According to archaeologists, Tauras Hill has been called the Devil's Hill since ancient times. The name was first mentioned in 1441 in the privilege of Grand Duke Kazimieras Jogailaitis to residents of Vilnius. In the 17th century, the name Pamėnkalnis also appeared. In ancient times, pagan holidays were celebrated on this hill.
The origin of the name Tauras Hill is interpreted in various ways. According to the legend, this is where Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas hunted the king of Lithuanian forests – the buffalo. After this hunt, the ruler dreamed a dream that inspired him to establish the present-day capital of Vilnius.
However, historians say that the buffalos did not breed in this place and the name of the hill comes from the name of the former owner of these lands, Juozapas Bouffalas, translated into Lithuanian as Tauras.
There is a street named in honour of the public figure Jonas Basanavičius next to the hill - Lithuania proclaimed independence under his rule on 16 February 1918.
Jonas Basanavičius and Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis intended to establish the Home of a Nation on the Tauras Hill, which was to be a cultural centre for the entire country.
The site was bought and money was raised; however, the implementation of the idea was hindered by the outbreak of World War I.
In 2007, a memorial stone was unveiled on Tauras Hill with the inscription that the Home of a Nation would have stood at this place.
The contemporary architectural idea of the new symbol of Vilnius on Tauras Hill is the National Concert Hall. Of the nearly 250 National Concert Hall ideas submitted by architects from around the world, the winner of the competition was a team from Arquivio Architects in Spain.
Their concept of the National Concert Hall is to bring the object as naturally as possible into the unique environment around it.
Architects are proposing to build several separate sections of the building on Tauras Hill, which will be joined by an open plinth floor, a green corridor, and will include the Great and Small Concert Halls.
The territory of the Lutheran Garden, a park on Tauras Hill, also integrates delicately as a part of the project. The space is expected to become a focal point of European culture.