Birštonas
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Birštonas

PROJECT

A RESORT PLACE I LIKE BEST

CONTENTS

• 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;

Conclusions

INTRODUCTION

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 chosen “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

year.

THE AIM OF THE PROJECT WORK

There are a 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 resort town –

Birstonas;

• 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.

HISTORY

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 by 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 a 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 from 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 introduced 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

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