

Useful Information

Location: Likėnai village, Biržai region.
(56.200069, 24.623546)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstKarst Spring
Light: n/a
Dimension: Ø=17 m, D=1.5 m, T=7.5 ºC. Pavg=242 l/s, Pmin=0 l/s, Pmax=1170 l/s.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Address: Smardonės šaltinis, Likėnų st., Pabiržė, Biržų r.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1587 first written mention of the medical use.
1816 first chemical analysis of the spring water made by Theodoras Grotthuss.
1938 opening of the Likėnai health resort.
1956 research by the Lithuanian geologist Alfonsas Kondratas
1961 flow rate was 540 l/s before reclamation works and 14 l/s afterwards.
1985 declared a geological monument.
1989–90 research by the Lithuanian geologist Augustinas Linčius
2001 research by the Lithuanian geologist Vytautas Narbutas
2011 the site was renovated and the shore strengthened with local stones.
2012 research by the Lithuanian geologist Kęstutis Kadūnas


Smardonės šaltinis (Source of Hell) is a karst spring located on the grounds of the Likėnai rehabilitation hospital. It was once the most productive spring in Lituania, in 1961 the flow rate was 540 l/s, but after reclamation works, its capacity decreased to 14 l/s. As a karst spring the production varies from 130 to 540 l/s, and in dry periods it may stop to flow at all. This is the source of the homonymous Smardone stream.

The water of the spring is very high in limestone but also contains hydrogen sulphide gas, which creates a typical smell of rotten eggs. The first chemical analysis of the spring water was made by Theodoras Grotthuss in 1816. He discovered, that the increased content of hydrogen sulfide in the water of Smardone spring is of inorganic and organic origin. Inorganic sources are gypsum (CaSO4•2H2O and pyrite (FeS2). The organic sources are organic remains in the sedimentary rocks and sand, and products of microbiological activities in the groundwater. Hydrogen sulfide is formed by the interaction of these inorganic and organic substances.

Theodoras Grotthuss is the most famous Lithuanian physicist and chemist. He was born and living in Gedučiai manor in Pakruojis district. He was specialized on electrochemistry and photochemistry, and developed the world's first theory of electrolysis. He published the scientific study "Mémoire sur la décomposition de l'eau et des corps, qu'elle tient en dissolution a l'aide de l'électricité galvanique" (Memorandum on the decomposition of water and the bodies it keeps in dissolution by means of galvanic electricity), in which he identified the basic laws of exposure to light.

Due to the bitter taste and the smell, the locals were aware of the uniqueness of the spring. The water from this spring was never used to cook meat, coffee, or tea, but it was used to bake bread and to bathe. The water was used to wash the eyes, the hands and the feet for medical purposes. Or small amounts were slowly sipped. The medical use of the spring was first mentioned in 1587. In 1938 the Likėnai health resort was opened and the water of the springs used for various treatments.

Mineral mg/l
Total mineralization 1856.79
Cl- 24.82
HCO3- 366.00
SO42- 1020.00
Na+ 10.70
K+ 3.70
Ca2+ 581.16
Mg2+ 29.18
Hardness mg/l
total 31.43
carbonate 6.00
constant 25.43
Biogenic compounds mg/l
NO3- 4.25
NO2- 0.05
NH4+ 0.18
P/PO43- 0.02
P total 0.05
permanganate oxidation 5.68
Petroleum products traces
SPAM (detergents) 0.005
C6H6Cl6 0.006
DDT, DDD, DDE not detected
Heavy metals mg/l
Mn 0.018
Fe 0.500
Cu 0.010
Zn 0.026
Ni 0.008
Pb 0.020
Cd, Cr and Co not detected
chemical analysis from 1989