"Paberžė – the great attraction"
Kėdainiai – Minaretas - Mikalojus Daukša Oak - Kalnaberžė – Surviliškis – Paberžė – Kėdainiai. 70 km
- Minaret (there is a road sign, it can be reached by crossing the railway from S. Dariaus ir S. Girėno str.). It was built in around 1880 and was shrouded in legends. One of them states that E. Totleben built it for his beloved who was of Muslim faith. You won't be able to get inside. This unusual object can only be viewed from the outside. You can cross to the other side through a bridge, take a walk through the remaining park of Kėdainiai Manor and admire its dendrological collection, and Dotnuvėlė dam. There are paved pedestrian walkways.
- M. Daukša Oak. There is a sign from the main M. Daukšos street to the left drive up to the site where you will see the mighty Mikalojus Daukša Oak. It is said that the 23 m high oak with a 1.70 m diameter was planted by the pioneer of Lithuanian writing Mikalojus Daukša who was born in Babėnai in around 1527 (exact date of birth is not known). In 1999, the oak was declared to be a protected botanical object. Since 20 December 2002, it became a State protected natural heritage object.
- Go straight through Mikalojaus Daukšos street (towards Krekenava, Road No. 195), and after 4 km you will reach Sirutiškis. Here, you can visit the manor and park that belonged to the ancestors of Česlovas Milošas. The manor house, park and smokehouse still remain. The owners of the manor are burried in a cemetery nearby. We suggest stopping in Sirutiškis for a cup of coffee or a meal in "Raganė" cafe, famous for its dumplings – the cafe offers 17 types of the latter. This cafe is particularly recommended for families with children – there is a play room.
- 6 kilometres from Sirutiškis you will find Kalnaberžė. Right after entering the village, you will see a road sign "Kalnaberžės dvaro sodyba". There are remaining Kalnaberžė Manor House (currently abandoned), park and farm buildings. This manor belonged to the Russian Minister of the Interior, Prime Minister Piotr Stolypin. It is said that this was the favourite manor of Stolypin family, where they lived during the warm season. Later, the history of the manor changed - it belonged to Kazys Binkis, and to the Ministry of the Interior which established a juvenile colony here. You can visit a mound in Kalnaberžė.
- Go straight forward through the Road No.195 up to Surviliškis. Stop at Vincas Svirskis School - its courtyard has a cross created by V. Svirskis - the high reliefs of St. Aloyzas and St. Ona teaching Mary, and a monument for Vincas Svirskis. The wood carver's grave is in Surviliškis cemetery, in the joint grave of Mataičiai family. Look around the church, and go to Nevėžis Valley where you will find a resting area and a "monkey bridge" which is especially enjoyed by children. There is an observation area near the church, revealing a splendid view to Nevėžis.
- 13 km away you will find Paberžė. You can visit the only museum in Lithuania dedicated to the 1863 Uprising, which is established in a wooden manor of the 18th century. The former manor park is nearby. Nearby, you will also discover a church built by folk artists, which contains the crosses and altar of V. Svirskis, and collections of lanterns and prayer books. There are "storage areas" of liturgical clothes and various utensils, located in the buildings near the church.
You can continue your journey towards the Akademija Manor House, the geographical centre of Lithuania – and return to Kėdainiai.
"Geographic centre of Lithuania"
Kėdainiai – Ruoščiai – Dotnuva – Akademija – Krakės – Skinderiškis – Pilsupis Mound – Angiriai – Josvainiai – Kėdainiai. 71 km
- Drive towards Šiauliai, by taking the Road No. 144 for about 7 km. After you see the sign "Lietuvos geografinis vidurys", take the left turn from the bus station and drive for abour half a kilometre through a field road. In 1995, the Lithuanian Land Management Institute oficially determined and marked the geographical centre of Lithuania (Ruoščiai village, 55°19′19″N 23°53′49″E ). Two rocks symbolizing Žemaitija and Aukštaitija were brought here according to the project of architect Vytautas Kundrotas. The current sign was built in 2009, which symbolizes the link of the country's geographical centre with the universe. The plate contains the coordinates of the country's geographical centre. The park nearby is decorated with oaks and sculptures.
