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Biržai

Location: N56° 12` 10.0", E24° 45` 29.9" | Website: birzuparkas.lt

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Biržai is one of the oldest towns in Lithuania. The town is located between two rivers called Apaščia and Agluona and two lakes named Širvėna and Kiluciai. This was the former town of the Dukes Radvilai and the town is proud of a bastion fortress palace which is an ornament to the town and a reflection of the past. The Earls Tiškevičiai left their footprints in the town in the middle of the nineteenth century. Biržai is decorated with St. John the Baptist Church and Evangelical Reformed Church. The town is a place where people do not tell even the angriest enemy a popular folk saying “Curl up and die” ("Kad tu prasemgtum!") as the saying may come true. When the groundwater washed the solute layers of gypsum, dolomite and limestone, the land collapsed making so called sinkholes which are over 9 thousand ones in the area. The people of Biržai have known for a long time how to exploit the mineral resources to treat diseases and how to cherish brewing traditions which came from ancient times. 

Biržai Regional Park Visitor Center (0 km). The relief structure of the Centre reception symbolizes the constitution of the sinkhole slopes. When the earth collapses, geological layers become naked which consist of a variety of rock. The ceilings of the Centre imitate sinkholes as well as. Interactive stands-games are installed in the exhibition called "The process of the development of the sinkholes”, “Sinkhole lakes’ ecosystem”, the stand as an hourglass imitating the sinkhole collapse, the other stands depict sinkholes before the crash, and after the collapse which will help visitors to understand about the ongoing natural phenomena in Biržai region. Minerals and rock exposition is installed in the second exhibition hall, introducing to the visitors the geological wealth of the region. There is one more very interesting interactive cognitive core exposition stand, with the help of which the visitors can feel the scale of the borehole depth and know the change of the geological layers. 

Biržai Regional Park Direction, 10City Hall street, LT-41175, Biržai, tel.: +370 450 32 889, Fax. +370 450 34264 

Email: birzai@rpd.w3.lt , www.birzuparkas.lt  May-Aug. Oct.-Apr. I-IV, 8a.m.-5p.m., V 8a.m.-3:45 p.m. VI 10 a.m.-4 p.m., I-IV, 8a.m.-5 p.m. V 8 a.m. -3:45a.m.

Biržai Castle. Biržai Fortress is Biržai Castle which is situated on the southern coast of Širvėna Lake. Renaissance castle is a bastion-type fortress, the best preserved in the north-east Europe and it is the only one in Lithuania. A very important engineering and defensive castle device was 41 m long bridge built over a wide protective ditch. In the towns, behind ravelin, there was the second bridge which was about 15 m length and gates with a lifting part. Ravelin, both bridges and gate building formed a strong front defensive castle complex. 

Biržai Region Museum "Sela" is located in Biržai Castle Palace and it started working in 1989, 9 March when an international scientific conference took place which was dedicated to the 400th anniversary when Magdeburg rights were given to Biržai. About 110 thousand exhibits are kept in 25 rooms (the data of 2010), over 18 thousand publications have been collected in the scientific library. Biržai Region Museum "Sela" exhibits local history, religious confession writings, and art. In the museum we can see a tiled stove which is the former greatness castle accent. 

Biržai Region Museum "Sela" offers many educational programs for children.

Biržai fortress arsenal. The exposition of Biržai fortress arsenal has been working since 2004 spring and it is dedicated to present the soldiership of the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries and also to show the importance and greatness of the arsenal of the Duke Radvila of Grand Duchy of Lithuania army.  

The exposition presents the archaeological findings of the fortress arsenal. They are different caliber cannon shells and their fragments, feather edges projectile cartridge pieces of shrapnel bullets, grenades, different types of musket locks and bullets, metal musket support details, spearheads and spear shaft nozzles, crossbow arrowheads, cannon projectile glass fragments. 

The seventeenth century gun is suitably respected as the Swedish was not able to take it during the North war and stayed in the territory of the fortress for three centuries as a large mortar. The content of the exposition is expanded and it enlivens the interactive elements such as animated Biržai fortress assault in 1704. 

Address: 3 Radvila Street, Biržai. Tel.: (8 ~ 450) 33390, 31883 Email.: sela@birzumuziejus.lt 

Opening hours: 1st October. – 31st March, Tuesdays and Sundays 9a.m.-4.30 p.m.; from Wednesday to Saturday 9a.m.-5.30 p.m. 1st April. – 30th September. Tuesdays and Sundays 10 a.m. - 5.30 p.m. From Wednesday to Saturday 10 a.m. - 6.30 p.m. The museum on public holidays is closed. Ticket prices: adults - 2 €; children from 5 years old, school children, students, pensioners, and the disabled people from other areas - 1 €; The ticket for the disabled from Biržai region is free; the family ticket to watch the exhibitions is from 3.50 €. Visiting only temporary exhibitions: for adults - 1€; children from 5 years old, school children, students, pensioners, and the disabled from other areas - 0,50 €. 30 minutes left till the end of working hours the tickets are not sold.  

Astravas Manor Pedestrian can be reached through the bridge over Širvėna Lake (2 km) which is one of the most beautiful romantic architecture Lithuanian homesteads located in Širvėna lake peninsula.