Page 1


r e v o c s i D a i n a u h t i L



European Union structural support for Lithuanian tourism

Discover Lithuania <0=>AB~<DB4D<B~27DA274B ?0A:B~;48BDA4~A42A40C8>= 740;C724=CA4B~7>C4;B

European Regional Development Fund 2^WTbX^]5d]S

Vilnius, 2013


UDK 910.4(474.5) At34


Contents Preface / 7

Dzūkija and Suvalkija / 100

Aukštaitija / 8

St. Francis of Assisi (Bernardine) Church and Monastery / 104

Pažaislis Camaldolese Monastery Ensemble / 12

Vytautas Kasiulis Art Museum / 114

House of Perkūnas and the Jesuit Monastery Observation Deck / 22

Władysław Syrokomla Museum / 120

Žalgiris Arena / 26 Active ecotourism centre – Babilonas Hotel / 30 IBIS Kaunas Centre Hotel / 33 Campsite in Lampėdžiai / 36 Bank of the Šventoji River in Ukmergė and Šventupė Campsite / 38 Bistrampolis Manor / 40 Kleboniškiai Village Open-Air Museum / 44 Burbiškis Manor / 47 Žagarė Esker Educational Trail / 50 Pasvalys Campsite / 52 Biržai Castle / 54 Rokiškis Manor / 58 Shore of Lake Zarasas / 62 This publication was compiled and published by the Institute for the Development of Tourism on behalf of the Public Institution Lithuanian Business Support Agency

Shore of Lake Paplovinis in Ignalina / 65 Ginučiai Water Mill / 68 Water tourism in the Aukštaitija lake district / 72 Utena County Hill Forts / 76 Utena Hippodrome / 81 Church of St. Matthew in Anykščiai / 84 Šventoji riverside in Anykščiai / 88

ISBN 978-9986-31-376-2 © Public Institution Lithuanian Business Support Agency, 2013

St. John’s Church and Belfry / 110

Kaunas Church of St. George the Martyr and Bernardine Monastery / 18

Comfort Hotel LT / 117 Medininkai Castle / 124 Trakai Peninsula Castle / 128 Užutrakis Manor / 132 Varėna Educational Trail and Bicycle Path / 136 Radnyčėlė Wellness Centre at Grand SPA Lietuva / 138 Grand SPA Lietuva conference centre / 143 SPA Vilnius SANA Health Centre / 146 Draugystė Health Resort / 149 Vijūnėlė Park in Druskininkai / 152 Snow Arena Indoor Skiing Complex / 154 Liškiava Church and Monastery Ensemble / 158 Alytus Sports and Recreation Centre / 161 Lazdijai Hippodrome / 164 The Shore of Lake Ilgis in Pivašiūnai / 166 Birštonas Central Park / 169 Birštonas Kurhaus / 172 Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel and Marian Monastery / 174 Paežeriai Manor / 178 Zypliai Manor / 182 Gelgaudiškis Manor / 185

