Municipality of the region of Varena
2019 September 15
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Places of interest

Varėna district is known for its bright and fresh pine forests, famous for mushrooms, inland sand dunes, which were drifted thousand years ago, plains, decorated by winding rivers and torrential cold-water streams, and lakes, which resemble blue eyes.

Varėna region has a very long and interesting history. Some settlements were established 10, 000 years ago, others are known since the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and yet others tell about freedom fights or difficulties experienced during the years of war and occupation.

The Dzūkija National park and the Čepkeliai State Nature Reserve are the biggest preserved territory in Lithuania. It is rich in flora and fauna: sand dunes, swamps, small lakes and islands, cranberry patches, hollow pines, rivers, and streams. The National Park is also known for its rich cultural heritage, namely, its villages, which have preserved traditional architectural features as well as the local residents' unique way of life. Old villages, Lynežeris, Zervynos, Musteika, Dubninkas, and Dargužiai, are famous for their authentic architecture.

The dialect of Dzūkai, old customs and traditions can still be heard and seen in Varėna district. Traditional handcrafts such as black and colourful ceramics, wild beekeeping, carving, weaving, wickerwork making, and candle making are still preserved and cherished here. Traditional culinary traditions also are kept alive: black rye bread baked on sweet flags, buckwheat pie ("Grikinė babka"), potato pie ("Bulvinė banda"), white curd cheese, mushroom soup, and honey of Dzūkai can be tasted in Dzūkija. 

Lovers of active recreation are offered to get acquainted with Varėna region while canoeing down the Merkys, Ūla, Šalčia, Nemunas and other rivers or travelling on foot or by bike along the roads and paths of forests, villages, and fields. Those who wish a quieter rest can have a picnic, relax on the coasts of rivers and lakes, learn traditional arts and crafts, and visit museums and exhibitions. The hospitable owners of homesteads, scattered across the district, will provide accommodation and even offer to have a sauna.

And, of course, once you are in Varėna district and its forests, do not forget to pick blueberries, cranberries, nuts, chanterelles, ceps or orange cap boletus, which are called "Varnėkai" by Dzūkai.

 

 

Perloja History and Ethnography Museum

 

Address: Perliaus St. 22, Perloja village 

Tel. 8 310 47 605

Email: etnokultura@dzukijosparkas.lt 

Visits by arrangement only

In the exhibition: archaeological and historical past of Perloja village; Perloja during the times of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as well as Polish and Tsarist occupation; the period of the Republic of Perloja, the period of independent Lithuania (1918-1940); the events of 1940-1944;  the events of 1944-1953; village life after 1990.

 

 

 
 

Martynas Vainilaitis Museum

Address: Vaitakarčmis village, Varėna district

Visits by arrangements only, tel. 8 686 55 360.

Martynas Vainilaitis was a famous writer; he wrote poems and rhymed fairy tales for children, and translated books. This museum "Ežio dvaras" ("The manor of the hedgehog") is a cultural centre, where the legacy of M. Vainilaitis is nourished. There are a lot of wooden characters from the fairy tales: hedgehogs, gnomes, pikes, witches, etc.

 

 

 
 
 

The Ethnographic Homestead-Museum of Dzūkija National Park

The homestead-house and the barn were built in 1905. In 1991, people began collecting articles for the exposition. Here visitors will find out how pinewood Dzūkai walked through mushroom "neighborhoods", fished, hunted, and wearing woven slippers lured bees into the hollowed pine by climbing into the trees with a rope and a sitting board. Visitors will also learn about the pinewood Dzūkian lifestyle, traditions, and crafts. 

Visitors are welcome: Monday-Friday 8a.m.-5p.m., Saturday 8a.m.-3.45p.m. Lunch: 12p.m.-12.45p.m. 

Closed on Sundays.

Address: Miškininkų St. 6, Marcinkonys, Varėna dist. Tel: +370 310 39169

Email: muziejus@dzukijosparkas.lt

 

 

 
 

Wild Beekeeping Exposition in Musteika Village

An old-fashioned tree trunk hive apiary was created in 2006, and in the neighbouring forest hollows, bees settled in. Now, in this apiary, you can see how the bees are taken care of in the hives in the trunks, and how the honey and wax are handled. 

Contacts: etnokultura@dzukijosparkas.lt, tel.: +370 310 48034

Visitors are welcome: 

Monday-Friday 8a.m.-5p.m.

Saturday 8a.m.-3.45p.m.

Lunch 12p.m.-12.45p.m.

Closed on Sundays.

 

 

 
 

Čepkeliai Reserve Nature Museum 

Visitors will find the exposition about the Reserve, that it is designated for protecting nature, in which trees are not cut down nor planted, and dead trees are not removed. There is no hunting, picking of nature's bounty, and visits are limited at the Čepkeliai Reserve. For visitors, paths are available to use for a fee. 186 bird species and 2,540 invertebrates can be found here. 41 types of mammals live and breed in the Reserve.  

Visitors are welcome: 

Monday-Friday 8a.m.-5p.m.

Saturday 8a.m.-3.45p.m.

Lunch 12p.m.-12.45p.m.

Closed: on Sundays 

Contacts: Šilagėlių St. 11, Marcinkonys, Varėna dist.

