Jurbarkas region is situated in the south west of Lithuania, it stretches 70 kilometers nestled against Father of Lithuanian rivers the Nemunas and occupies an area of 1508 sq. km.
The region is famous for renaissance–style castles, manors and their parks, remained fragments of defensive line of the Nemunas from 13–15th centuries, valuable Panemune landscape, unique cultural treasures.The most famous architectural structures are: the renaissance style Raudone castle (end of the 16th century) and Panemune castle (beginning of the 17th century).
You can reach Jurbarkas via the Old Post Canal from Kaunas, down the old postal trails, along which post was carried to Klaipeda (Memel) and Karaliaucius (Kaliningrad)…
Jurbarkas is situated on the right bank of the Nemunas river at the confluence of three rivers – the Nemunas, the Mituva and the Imsre. The name of Jurbarkas was first mentioned in the chronicle of P. Duisburg, in 1259, when the crusaders built Georgenburg (Jurgenburg) castle there. Since the 14th century Jurbarkas became a royal estate. In the third decade of the 16th century the Polish King and the Grand Duke of Lithuania Žygimantas the Old constituted a decree to govern the Samogitian land – all the populated locality on the Prussian border was given to govern to the Queens. The Queen Bona, the wife of Žygimantas II, was the first to govern Jurbarkas. In 1611 Jurbarkas was granted the rights of Magdeburg and a coat of arms, three white lilies on the red shield.
Places to visit
- The memorial museum of V.Grybas, Vydūno g. 31, Jurbarkas
- The museum of Jurbarkas Land history, Vydūno g. 21, Jurbarkas
- Concert and Exhibition hall (a former church), Vydūno g. 21, Jurbarkas
- Jurbarkas Mound, called Bišpilis, Mokyklos g., Jurbarkas
- The monument to Vytautas Magnus (1930), Vytauto Didžiojo g., Jurbarkas
- The church of the Holy Trinity (1907), M. Valančiaus g. 1, Jurbarkas
Kristmemelis Castle (Teutonic Order), from which the name of Skirsnemune (pronounced Skirs‘ne mu ne) arises, was erected in this locality in 1313. In 1792 Skirsnemune was granted the Magdeburg Law and a coat of arms. The neogothic Church of St. George built in 1903 and Žvyriai Evangelical Lutheran Church, which has been in use since the middle of the 19th century, adorn the borough. To the north of Skirsnemune, in Paantvardis village, there is the farmstead and the birthplace of the poet, translator, and diplomat Jurgis Baltrušaitis, that is marked by a monument stone and a cross. On the north bank of the Nemunas, near the road of Kaunas – Jurbarkas, Panemune Castle stands. The name “Panemune“ is guessed, arose from the former Panemune Manor that was once here. Janušas Eperješas, a nobleman of Hungarian descent, built the castle in 1604-1610. Panemune Castle was not designed to be a stronghold for the defence of the land but a feudal castle typical for the beginning or the 17th century with defensive fittings, residential buildings, and farm buildings. This is a renaissance era building. At the end of the 17th century, Kristupas Eperješas reconstructed the castle ensemble built by his father in a baroque style. In the second half of the 18th century, Baron L.Igelštromas, and later the Gelgaugas family, acquired the castle. The new owners carried out a classical reconstruction. In XIXth century the castle was abandoned. The valuable library and the gallery of pictures were carried off. The intelligentsia of Independent Lithuania took care of this monument and decided to study and preserve it. At present the castle is under reconstruction and is prepared for visits. A wonderful castle park with five cascade pools and a hilly relief leave an unforgettable impression for every tourist. During a tourism season, works of Vilnius Art Academy are being exposed in the castle, it is possible to walk inside of the castle, admire the wonderful Panemune views that open from the castle tower.
At the castle foot Pilis I village is settled. Several kilometres away to the west of the castle, at the turning to Raseiniai, there is a former Šiline tavern built in the end of 18th century. At present the administration of Panemune Regional Park and a nature school are established there. Visiting tourists are introduced with fishing peculiarities in the Nemunas.
Places to visit
- Panemunė Castle and the park
- Pilies I k., Skirsnemunės sen.
- Former Šilinė Tavern, Information Centre of Panemunė Regional Park
- The Church of St.George (1903) in Skirsnemunė
Krišpinas Kiršenšteinas built a fortified manor-castle here at the end of the 16th century, where his grandson Jeronimas Krišpinas Kiršenšteinas, after becoming the governor and secretary of the Lithuanian Grand Duchy Treasury, made it his main residence. Those were flourishing years for the Castle. In the second half of the 18th century, Raudonė was left to the Olendskis family. The layout of the castle was altered. A fire soon damaged the castle. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Duke Platonas Zubovas gained the castle, and he undertook the remodeling of it. The castle took nowaday shape after a reconstruction in 1877. The remodeling of the building has hidden renaissance architecture, a striking example of which remained in the north housing of the castle and in its towers. The neogothic style mill, that was built in 19th century, is a part of the complex of the castle buildings. Those who want to admire the wonderful valley of the Nemunas, should climb the 33,5 m high castle tower. The castle is surrounded by an old park, in which rare trees grow: a silver fir, Swiss pine and a grey walnut, Gediminas Oak, under which according to the legend the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas had had lunch. It is one of the oldest oaks in Europe.