Shore of Pastovis Lake in Molėtai / 91

Šakiai Youth Creation, Sports Centre and Swimming Pool / 188

Dubingiai Castle Site / 94

Elektrėnai Ice Palace / 190

Rumšiškės Dock / 98



Lithuania Minor and Samogitia (Ĺ˝emaitija) / 192 :[PX_Ĺ­SPATRaTPcX^]?PaZ (% <T\T[7^cT[ (' ?P[P]VP1XRhR[TP]S?TSTbcaXP]?PcW! Palanga Amber Museum and Botanical ?PaZ!# :aTcX]VP<P]^a!' EPR[^ePb8]cPb=PcX^]P[Bc^]T<dbTd\! ! Renavas Manor / 216 2^[SFPa<dbTd\!! ?[PcT[XPX<P]^a7^\TbcTPS!!# 1dZP]cĹ­<P]^a7^\TbcTPS!!& <hZ^[Pb>VX]bZXb<P]^aX]?[d]VĹ­!" BP\^VXcXP]EX[[PVT>_T]0Xa<dbTd\!"# 1XadeĹ­]PX<P]^a7^\TbcTPS!"' Angel Mill / 241 B_aÄŠSĹ­7X[[5^ac!## 2W^R^[PcT<dbTd\!#% :dacdeĹ­]PX<P]^a!#( DeT]cXb4cW]^VaP_WXR<dbTd\!$! 3X^]XiPb?^Â&#x192;ZP{b1PdQ[XPX|7^[[^fCaTTb} PccWT1XY^cPX<P]^a7^\TbcTPS!$$ 3dQhbPFPcTaC^daXb\A^dcT!$& ?P]T\d]Ĺ­2Pbc[T!% =T\d]Pb1XRhR[TP]S?TSTbcaXP]?PcW!%# 9daQPaZPb<P]^a!%% 9ÄŠaPAXeTaFPcTaC^daXb\A^dcT!& CPdaPVĹ­?PaZ!&# CPdaPVĹ­2Pbc[T!&% wX[dcĹ­C^f]P]S7Xbc^aXRP[?PaZ1XRhR[TP]S ?TSTbcaXP]?PcWb!&( Places of interest according to tourism resource groups / 282 Pictograms / 284 Guide instructions / 285

Mykolas Oginskis Manor in PlungÄ&#x2014;

Preface Dear reader, here, at your disposal, is a travel guide that is intended to help you get to better know â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or discover anew â&#x20AC;&#x201C; your homeland. If you are from another country, it is with great pleasure that we invite you to travel around our small yet interesting and memorable seaside country and become acquainted with its noble history, unique cultural heritage, picturesque scenery and sincere people. Each historical period of the Lithuanian state left a distinct mark in the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cultural heritage as well. In the 14thâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;16th centuries, Lithuania was the largest state in Europe: it encompassed the territory of present-day Belarus and Ukraine, and part of Poland and Russia. The aura of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s castles and hill forts call this period of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to mind. Another important historical moment was the Christianization of Lithuania that took place in 1387. It was through Catholicism that Lithuania came closer to the culture of Western Europe. The valuable art and sacral architecture of churches and monasteries reveal the most striking moments of development of different periods of Western painting, sculpture, architecture and design. In the 18th century, Lithuania found itself on the path of the great European nations: it was divided over and over again. Lithuania experienced a revival in the 19th century and a short decade of independence in the beginning of the 20th. Our country endured occupation by both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Upon restoration of its independence in 1990, Lithuania came back to life and returned to Europe, from which it had been isolated for centuries. Lithuaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rich history is alive in its manors, churches and monasteries â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all you have to do is stop and take a good look. The lives of people in days gone by reverberate in the impressive Old Towns of the large cities and the ethnographic villages. Lithuania is a wonderful country for travellers who appreciate untouched nature. Its forests, lakes and rivers entice with their nature and beauty. You can feel it everywhere, whether you are hiking, biking, canoeing, boating, fishing, or just relaxing with your friends and family. Every year, Lithuania is becoming more and more beautiful and more attractive to

travellers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in no small part thanks to support from European Union structural funds. The Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA) is responsible for administering projects for the promotion of tourism in 2007â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2013; 867 million LTL of support funds have been allotted for the implementation of these projects from the European Regional Development Fund alone. These projects help to resurrect and preserve the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most valuable heritage: manors, castles, churches, monasteries, parks, and museums. With the support of EU structural funds and funding from the state budget, guest houses, spas, and recreation centres are being built, bicycle and pedestrian paths are being laid, campsites are being set up, and resorts and towns are being spruced up. European Union support has helped implement a number of wonderful and valuable ideas which have started a new era of tourism in all corners of Lithuania. Old sites that have been reconstructed have recaptured the attention of tourists, and new ones have opened new tourism opportunities. The work that has been done helps create jobs, ensures the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well-being, and promotes Lithuania. It is a long-term investment into Lithuaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future, and its benefit to the development of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy and competitive advantage is evident. This guide presents 80 of the most interesting sites that projects administered by the LBSA helped to regain their original charm or come about altogether; we are particularly proud of them and believe that they are worthy of your attention. The projects are being implemented according to the European Union 2007â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2013 Structural Assistance â&#x20AC;&#x153;Promotion of Cohesionâ&#x20AC;? Operational Programme. They are being financed by the European Regional Development and Cohesion Funds and the Government of Lithuania. For more information, see: www. and So include these sites in your travel plans and get to know a Lithuania that is more colourful, interesting and intriguing than ever!

