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Kėdainiai

Location: N55° 17` 9.99", E23° 58` 40.0"

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Kėdainiai is a city situated in the very centre of Lithuania, just a few kilometers away from the officially identified and marked geographical centre of Lithuania. The legend says that the name of Kėdainiai came from a wealthy merchant named Keidangeno who arrived from Curonia and founded a small fishing village. The history of the city dates from 1372. In the fifteenth century it became a regional trade centre. Kėdainiai belonged to the dukes Radvilai, who were one of the most powerful and influential noblemen of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, for about 300 years. In the seventeenth century the city was one of the Protestant religious and cultural centres, and economic and religious freedom granted by the Radvilai attracted merchants and craftsmen to Kėdainiai from foreign countries. Kėdainiai had trade routes which were very important to the urban development of the city in the fifteenth century. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the city prospered. There were even six market squares and it was the unique urban phenomenon in Lithuania. Kėdainiai is associated with the Radvilai family who left a great cultural heritage in the city. 

Great Market Square. Great Market Square is one of the squares which retained the design of the seventeenth century. In the square you can feel the history, culture values and see the old buildings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The buildings are the former glass-houses, merchant Šafleris’ house, Mayor George Anderson’s House, the City Hall. Now the square is used for various cultural events in the city. A monument, which is made of bronze and granite, dedicated to the Radvilai is built there. It a massive chest symbolizing the treasury of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and above it the Grand Hetman Radvilas Jonušas’ bust. Christopher Radvilas Thunder and Christopher Radvilas II bas-reliefs are carved as well.  

Also in Kėdainiai you can visit the Old Market Square which is a complex of two synagogues situated in the Grand Street, which is one of the oldest and longest shopping streets. In the street there is the Town Hall (12th century), Carmelite Monastery, K4dainiai Šviesioji gymnasium. 

Kėdainiai is famous for Mayor George Anderson’s house (12th century), The Evangelical Lutheran Church (17th century), Old Street, Janušavos Square, Josvainiai street, Knypavos Market Square, Christ's Transfiguration Orthodox Church (19th century), the city park, Mikalojus Daukša oak, Minaret, St. Joseph's Church (18th c.), St. George's Church (15th century) and former Kėdainiai port which was in the old town, on the right bank of the river Nevėžis. A 400-meter-long pedestrian and bicycle path is equipped starting with the former Kėdainiai local port to the dam Skongalis. A part of the path is paved with boulders and the old Kėdainiai port is marked as an architectural accent.