Friday, April 19, 2019

Šiauliai, Lithuania

Šiauliai is in north of Lithuania about 210 km (130 miles) from the capital city Vilnius.  It's 128 km (80 miles) from Riga, Latvia, so it makes for a good day trip.

Šiauliai was founded in 1236 and gained city rights in 1589.  With over 107,000 inhabitants it is Lithuania's fourth largest city.

About 85% of the city was destroyed during WWI.  The city centre was rebuilt by 1929 and included modern utilities.  In 1939, 20% of the city's population was Jewish.  After WWII, the Jewish population was reduced to only 500 and about 80% of the city was destroyed.  The Soviets then rebuilt the city.

The Fountain Bridges of the Millennium was unveiled in 2008 to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the first time the name Lithuania was mentioned.

The Cockerel Love Clock is popular meeting place.

The State Šiauliai Drama Theatre was established in 1931.  It was the country's second professional theatre.

The Šiauliai Art Gallery opened in 1992.

The Bicycle Museum was founded in 1980.

The city's municipal building.

The Photography Museum was established in 1973.

The city has a number of sculptures and parks.

The Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral was built from 1617 to 1626.  It was made a Catholic cathedral in 1997.

Outside of the church grounds are graves of Red Army soldiers killed during WWII.

In 1937, the St. Peter and Paul's Orthodox Church was built in an Orthodox Cemetery dating back to 1831.

The Sundial Square by Lake Talkša was built in 1986 to commemorate the city's 750th birthday.

The Iron Fox sculpture by the lake was unveiled in 2009.

Kryžių kalnasry is the Hill of Crosses and it was the whole reason for my visit to Šiauliai.  It is 12 km (7,5 miles) north of the city.  There's some 200,000 crosses.

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