Wishing you a trip full of discoveries â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Lithuanian Business Support Agency staff



Aukštaitija ithuania’s largest ethnographic region, Aukštaitija is distinct for its wide variety of dialects, traditions and architecture – the heritage of the Selonians, Semigallians, Aukštaitians, Lithuanians and other ethnic group that once lived here. In this region, we can also find foundations of the Lithuanian state. Upon uniting it forces in the 11th century, Aukštaitija became the root and nucleus of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. This region’s heritage of oral, singing and instrumental art is particularly abundant and colourful. The famous sutartinės (multipart songs), which are inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, as well as a number of different songs, dances, reed piping, horn blowing, etc., survived here the longest and have been embraced by folklore collectors. These traditions remain alive to this day – Aukštaitians are eager to foster their ancestral heritage. And ancestral heritage is by no means limited to folk arts – culinary heritage, traditional businesses and crafts such as brewing, pottery, weaving, horse-breeding, fishing, bee keeping, are cultivated as well. Hundreds of lakes and numerous rivers and streams are the pride of Aukštaitija – a true paradise for water tourism. The Lithuanian regions most abundant in lakes – Zarasai, Utena, Ignalina – are all part of Aukštaitija. The Zarasai region alone has about 300 lakes. It is in Aukštaitija that you will find Lake Drūkšiai and Lake Dysnai – Lithuania’s largest lakes. Lake Sartai, which is famous for the horse race that is held on it every winter, is also one of Lithuania’s largest. The country’s longest lake – the nearly 30 kilometrelong Lake Asveja – is also in Aukštaitija. And did you know that there is a place in Lithuania where you can spend as many as two days boating through interconnected lakes? Visit Palūšė and you’ll see for yourself! If rowing on a peaceful lake is not your style, you can opt for a wonderful river route instead. Those who aren’t afraid of rapid currents and shoals might want to try the Anykšta or the Siesartis, while the Šventoji, Žeimena, Lakaja Rivers are more suitable for less experienced swimmers. Have a hard time imagining your holiday or weekend without a fishing pole? The only


The Kaunas Old Town comes to life with theatricalized performances during festive celebrations

challenge you’ll have is deciding which of the many lakes and rivers to select. After you’ve done some fishing yourself, be sure to see how our forefathers did the same thing at the Fishing Museum in Mindūnai or at the “Lake People” exhibit at the Aukštaitija National Park Visitor Centre. If you’re planning on travelling through Aukštaitija by bike, car or foot, we recommend you plan your route in advance. There are so many interesting things to see here that even the longest holiday won’t be enough to see everything! Your route will most likely include several hill forts – witnesses to the history of the ancient Aukštaitians – for they are particularly abundant in Aukštaitija, with 182 in the Utena region alone. You won’t regret the climb to the top once you see the magnificent views of Aukštaitija that open up below. Be sure to stop by a few of the region’s ethnographic villages, which have scarcely changed over the last century. With their slightly crooked farmhouses, wooden shutters carved with love, and traditional gardens blooming outside of the windows, villages such as Šuminai, Strazdai, and Vaišnoriškės are alive with the spirit of the ancient Aukštaitians. Technology buffs are sure to enjoy the old Ginučiai watermill, and those interested in architecture will be enchanted by Anykščiai’s red-towered church, the mysterious Biržai Castle, the elegant Bistrampolis and Rokiškis manors, and the many other architectural masterpieces this region has to offer.

It is not without reason that Aukštaitija is called the lands of lakes, which allures water tourism enthusiasts with its unique unique bodies of water

Discover Lithuania  

Discover Lithuania