On the Paths of Šilalė Memory

Silales atminties takais virselis

You will know you have arrived to Šilalė upon seeing the noble title of the city with a banner, which states that this is “A City of Lithuanian Patriots”. The cognitive route around Šilalė starts in the centre – the intersection of J. Basanavičiaus and Nepriklausomybės streets. Here the guests are welcomed and seen off with a proud century-old oak tree, planted during the 10th anniversary of Lithuania’s independence. Near the oak the testament to the future generations is protected by the monument of the Herald of Freedom, built for an important date of the restoration of Lithuania’s independence.
We continue further on J. Basanavičiaus Street. At the end of the street there is Simonas Gaudiešius Gymnasium, which was an important centre of the post-war anti-Soviet resistance. Returning back to V. Kudirkos Street we walk towards Maironio Street. There used to be a Jewish synagogue up until 1941. The intersection of S. Dariaus ir S. Girėno and Pietinio Kelio streets remembers the tragic fate of the Jews – the place of massacre and cemetery. Unfortunately, there is more than one of these places.
The cognitive route around Šilalė includes numerous sacral or related objects, thus we will continue our journey towards the Church of St Francis of Assisi, which is the centre of the local creed. Near the sanctuary you can also take a look at the lourdes, which was reconstructed quite recently, featuring a nearly 2-metre statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes. Not far from there (near the church) there is also a brick building, which remembers the times of the former NKVD (repressive body of the Soviet Russia and Soviet Union) headquarters. As you walk further towards the intersection of Zobelijos and Kapų streets, you will arrive at the monument, dedicated for those, who died for the Freedom of their Fatherland in exile and prisons. Šilalė has quite a few of these monuments, dedicated to the memory of our heroes. In the Memory Square, located in the city centre, the place of the first church of Šilalė, built in 1953, there is a monument for the dead partisans with about 180 names. Nearby the monument, there is a memorial board to mark the location of the First Meeting of the Reform Movement of Lithuania in Šilalė District.
Not far from there, on the other side of the street, you will see a monument for the pilots S. Darius and S. Girėnas, featuring a short story of their tragic flight over the Atlantic. Several dozen of steps later you will enter Vladas Statkevičius Museum, keeping more than 21 000 items only 600 of which are exhibited, featuring the topics of archaeology and ethnography. Other treasures are kept at the funds.
Travelling on, towards the northern edge of the town, there is a beautiful pinewood – a picturesque place for serene walks, sports and free time. In summertime the open-air stage hosts various concerts. At the beginning of the pinewood, there is a mass grave of the partisans, located nearby the Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, and, a bit further, there is a cemetery of the Soviet troops, which became the final resting place for 250 soldiers.
Closer to the end of the route, on Nepriklausomybės Street, the Evangelical Lutheran Church tolls its bell. It was established in a residential house in the years of the National Revival. Nearby the church there is a monument for the pioneer of reformation – J. Tartilavičius-Batakietis.
At the end of the route, you can enjoy the view of the city pond, featuring a fountain, sparkling in all colours of the rainbow against the sun, the sound of falling water at the dam and surrounding paths, which invite to explore the arbours, swings or children’s playgrounds around the pond.
This route will take about 2,5 hour, and you will walk 7 km.

Compiled in 2018


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