Places to visit
- Raudonė Castle (end of the 16th century) and the windmill (19th century)
- The park (Lime walkway, Gediminas Oak and the lime with 9 trunks)
- The resorts (Monkey Hill, Friendship Hill, Shooters’ Square, Love Hill)
Veliuona (pronounced Ve liuo ‘na) is one of the oldest, the most beautiful, and interesting Lithuanian settlements. The Castle of Junigeda which stood here, was first mentioned in 1291. It was named Veliuona since 1315. It is thought that it was there when after Teutonic Knights having used a gun for the first time the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas was killed and buried. To remember him, Lithuanians had built up a mound. In 1644, there was built the church of Assumption of the Holy Virgin, which was reconstructed several times. Until now the church is adorned by gorgeous baroque altars, works of Petras Kalpokas, Mykolas Elvyras Andriolis, epitaphs of Jonas Kazimieras Bžostovskis (1650 – 1655). Žygimantas the First in 1501 – 1507 granted the city self–rule i. e. the Magdeburg Law. Veliuona has its coat of arms, a gold carp with three teeth on a blue field. In the 19th century there was built a gorgeous classicism style wooden manor palace and there was planted a rich park with exotic trees and plants. The biggest adornments and valuables of the park are two mighty tulip trees with yellow blossoms (height 25 m.). A. museum of land history is situated in the palace. There are literature and nature expositions in Veliuona Antanas and Jonas Juškos secondary school.
Places to visit
- The Old Town Centre of Veliuona (monuments of 700th anniversary of Vytautas Magnus and Veliuona, a stone with an impressed footstep, the view site of the Nemunas valley)
- Veliuona‘s church of Assumption of the Holy Virgin (1644)
- A complex of archaeological monuments (the grave of Gediminas, Mounds of Serenity hill with the monument to the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas and the altar to the Goddess Velionė)
- Manor House and the park
The town is at the junction of the Nemunas and the Dubysa (pronounced Du by’ sa) rivers. The mound called Palemonas Hill (almost 40 m/ 130 ft high) proudly rises in the panorama. The Chronicle of Lithuania mentions it in the legendary story about the origin of the Lithuanians being from Duke Palemonas of Rome, who left Rome and together with his relatives and subjects due to persecution by the Emperor Nero, settled in this country. Romanticist historians called the mound of Seredžius Palemonas Hill, since Palemonas is supposedly buried in it…
The mound recalls the struggles with the Teutonic Knights. It is thought that the Castle of Pieštvė stood on the hill which was harassed by the Teutonic Knights from 1293 and withstood them until 1363. In the middle of 15th century the Teutonic Knights built their own Marienburg castle beside the mouth of the Dubysa in the Nemunas valley; at present there remained two hills called Palocėliai. The name of Seredžius has been made famous mostly by the composer and organist Stasys Šimkus. 1 kilometer to the west the classical style of Belvederis Manor stands. It was constructed at the beginning of the 19th century. 365 steps lead from the foot of the slope to the house.
Places to visit
- Mound, called Palemonas Hill
- Palocėliai castle site
- Saint John Baptist’s Church (1913)
- Belvederis manor (19th century)
For a long time Smalininkai had been the border town belonging to Klaipėda territory. Not far from Smalininkai the River Šventoji flows. In 1422, Melnas declared it to be the border between Lithuania and the lands occupied by the Order. It remained unchanged till 1923. Therefore Smalininkai was an important border point for a long time. The most successful period for the town was the second part of 19th century and the beginning of 20th century, when Smalininkai extended and perished . Active navigation took place on the Nemunas, and in Smalininkai harbor all sailing ships had to stop for customs control. The harbor became a very important point for reloading goods. In 1811, Smalininkai established the first Water Measuring Station beside the Nemunas. Travelling towards Viešvilė, alongside the old motorway, you pass through a natural monument, an avenue of oak trees, that stretches 1,3 km. On both sides of the old road there are 186 trees of almost 4 m. breadth, some being over 300 years old.
Places to visit
- Old harbour of Smalininkai, Water measuring station (1811)
- Building of former Smalininkai railway station
- A museum of ancient technique, Liepų g. 2, Smalininkai,
- Farm–stead of the painter L. Meškaitytė (19th century), Antšvenčiai, Smalininkų sen., Jurbarko r.
- Kazikėnai manor (19th century)
- An avenue of oak trees
Viešvilė is situated along the motorway Jurbarkas–Šilutė, that reminds the times of crusaders, on both sides of the namesake small river. From the west, the north and the east it is surrounded by the woods of Smalininkai–Viešvilė, to the south–by the river Nemunas. In the historical sources the town was first mentioned in the beginning of 16th century, and the manor – in 1549. Viešvilė grew up rapidly: in the middle of 17th century, after the river Viešvilė was barraged, there was built a mill by it, later there was erected an oil crusher and a saw–mill, and a leather manufacture too. After the World War I when Klaipėda‘s area was joined to the Republic of Lithuania, there was a custom–house, a border police institution, an administration of the rural district, a forestry, a court, two schools. Until today a court house that was built in 1902 still adorns the town. The three–storey building is massive and reminds of a medieval castle. Obviously, the author of the project has sought for that.
The place is rich with natural sources, often visited by tourists, where they relax in tourism homesteads, pick up berries, mushrooms, go fishing, boating.
Places to visit
- Old graves of Viešvilė (X–XI a.)/
- Former Court House(1902
- The highest hill of Kaskalnis
- Oak wood of Jūrava, the highest oak of Lithuania (37 m.).