From "Come to Lithuania", Lithuanian Information
Institute. Vilnius, 1996. Page: 114-115
The history of Mazeikiai does not go as far back as the oldest times, though it is known that in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries this land belonged to Ceklis region which suffered a lot from the crusaders. The surrounding country still remembers the French people retreating over this land from Russia in 1812 and in 1863 when the Liepoja-Romno railway was laid00.
At the cross-ing of the three roads from Vieksniai, Leckava and Tirksliai, one of the railway stops was located and it was named after a small farm whose master was Mazeika. This was the way how Mazeikiai was named either. H. Latvis mentioned the estated of Vindeikiai and Mazeikiai in his Livonijas Chronicle at the date 1335. This statement was confirmed by A. Nikzentaitis.
In 1871, trains began running on this line, and in 1874, Mazeikiai was connected to Riga by a railway. In 1880, 19 plots of land were parcelled out for contruction of houses near the stop, and in 1895, the first streets were laid out with cobblestones. A chemists and other shops were opened. Small workshops appeared. Later on, Mazeikiai sprangs up when in 1902 a new railway station palace of brick, locomotives and repair workshops and a school for railwaymen were built. In 1907, a society Saule was founded which opened the first school. During 1901-1918, the railway station was called by name of Muravjov, and the town beheld the old name of Mazeikiai.
The I World War left its prints on our town. The banks of the river Venta resembled a battle field of between Russians and Germans in 1915. In 1915-1918, forty Lithuanians were sentenced to death by shooting by the court martial. At this place, the construction of a present St. Jesus Heart church of red brick was started in 1930 (architect V. Landsbergis-Zemkalnis). The first wooden church was built in 1904, and it was sanctified in 1905 (Priest. P. Meskauskas). Now this place is marked by a chapel pillar.
At the end of I World War, a Lithuanian committee was founded. At the same time, a bolsheviki board worked, too. In 1919, Bermontas, the chief of the Russian Wfite Guards, choose Mazeikiai to be headquarters.
At the end of the same year, the central offices of the district moved to Mazeikiai, and the town acquired the rights of self -government. J. Motuzas was appointed first mayor (burgomaster). The town grew considerably during the years of independence of Lithuania. Hospitals, a bank palace, a new town hall, three working catholic churches, jewish synagogue, evangelic-lutheran church, and the house for prayers of old-believers were built. During the II World War, more than a half of living blocks and industrial enterprises were destroyed or turned to ruins. Not far away from the bridge over the Venta, German Nazi shot about 4-5 thousand inhabitants. In the post-war years, a cemetery of second World War Victims was situated at this site.
Nowadays, Mazeikiai is a distinctive industrial town, according to its population it takes the eight place in Lithuania. In 1980, a refinery started working on the site of former village of Juodeikiai. There are compressoring, electrotechnical, furniture, making enterprises and a shoemaking factory, bakery and dairy factories and other small workshops are in the town. At the present, all industrial centres are being privatized.
Recently, new districts have appeared. They are named as follows: Kalnenu, Naftininku, Ventos and Tirksliu.
The old town is constantly changing, too. The street and public gardens are decorated by sculptors works. The sculptures of the poet A. Vienazindis (sculptor G. Jokūbonis), the writer and pedagogue Satrijos Ragana and the first professional director of plays J. Vaickus (sculptor J. Meskelevicius) stand in the park of the old town.
One can find a more detailed description of the history of the town in the museum of the local lore.
Places of interest
- Birthplace of director J. Vaickus in Zastauciai;
- A house-museum and the grave of a writer Satrijos Ragana in Zidikai;
- Homeland of a sculptor Bronius Pundzius (museum-exposition) in Pievenai;
- Birthplace of a general P. Plechavicius in Bukanciu village;
- Museum and the grave of the aviation pioneer A. Griskevicius in Vieksniai;
- Birthplace and the grave of a poet V. Macernis in Sarnele and museum;
- Renavas estate;
- Dautarai estate;
- Plinksiai estate.
- The grave of a poet A. Vienazindis in Laizuva cemetery;
- The place of jewish genocide. Seda jewish cemetery (killed 150 people);
- The graveyard of homeland defence squard officers in Seda;
- Monument for Vytautas Magnus in Vieksniai;
- Monument for abolition of serfdom in 1861 in Ukrinai;
- Independence monument in Zidikai (reconstructed);
- Monument for the 500 years of death of Vytautas Magnus in the village Pikeliai;
- Monument for the 500 years of death of Vytautas Magnus in the Seda.
- The battlefields of battle against the Livonian Order (near Grieze mound);
- The battlefield of 1831 uprisal of rebels against the tsarist army (Ketūnai);
- The battlefield of homeland defence squad against the red Army in Seda.
Barstyciu stone. The largest stone in Lithuania. Puoke settlement.
