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Rusne

Location: N55° 17` 38.9", E21° 21` 42.9"

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Nemunas Delta Regional Park in terms of ethnographic heritage is unique, there are locations unique in their natural beauty, cultural heritage and other interesting things. The region is intertwined by historical, ethnic and ethnographic heritage. The park area includes a part of a diverse Minor Lithuania, which reflects the different areas of traditional lifestyle characteristics: starting with the first Ventė cape lighthouse built by crusaders, which has already been washed away by the lagoon water, the former swampers’ villages in the European cradle of the research of swamps, the Aukštumala upland moor, and still living population of the former Bismark village, which is poured over the flood waters every year. We invite you to get to know the island Rusnė and Vente Cape. 

Rusnė town is located on the island of the Nemunas delta between the Atmata and the Skirvytė rivers. Pakalnė stream is flowing through the middle of it. The only way to Rusnė is the bridge over the Atmata. The town name is associated with the verb "to smoulder" i.e. to flow slowly, it is derived from one of the Nemunas branches the Rusnė river name. 

Rusnė was established in the middle of the 13th century, when the German Order began to establish gradually on the beach and the lagoon area. The year 1366 is extremely important to Rusnė, because then the town and the island's name was first mentioned in the letter, telling about Vorusnė village and the Nemunas branch called Rusnė. 

Located in and accustomed to the rhythm of the island life people of Rusnė enjoyed themselves in the first town inn in 1448, and in 1583 their great-grandchildren went to first school of the island. In the 15th century there were more inns, stores, a library and bookstores, local sawmill a mill. On special occasions the people of Rusnė used to freshen themselves with a substantial island’s punch. In the 16th century Rusnė had weekend markets, and since 1792 they were held officially. In 18th-19th centuries Rusnė suffered from wartime difficulties, as the Prussian state at the time was involved in battles. But this is only reinforced the community of the island. 

The 20th century began to change Rusnė face gradually. Only a few Germans remained in the town, while earlier they made the majority of the population. Rusnė status changed several times: in 1946 Rusn4 got the rights of a town, in 1967 entire island of Rusnė became a city. On 30th January, 1997 Rusnė was declared to be a village. 

The river bridge over the Atmata, built in 1914, become the major way for anyone wishing to explore the island. However, at the end of World War II, the bridge was blown up. Only the foundation remains of the bridge are preserved to this day. In 1974 a new bridge was built next to the old one. Fishery professionals and amateurs, ichthyologists, ornithologists, nature and ethnic culture researchers, tranquillity and water lovers began to travel to the only Lithuanian island. Thousands of people – residents of Rusnė, tourists and other curious minds- travel to and from Rusnė along the bridge. After the first visit they often come back, knowing that they are always welcome in Rusnė.

Rusnė Ethnographic Museum. Several centuries counting historic homestead stretches over the specially mounded hill. In June of 1997 Ethnographic homestead museum took down its first visitors back to the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries and so far presents the old way of life to those who visit it. Up to 2015 the homestead visitors usually were met by its guardian, God rest his soul, Dr. K. Banys. Now a folk artist Violeta Benetienė waits for visitors. 

Educational route in Rusnė Island "Surrounded by Flood". 

Having arrived to the island Rusnė, visit Simas Knapkis, a cherisher of the national heritage, who will explain and demonstrate how to make a traditional seacoast boats - kurėnai. After seeing the seaside ships arrive at herbalists Valentine and Valdas Baužos, who will not only tell you how herbs cure all kinds of diseases, but also will offer to have some tea prepared by a herbalist If you wish you will be able to buy it. Having reinforced your health go to see the culinary heritage dish of the Minor Lithuanian, i.e. smoked bream. You will also hear how it is prepared, taste it, or even buy it. Then you can go to cane reaper Alfonsas Edmundas Demereckas, who will explain the reed cutting, processing and the possibilities of use. Once you know how to use the reeds growing in water areas, visit Pakalnė village in Rusnė Island where you will taste the traditional bouillabaisse (fish soup) of the seacoast region. 

The price includes: 1. Nemunas Delta Regional Park visitor's ticket; 2. Educational programme; 3. Tasting; 4. Travel guide service. Pre-registration: z.cesna@nemunodelta.lt or by phone: 8 441 75050; 8 647 26719. The price is 14,50 € per person. Discounts for groups: students, people with disabilities 20% discount. Programme duration: 6 hours. According to your request the route can be changed and adjusted. 

A monument to the father of Indian nation Mahatma Gandhi and his comrades, and also to Herman Kalenbach was unveiled in Rusnė in October of 2015. The event of international significance summoned crowds of visitors: Hindu, Jewish, Russian, Lithuanian and others. Frequently visited place of the Atmata berth has become even more popular.