Tel: +370 310 44466

 

 

 
 

Vincas Krėvė-Mickevičius Memorial Museum

Vincas Krėvė-Mickevičius (1882-1954) was a classic author of Lithuanian literature. The work on this memorial museum began in Subartonys Village in 1959. The 19th century Dzūkian family cottage with a straw roof was rebuilt, the author's and his parents' furniture was recovered. 

The exposition is regularly replenished with publications from various years, copies of handwritten notes, and biographical photographs. The museum also has a comprehensive copy of the author's biography, arranges exhibitions of literature and paintings.

Address: Subartonys village, LT-65332, Varėna dist. 

Tel. +370 310 57 210.

E-mail: evelbur@gmail.com, kreve@walla.com

Opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5p.m.

 

 

 
 

Lithuania's Tatar Household Museum in Subartonys

The Tatars have been living in Merkinė since the 15th century, and were well-known as craftsmen and fishermen. This is a private museum, established in the homestead of the owners. An open copy of the Koran is displayed in a respectful place. The national Tatar folk costumes are also displayed. Visitors will see household articles, get acquainted with the crafts, music and cuisine of this nationality. Among the exhibited items, you will see old blacksmith prongs used to dig up potatoes, passed on by ancestors from long ago. 

Address: Subartonys, Varėna Dist. 

Visits by arrangements only: +370 61478316

 

 

 

Merkinė Local Lore and Genocide Museum

The expositions displaying ancient history cover the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. Visitors will find more information about the history of Merkinė, households of Dzūkai, Jewish life, local businesses, and black pottery. One of the most valuable items in the exposition is the old bell from the City Hall in Merkinė that was made in 1670 by J. Delamarsas in Vilnius. In 1990, after Lithuania regained independence, the museum director created a Soviet exposition of communist party propaganda books, flags, and other paraphernalia. 

Contacts: tel. +370 616 52 907, +370 310 39136; email: vienaragiui@gmail.com 

Dariaus ir Girėno square 1, Merkinė, Varėna Dist.

Opening hours:

September-April: Tuesday-Saturday 9a.m-6p.m 

May-August: Wednesday-Sunday 10a.m-7p.m

Lunch hour 2 p.m.-3 p.m.

 

 


Hillock of Crosses in Merkinė

It is a burial ground, where people who struggled for the reestablishment of the independent state of Lithuania (1944-1953) were buried. The sports stadium of Merkinė Secondary School was set up in this place in 1972. The first cross for those who died for freedom and independent Lithuania was built in 1989. Later crosses were built for Merkinė teachers, who were killed from 1945 to 1947. There are about 200 crosses and a chapel on the Hillock of Crosses nowadays. 

The Hillock of Crosses is maintained by Merkinė Local Lore and Genocide Museum.

Tel.: 8 689 26504, 8 310 57178.

Address: Merkinė, Varėna dist.

 

Dzūkija National Park information 

 
Other places of interest
 

Jakėnai eldership:
Stone "Cursed girl", Akmuo village; Church of Crucified Jesus (built in 1724) and bell tower in Akmuo village; B. Jurgelevičius menagerie in Karpiškiai.

 

 

Kaniava eldership

Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Dubičiai;

The monument for 1863 Uprising in Dubičiai; 

The Cross in the place of the battle between Uprising rebels and the Tsarist army;

Poet Anzelmas Matutis Museum in Pauosupė village; 

Ethnographic linear settlement Lynežeris.

 

 

 

Marcinkonys eldership

Barn Theatre in Margionys;

Zervynos ethnographic village, where 48 buildings are declared ethnographic monuments;

Well of "Ūlos akis";

St. Simon and Jude Church in Marcinkonys, the XIX ct. architecture monument;

Headwaters of Skroblus, well of "Bobos daržo" in Margionys;

Ethnographic Musteika village;

Wild beekeeping exposition in Musteika village; 

Dubininkas village.

 

 

 

Merkinė eldership

Sacred hill and mound in Liškiava; 

Saint Trinity Church and Liškiava architectural ensemble of the XVII century and other art monuments in Liškiava; 

Mound in Merkinė; 

Monument for writer Vincas Krėvė-Mickevičius in Merkinė; 

Monument for St. Casimir in Merkinė; 

Mythological Jonionys stones in Jonionys village; 

Black ceramics masters in Maksimonys, Pelekiškiai and Zakavoliai villages.

 

 

 

Valkininkai eldership

 

St. Mary's Visitation Church in Valkininkai;

Valkininkai urban layout, which formed in the 16th century, was declared an urban monument and is protected by the state; 

 Monument "Motina" (Mother) for the victims of the tragedy in Pirčiupiai; 

Hill of Crosses in Pirčiupiai;

Pedestrian educational path in Santaka forest;

Čižūnai linear settlement village;

Dargužiai linear settlement village;

Dargužiai handcraft centre.

 

 

 

Varėna eldership

Saint Trinity Church in Nedzingė;

Monument for Vytautas the Great in Perloja; 

St. Mary's and St. Francis Church in Perloja;

Monument for partisans in Perloja;

Monument for Lithuanian Independence in Senoji Varėna; 

St. Michael the Archangel Church in Senoji Varėna; 

Memorial stone for M. K. Čiurlionis in Senoji Varėna; 

Wooden sculptures of folk art "Čiurlionio kelias" (Čiurlionis way) by the road Varėna - Druskininkai; 

M. K. Čiurlionis remembrance room in Senoji Varėna;

St. Michael the Archangel Church in Varėna.

 


 

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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, varena@lsa.lt, info@varena.lt, institution code: 188773873

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