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Panemunė Castle

Location: N55° 5` 57.40", E22° 59` 11.0" | Website: jurbarkas.lt

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This scenic road route, extending from Kaunas to Jurbarkas, is filled with a variety of historical sites. While driving on the route you will see the Nemunas on one side, and hills with castles and mansions on the other. This is an old way, perhaps one of the oldest in Lithuania. This route was mentioned by Crusaders who were capturing our land in the 13th – 15th centuries. The Nemunas like a song chorus is repeated in description of almost every area.  

• Raudondvaris Castle. The route starts in Raudondvaris village, about 12 km away from the centre of Kaunas. Here we visit Tiškevičiai’ chambers known as Raudondvaris castle of the 17th century, which is now a Memorial Museum of Juozas Naujalis. There are two libraries as well. In agreement with the museum caretaker, it is possible to enter the dark castle basement. Visitors admire particularly the impressive stables near the Palace. 

• Kulautuva. Kulautuva town is located in the charming place surrounded by pine trees, 10 km from Raudondvaris. You can walk around the beautifully landscaped park and see the wooden Kulautuva Blessed Virgin Mary church, built in 1932. By the Nemunas River you can see the newly installed Kulautuva quay. 

• Vilkija. This town is located about 15 km from Kulautuva. Here on the hill near the church there is a beautiful viewing platform, which offers a wonderful view to the Nemunas bend. Coming down the hill and driving along the main road on the left side you'll see a beautiful park by the river and the ferry “Vilkynė ", which can take you to the other side of the Nemunas. In Vilkija you can visit ethnographers Juškos’ museum and find out about Antanas and Jonas Juškos’ life and work, and about the people’s way of life in Vilkija region. The museum is located in the old Vilkija rectory - the oldest building in the town. 

• Seredžius village. Going towards it on the left side you can see the intersection of the Dubysa and the Nemunas River. In the village you can visit the neo-revival Seredžius St. John the Baptist Church, built in 1913. But the main attraction of the village is Seredžius Palemonas Hill. A legend says that during the reign of Neron his relative escaped from Rome and sailing through the Baltic Sea, the Curonian Lagoon and the Nemunas came to the Dubysa and stayed here. About 700 m to the southeast of the mountain at the confluence of the Nemunas and the Dubysa on the right banks of the rivers there is another mound, usually called Palocėliais. It is believed that Dubysa Crusaders’ castle stood there. 

• Belvederis Palace. Belvederis manor and park. Belvederis in Italian means "a beautiful view". This mansion is of national importance architectural value. The mansion was built in the 18th-19th century. It is the Italian villa-type, on the high banks of the Nemunas, and 365 stair steps lead to it. The most valuable here is the noble chapel, in the basement of it there are remaining naves of relatives’ burial. The chamber ensemble is complemented by the surrounding park with a pond. 

• Veliuona. It is famous for its classical architectural monument - Veliuona manor and its park. The mansion, which was built in 1818-1820, is one of the most beautiful wooden classicist mansions throughout Lithuania. It is equipped with the exposure Veliuona of everyday life and history. The park is rich in rare plants such as Liriodendron and the largest thuja in Lithuania. Assumption of Blessed Mary Virgin Church, built in Veliuona in the beginning of the 19th century, is shrouded in legends. One of them says that once it was the church where the spread of the Reformation in Europe was stopped. Veliuona town is famous for its complex of archaeological mounds. At the confluence of the Nemunas and the Veliuonėlė, there are two mounds next to each other – Gediminas’ grave and the Castle Hill. 

• Raudonė Castle. The Raudonė Castle is one of the liveliest of the historic castles, as Raudonė School is located there. This castle was built in the 16th century. For a small fee, visitors can climb the tower (height 33.5 m) and enjoy the stunning views of the surroundings. In addition near the casle there is the old park, which is home to a legendary Gediminas’ oak. There is a small wooded hill Beždžionkalnis near it. The legend says that one of the manor lords raised a monkey, which was loved very much. After its death, the lord buried it nicely and mounded a hill on the grave. In the park there is a reserved lime avenue, where once the local nobles used to walk. One tree has a rooted blade, to which guilty serfs were once tethered. 

• Panemunė Castle got its name from the former Panemunė manor. Panemunė Castle was the feudal castle with defensive equipment, residential and farm buildings in the beginning the 17th century. The castle was started in 1604. Currently there are only two surviving castle housings the western with the castle towers and the southern while only the ruins are left from the eastern housing. For a small fee you can explore the area from here in the two towers. Also here you can see the exhibition and the castle punishment cell. 

Jurbarkas Tourism Information Centre. 19 Vydūnas St, LT-74119 Jurbarkas. Phone: (8 447) 71 485, fax. (8 447) 45450
turizmas@jurbarkas.lt , www.jurbarkas.lt