Municipality of the region of Varena
2021 October 17


Jakėnai eldership

The eldership area covers 15, 000 ha, 69% of it is forests. There are 14 lakes, bigger ones are Lielukas, Netečius, Pabezninkų; the river Merkys flows here, too.

The centre of eldership is Žilinai village; there are 36 villages in total.

Žilinai village is mentioned in crusaders depiction in the 14th century. 

There are two libraries, school, community centre, medical centre, two agricultural holdings, and peat extraction company. The main occupations are agriculture, forestry, and mushroom picking.


Kaniava eldership 

There are 41 villages in Kaniava eldership, bigger ones are Dubičiai, Rakai, and Rudnia. 

By the Ūla and its upper reaches people lived in the early Stone Age. There are around 70 locations in Lithuania from Palaeolithic Age, at least eight of them were found in this eldership - Margiai, Margiai Island, Gribaša, Drucminai, Krokšlys, Dubas lake, Rudnia, and Kašėtos. 

Dubičiai and Kaniava settlements are mentioned in the 14th century in written sources. Historians say that Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas liked to hunt in Dubičiai, his hunting castle was nearby. 

The eldership area covers 26, 800 ha, 70% of it is forests. The Čepkeliai Reserve, cranberry patches, and picturesque scenery by the river Ūla can be seen here.

Residents' main occupations are picking and selling mushrooms and berries.

Marcinkonys eldership 

Marcinkonys eldership area covers 55, 000 ha. There are 26 villages, bigger ones are Musteika, Kabeliai and Ašašninkai. The rivers Merkys, Grūda, and Ūla flow in the territory of the eldership. The greater part of the eldership is in the territory of the Dzūkija National Park.

Marcinkonys settlement is known since 1637, when it was a camp of foresters. It began growing after the completion of the railway station for the Warsaw - Saint Petersburg Railway in 1864. During the Holocaust, the village had the Marcinkonys Ghetto for the Jews.

Nowadays this eldership is known for tourism infrastructure and ethnographic activity - traditional handcrafts - weaving, basketry, candle making, traditional honey harvest from the wild hives are popular here. Tourists can see and participate in traditional Lithuanian bread baking process, and learn how a traditional bread of Dzūkija, buckwheat pie, and other dishes are made.

There are three museums: The Ethnographic Homestead-Museum of Dzūkija National Park, Wild beekeeping exposition in the Musteika village, and Čepkeliai Reserve Nature Museum.

Matuizos eldership

Matuizos eldership area covers 14, 800 ha. There are 28 villages; the centre of the eldership is Matuizos settlement. 

There are about 20 various industry, trade and service companies in Matuizos eldership. Clay, marl, gravel, and quartz sand are excavated by Matuizos village. 

As in all Varėna district, picking and buying up mushrooms and berries are also very popular here.

Merkinė eldership 

Merkinė eldership area covers 55, 000 ha, 62% of it is forests. There are 24 lakes, two rivers, the Nemunas and the Merkys, and five streamlets. 

Merkinė township is the centre of this eldership. There are 84 villages in total, Merkinė eldership borders on Alytus district, Lazijai district, and Druskininkai district.

There are schools, Music and art school, seven libraries, culture centres, Dzūkija National Park Merkinė Visitor Centre, Lithuania's Struggle and Genocide Museum in Merkinė, Vincas Krėvė-Mickevičius Memorial Museum and Home, Lithuania's Tatar Household Museum in Subartonys. A mass grave of Jews killed during the Nazi occupation is in the forest behind the town. 

The valley of the river Merkys is not only one of the most picturesque landscapes in South Lithuania, but also harbours some very special flora and unique insects worth finding while roaming the land. The masters of black ceramics live and work in Maksimonys, Pelekiškės, and Zakavoliai villages. 

Merkinė is one of the oldest settlements in Lithuania. The town (or castle) was mentioned for the first time in written sources in 1359 in Novgorod annuals. Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland Jogaila ensured city rights for Vilnius in 1387; this document was written in Merkinė castle. On 7 December 1569, the town was granted the Magdeburg rights. 

Another important place of this eldership is Liškiava. This village is famous for the mound and sacred hill, and monuments of architecture - monastery and church.


Valkininkai eldership 

Valkininkai eldership area covers 15, 604 ha. The centre of this eldership is Valkininkai, in total there are 17 villages. The river Merkys and streamlets Šalčia, Spengla, Geluža, Graužupis, and Pirčiupis flow in the territory.

Valkininkai settlement is known since the 14th century. It was mentioned for the first time in 1516 and got the Magdeburg rights in 1571. 

Dargužiai is the longest linear settlement in Lithuania. Handmade cheeses are made here in Cheese Makers' Home, many people come here just to taste them.


Varėna eldership

Varėna eldership area covers around 28, 588 ha. More than 50 % of the territory is covered by forests. There are around 30 lakes; the rivers Merkys, Derėžnyčia, Varėnė, small streamlets, and two reserves - Glėbas hydrographic and Ilgelis botanical. 

There are 49 villages and Varėna town in the eldership. 

There are schools (primary, secondary and gymnasium), culture centres, exhibition hall, hospital and hospice. 

Varėna town is the centre of the eldership; there are around 9,500 residents here. 

The biggest village Senoji Varėna was mentioned for the first time in 1413 in written sources. Composer and painter Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis was born in Senoji Varėna.

Another well-known village is Perloja. This village was mentioned for the first time in the 14th century and got the Magdeburg rights in 1792. 

Perloja is known for its Republic, which was here from 1918 to 1923. 

Monument for Grand Duke Vytautas was built in Perloja in 1931.


Vydeniai eldership

Vydeniai eldership area covers 15,000 ha, 70% of it is forests. There are six ponds, and streamlets Uosupis, Nočia, and Šepeta flow here.

The centre of the eldership is Vydeniai village; there are 33 villages in total. 

Residents mostly work in agriculture; there are a few agricultural holdings. published information can be used on other websites, media or elsewhere only acknowledged web site as a resource.
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Vytauto g. 12, LT-65184 Varėna, Lithuania, tel.: +370 310 31 500, +370 310 32 010, faks.: +370 310 51 200,,, institution code: 188773873


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