- Švč. Mergelės Marijos Ėmimo į dangų churche in the Seda (1770)
- Šv. Jono Nepomuko churche in the Seda (1783)
- Šv. Izidoriaus churche in the Rietavas (1933)
- Kristaus Karaliaus churche in the Tirksliai (1939)
- Šv. Jono Krikštytojo churche in the Zidikai (1821)
- Šv. Antano Paduviečio churche in the Ukrinai (1857)
- Šv. Lauryno churche in the Leckava (1958)
- Švč. Jėzaus širdies churche in the Mazeikiai (1935)
- Šv. Marijos Magdalietės churche in the Uzliekne (1857)
- Nukryžiuotojo Jėzaus churche in the Pievenai (1778)
- Šv. Roko churche in the Rubikai (1936)
- Šv. Trejybės churche in the Laizuva (1884)
- Viešpaties Apreiškimo Švč. Mergelei Marijai churche in the Zemale (1826)
- Švč. Trejybės churche in the Pikeliai (1752)
- Šv. Jono Krikštytojo churche in the Vieksniai (1854)
- Šv. Onos churche in the Vaicaiciai (1921)
- Švč. Mergelės Marijos Apsilankymo a small bazilika (1822)
Recreation Centre PLINKSES
- Mazeikiai is only the eighth largest town in Lithuania but it can boast as one of the most significant industrial centres in the country. One of the largest and most important national industrial enterprises, Mazeikiai oil refinery Mazeikiu nafta, a compressor plant, an electrotechnical enterprise, furniture and footwear factories, food processin enterprises operate in this town. Mazeikiu nafta is the founder of the hotel and recreation centre Plinkses.
- The hotel and recreation centre Plinkses is located to the South-West of the most northern town in Lithuania, Mazeikiai.
- In the very heart of Zemaitija (Samogitia) at the beautiful Lake Plinksiu, next to the palace of the old estate, you will find an oasis of comfort peace and health, a hotel and recreation centre Plinkses.
- The hotel is built in the recreation area of Mazeikiai region, on the eastern coast of lake Plinkses, next to the former estate and park of Count Konstantinas Pliateris. The central palace of the estate with auxiliary buildings of interesting architecture were built at the end of the 19th c. The park was created in the 2nd half of the 19th c. Its layout mirrors the principles of the English landscape type parks with a slight allusion to the traditions of the Classicism. The palace, the park and the ponds around it create a very valuable historical and architectural ensemble. Take a stroll along the lanes of our park and you will feel the spirit of history around you.
- The hotel and recreational centre Plinkses is regularly renovated to keep it up with international standarts. The hotel administration and other employees are always ready to assist you and promptly attent to all your needs and desires.
- This is the right place for a good rest from the city noise and your everyday problems.
- The nature around you, the whisper of the moving trees in the centenarian park will fill your body with strengh for the challenges of the coming day.
- If you arrive an business or are on vaccation, Plinkses can offer you everything to make you feel at home. Having come once youll be willing to came again.
- The hotel can host 60 guests at a time.
- We can offer 44 single, double, deluxe rooms and suites. All rooms are equipped with modern bathrooms, air conditioning, satellite television and the world-wide telephone connection.
- At your request, our staff will wash your clothes and order a taxi.
- If you come in your own car, a guarder parking lot with a car-wash service is available.
- You can use two conference halls (for 20-25 people), send a fax.
- The cosy atmosphere, excelent dishes and exquisite drinks at the hotels restaurant-bar will help you to relax and enjoy the evening mood. Invite your friends for a chot or a dance. It is a perfect place to discuss business or continue with the new acquaintance. Festive dinners, coctails or parties can also be organised in this place.
The restaurant-bar is open daily from 2.00 p. m. to 11.00 p. m.
Breakfast for the hotel guests is served from 6.30 a. m. to 9.00 a. m.
- After a demanding working day or after successful negotiations we invite you for swim in our swimming pool with cascades and underwater currents.
- Your weariness will disappear in the sauna or Turkish bath equipped by Tylo company. Skilled masseuses will help you to recover your energy.
- In addition, you are welcome to various health and beauty procedures, such as manual and underwater massage, curative showers and bath, applications of curative mud and silt powder, oil lotions for skin care, etc.
These service are provided daily, from 11.00 a. m. to 11.00 p. m.
- The unforgettable beauty of Lithuanian nature will open in front of your eyes if you take part in one-or two-day tour down the magnificent river of Varduva.
- You will enjoy the peaceful flow of the river, see ancient water-mills and mounds, or, if you are lucky, a bathing beaver or the proud black heron. And a night at the fire! Can you think of anything better?
- Not only employees of Mazeikiu nafta, but also people from all over Lithuania and other country come for a rest to our recreation centre.
- We encourage an active rest for the whole family and each member individually .
- All kinds of entertainment are available: a gymnasium, table tennis, childrens playrooms, rent of water-bikes, boats, sports and tourism items.
- You can also test yourself in the billiards-room.
- For those who enjoy nature we can offer a bike ride in the beautiful environments of lake Plinkses and along the shady paths of Zalgiris forest.
- Commercial fishing may be organised for ardent fisherman.
For futher information:
- Tel.: (8-293) 41338, 41281
- Tel./faks: (8-293)50702
Tel.: (8-293) 50496
- Mazeikiai 27 km
- Telsiai 22 km
- Plunge 32 km
- Siauliai 94 km
- Klaipeda 110 km
- Kaunas 210 km
- Vilnius 307 km
© Samogitian Cultural
Association Editorial Board, 1998.