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• Introduction

• The aim of the Project Work

• The Project Work

“A resort place I like best”:

• History;

• Land;

• Population;

• Facilities;

• About Birstonas;

• Things to do;

• Regularly scheduled sport and cultural events;

• Sanatoriums;



One day our English teacher asked us to make a project work. She gave us a

lot of subjects and we had to choose one of them. I have cchosen “A resort

place I like best”. A resort place I like best is Birstonas. My parents –

my mother and my father, were born in Birstonas. First time I visited

Birstonas when I was four years old. It was fantastic! I enjoyed breathing

the fresh air, walking in wonderful pinewoods, swimming in enormous

swimming-pools. Birstonas charmed me from my childhood. It is the only

town, where I can relax. That is the reason why I visit Birstonas every



There are aa lot of aims of my project work. I will mention some of them:

• It was very useful for me to make a project work because now (after

making it) I know plenty of new facts about this unique rresort town –


• I have friends in United States of America, in United Kingdom and in

Italy. I am able to tell a great number of interesting facts about

Birstonas to my friends.

• I have repeated the subject that we learned about in our English

lessons – Resort town in Lithuania.


Birstonas is situated in the southern part of Lithuania at the one of the

bends of the Nemunas River. In 1966 it gained the status of the town of

republican subordination.

First time the name of Birstonas was mentioned in 1382. Chronicle of Vygand

of Marburg mentions „a farmstead at the salty water“ (Birstain or Birstan).

The wooden castle of Birstonas is also referred to in descriptions of the

routes to Lithuania bby Crusaders’ scouts; these descriptions, surviving

from the period of 1384-1402, include the above-mentioned names of

Birstonas. In the early 19th century, Teodoras Narbutas, a researcher of

Lithuanian history, discovered these documents in the secret archives of

Konigsberg. The master of the castle, Vytautas the Great, was a keen

hunter. For hunting sessions the game would have been driven into the

forest surrounded by the Nemunas bend from Trakai and Aukstadvaris; that is

why the forest is still called Zverincius (a place full of beasts).

Birstonas developed into aa highly sought after and prized health resort

town. It served the restorative and relaxation needs primarily of the

citizens of the Soviet Union prior to Lithuania’s independence in March of

1990. Since the independence of 1990, Birstonas has been free to develop

its beautiful surroundings, clean air, and abundant sources of water into

one of Lithuania’s most charming destinations. It’s charm of late XIX

century -early XX century resort villas were never spoiled by soviet style

„architecture.“ The tallest building is only 4 stories high. The entire

city is ablaze in nature and colour throughout the seasons.

In 1414 a famous Flemish traveller Gilbert de Lanua visited the region and

was the first one to mention the Birstonas Castle. Sources tell that

escaping from plague epidemic the Grand Duke of Lithuania Kazimieras

Jogailaitis with his family spent there the winter of 1473. The hunting

estate had been expanding rapidly and it became known as Birstonas town in

1518. The first church there was built in 1549 (rebuilt in 1643). The town

was severely damaged during the 17th century wars against Russia.

From 1924 Birstonas was subordinate to Lithuanian Red Cross organization.

The park was cleaned out, new buildings and running water system were

built, and water springs put in order. In 1924 the production of bottled

mineral water ffrom Birstonas springs “Birute” and “Vytautas” was started at

the hotel Lietuva in Kaunas. Later on the production process was moved to a

small plant in Birstonas. Buildings for mud treatment procedures were built

in 1927, while buildings for mineral water procedures – in 1931.

In 1939 the monument to Doctor Jonas Basanavicius (sculptor A.

Aleksandravicius), a leader and ideologist of Lithuanian national movement,

was erected in Birstonas and stands there until now. World War II severely

damaged the town; the fire destroyed the most beautiful building of the

town, Kurhaus (it was rebuilt later) as well as the pictures by famous

painter Kazys Simonis that were kept in it.

Professor Balys Sruoga, a Lithuanian writer, came to Birstonas to recover

and be treated at the Baltoji vila (White Villa) Sanatorium after the years

in Stutthof concentration camp, in 1946. In Birstonas he wrote his best

novel “Dievu miskas” (“Forest of the Gods”). It was built the monument to

Balys Sruoga (sculptor G. Plechavicius) here.

Birstonas hydrographical network includes the Nemunas River, the Druskupis

rivulet, mineral springs, and wells. When the Kaunas Hydroelectric power

station was put in operation, the water level of the Nemunas by Birstonas

increased. After 1959 flood, 2.2 m of length embankment was made to protect

the town from floodwater.

The history of the town is iintroduced at the history museum that was opened

in 1967. It has a conventional exposition and two exhibit halls. Museum

archives contain about 6,000 pieces. The museum organizes meetings,

exhibitions, and lessons of history. A sacred museum commemorating Cardinal

V. Sladkevicius and Archbishop J. Matulionis has been founded.

The beginning of secondary education dates back to 1796, when the first

primary school was opened in Birstonas. It keeps contacts with Kolding

Bakke School in Denmark, Leck School in Germany, and Bykle and Hovden

Schools in Norway.

Art School has operated in Birstonas since 1978. Students can take grand

piano, accordion, violin, clarinet and guitar classes. The painting section

was opened in 1986; children’s creative group, „Molinukas“, was set up at


The nursery-school (kindergarten) “Vyturelis” was opened in 1987. Nowadays

education there is based on ethnic traditions.

The town is proud of its cultural life. Concerts, theatre events,

conferences take place at the 500-seat Birstonas cultural center hall.

Meetings with interesting people, exhibits, contests and disco parties are

organized at the small hall of the center. The cultural center also

includes wood carving studio “Uosiukas”, photography studio “Varpas”,

theatre studio, and music and dancing groups. Such popular events as

International Birstonas Jazz Festival, sports dancing contest “Birstonas

autumn”, and International J.Valunas Cup Ballooning competition, are


The town has a public library, which contains

more than 70,000 publications

and 3,000 videotapes, vinyl records, compact discs.

Newly established sports and tourism information center organizes sports

events, and provides tourism services. An Olympic Rowing Center provides

perfect conditions for training and practicing indoors and outdoors as

well. 80-bed dormitory for sportsmen is available at the center.

The Nemunas Bend Regional Park is an adorable place for relaxation and

tourism. The length of the Nemunas in the park territory is 79 km. On the

left bank of the Nemunas River in the Alksniakiemis pinewood, stretches aa

sculptural pathway to commemorate victims of Stalinism.

New architecture dominates the town, though there are some late 19th –

early 20th century villas, too. Neogothic St Anthony of Padua Church, built

in 1909, highlights the town.

On August 21, 1995 the President of the Republic of Lithuania confirmed

the coat of arms of the Birstonas town. It reflects the special features of

the resort: the mythological fish from whose back fountains water

symbolizes the background of resort’s past and present.

On July 17, 1998 in the park oof Birstonas, the statue of Vytautas the Great

(by G. Jakubonis) was opened.

The town popularizes the art of minor plastics (23 works); sculptors’

meetings take place there.

The park was established in 1992 for the protection of the unique Great

Bends of the Nemunas aand the marvellous landscape of the Punia Pine Woods,

its natural ecosystem and cultural treasures.

The Nemunas Great Bends form a 79-kilometre-long stretch of the middle

reaches of the twisting river, beginning 3 kilometers above Punia and

finishing 1 kilometer below Birstonas. The Nemunas Great Bends include the

Punia, Balbieriskis, Prienai and Birstonas Bends. The park is within the

central part of the Prienai region and embraces the entire town of

Birstonas, while the Punia Pine Woods and the village of Punia take up the


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