darius and girenas anyksciaiThe town of Anyksciai (Lithuanian: Anykšciai) in Lithuania grew around an estate founded at the confluence of the Anykšta and Šventoji rivers and is first mentioned in written sources in 1442. It acquired city rights in 1516, but fell into ruin after several serious fires, and recovered only in 1898 with the construction of the narrow-gauge railway line between Panevezys and Švencioneliai. An important means of transportation until the end of the 20th century. The railway is now used for recreational purposes only. Information on its history is available at a museum set up in 1996 in the old train station building at Vilties gatve 2.

The center of Anykšciai developed during the 15th - 18th century. Buildings from the 19th- first half of the 20th century can be found in A. Baranausko square and along Vilniaus, Geguzes and adjacent streets. There is a monument in A. Baranauskas square to those who died in the struggle for independence, in the form of a winged metal figure reminiscent of Christ Crucified (2002).

Dominating the town center is the red brick neo-gothic Church of St. Matthew (1909). Its high towers were damaged during the First World War and replaced by somewhat smaller ones in 1928. The town's parish was established at the end of the 15th century but there are no traces of its earlier sanctuaries. The present-day church has a marble bust of the poet-bishop Antanas Baranauskas, stained-glass windows installed in 1971-1986 and Stations of the Cross made by the amateur carver Rimas Idzelis, erected in the churchyard in 1982-1988. There is a monument dedicated to Vienuolis, another to Baranauskas in the church square.

More facts about Anyksciai

The town's largest memorial museum was established in the home of the pharmacist and writer Vienuolis, who set himself up in 1925 beside the granary building where Baranauskas wrote during the summer of 1858 and 1859. The Lithuanian literary classic Antanas Vienuolis lived and worked here about 30 years and chose to be buried beside the house, in the shade of his own planted apple trees. The farmstead shelters a bust of Baranauskas and in the orchard the grave of Vienuolis. Vilniaus street 21 has a small memorial museum dedicated to the children's writer Brone Buivydaite, who is buried in the town's cemetery. A tower on Liudiškiu Hill at the edge of town along the Moletai road holds the remains, brought back from Zakopan in 1953, of the writer Jonas Biliunas.

Anykšciai Regional Park encompasses the picturesque banks of the Šventoji river and its tributary valleys and gullies, the tall Anykšciai Forest lauded in a famous poem by Baranauskas, and meadows stretching southward from the town along the Šventoji river and Kurkliai road. The park also shelters the massive Puntukas rock with its relief carving of the pilots Darius and Girenas. Other interesting sites include Queen's marsh, the lake and village of Rubikiai and the Šeimyniškeliai fortress hill near Naujieji Elminkai.

More information about Anyksciai

Inhabitants 12,000 (2001)

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