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Sveksna

Location: N55° 31` 4.68", E21° 37` 10.6"

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Švėkšna is a town in Šilutė district, famous for its highest in the region (65 m.) two-towered, red-brick church, the counts Plater Park of the 19th century with impressive alley of limes, Genovaitė’s villa, ponds and sculptures. Švėkšna is mentioned from the 14th century. According to one version the settlement, and later on the town could occur after the Meln Peace (1422), when the threat of the Teutonic Order ended. On 8 March, 1503 Švėkšna was mentioned in the Foundation and Grant Act of Linkuva church. In 1509 Švėkšna was the mansion and town of Samogitian Elder Kęsgaila. Later Švėkšna estate belonged to other famous families. The town and Švėkšna Church was mentioned since 1509, in 1664 the town received market privilege. In the middle of the 19th century, when the town belonged to the counts Pliateriai, two brick arch pedestrian bridge connecting the churchyard with Pliateriai palace and park was built over the road to Klaipėda. The banned Lithuanian press was distributed there in the end of the century. During the interwar period the town had a school which belonged to the Lithuanian Education Society "Saulė" (the Sun) since 1923. 

Švėkšna Manor Park. The park was founded in the 19th century. The biggest Švėkšna Manor Park centrepiece is about 18 m in height and 70 cm in diameter relic of China and Japan Ginkgo biloba tree. In the large park area you will see not only the well-ordered landscape but also an important cultural objects, such as a sundial, a sculpture of an ancient Roman hunting goddess Diana and the Empire style villa "Genovaitė” of exceptional beauty. Count Adomas Broel Pliateris built the villa for his wife in 1880. Today, the park attracts not only for its historical past, but also for the events taking place there, for example the park is decorated with impressive pumpkin lanterns before All Souls Day (1st November). 

The old viaduct is saved in Švėkšna. The landlords used it to get into the church from the Manor Park. This is a unique and rare structure in Lithuania. 

The Neo-Gothic church is one of the main architectural monuments of the town. It consists of three longitudinal naves crossed by transverse nave. The height of the towers is 65 m. The interior of the church is decorated with 8 altars. The main altar is almost 16 m high. There is a crypt under the Great Altar. 

Švėkšna “Saulės” gymnasium and the Freedom Monument. Visitors are offered visit Švėkšna museum in the basement of the Gymnasium. The museum has four different exhibition halls: ethnography, archaeology, estate and town histories. 

Synagogue. Low, rectangular, brick synagogue built up instead of the burnt wooden one. The facade of the building is decorated with decorative short and thin pilasters, the arch top windows are framed by trimmed contour rings. The Star of David in in the northern facade of the building. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church. The first Lutheran Church was built in 1819, where St. Florian monument stands, but it was devastated by fire in 1856. The current church was built in 1867, and its tower was built in 1913. 

You can also visit Vilkėnas’ mansion, and a water mill near Švėkšna. These objects were built by Pliateriai landlords in different periods.