- In Dotnuva you can visit the Church and Monastery of the Lord Revelation for St. Mary the Virgin. The style of the church is Baroque-Classicism. Those who appreciate church art will discover valuable paintings, altars and sculptures. You will find the cell of Father Stanislovas in the monastery, where his personal items and records are stored. There are also collections of liturgical clothing and prayer books in the monastery building. Please book your visit in advance.
- Akademija is one of the centres of the Lithuanian agricultural science. Up until 1947, an Agricultural Academy has been operating here (therefore the village is also called by this name). The village is established within the territory of Dotnuva Manor. In the first half of the 19th century, Dotnuva Manor belonged to Counts Chrapovickiai who managed it perfectly. Tsar Alexander I and his wife Jekaterina visited this place more than once. The park with a valuable dendrological collection and the manor house were preserved. Former owner of the manor Count Kreicas is burried in the park. Here, you will find monuments for agricultural scholars and liberators of Klaipėda Region.
- Siponiai. In the cultivated field, around 0.8 km from the road, Mantviliškis-Dotnuva, you will find a stone called "Ožakmenis". The stone has a brownish colour, pointing towards the top. It has 4 holes on its western side, reminiscent of animal feet.
- Krakės. It is an old village, known since the 14th century. In 1570–1592, one of the pioneers of Lithuanian writing Mikalojus Daukša was the pastor here and established a school in Krakės. The current neogothic St. Matthew Church was built in 1897–1908. In 1645, St. Catherine Sisters Monastery was also built in Krakės. Talented wood sculptor Vytautas Ulevičius lives here. His created monuments decorate the town. You can book an excursion, as the homestead has an exposition of his works.
- Pašušvys. Pašušvys Manor belonged to the grandparents of Juzefas Pilsudskis, and later to Zaborskai. The house of servants, two farm buildings, mill dam remains, and a park with a gate were preserved. The park has a monument for Russian soldiers killed in 1915, as well as a monument for the founder of the park Zaborskas.
- Skinderiškis Dendrology Park. It is particularly beautiful in autumn, when maple trees become red - there are approximately 60 types of maple trees in the area. And magnolias bloom in spring. The park was established in 1971 by Kęstutis Kaltenis. The area of the park covers 123 ha and includes 1400 species, subspecies and forms of plants. The plants grow according to geographical areas: Europe, Siberia, Caucasus, Central Asia, China - Japan, east of North America, and west of North America. The park's relief is expressive, decorated by a number of glacial boulders. The landscape is enriched with the curve of Šušvė River. The central area of the park is designed for gatherings – there are tables, benches, a stage and a fireplace. If you want to learn about the variety of the plants of the park, call Juozas Masionis by tel. 8 625 58 991
- Pilsupiai Mound and Exposure. Pilsupiai village. You will have to walk through the villager's houses to reach the mound, however the view that you will discover there will be worth the effort! Pilsupiai Exposure – Šušvė Bank Exposure is a monument of national significance.
- Angiriai. A large Angiriai pond is created in Šušvė Valley, whose area is 262 ha and deepest point – 15.5 m.
- Josvainiai. The town is established on the bank of Šušvė River. It is assumed that there was a castle in this area in the 14th century. Josvainiai Manor was mentioned in 1528 and had a chapel and a distillery. There was a nearby trade route leading to Jurbarkas. In 1792, Josvainiai was given self-government. The constructions of the neo-gothic Church of All Saints were complete in 1907. Šušvė geomorphological reserve covers Šušvė Valley to the south from Josvainiai until the junction with Nevėžis. Its area is 496.2 ha, and its purpose is to preserve the expressive river valley with its exposures. The most interesting natural objects are Šušvė moraine loam exposures. This place has an abundance of protected plant and animal species.
"Following the footsteps of Česlovas Milošas in Kėdainiai Region"
|"It is the valley of Nevėžis – the very heart of Lithuania./ Those who travelled through it, saw white manors on both sides./“ (Č. Milošas)|
Kėdainiai – Apytalaukis – Gineitai – Šeteniai – Šventybrastis – Krekenava – Bakainiai - Surviliškis – Kalnaberžė – Sirutiškis – Kėdainiai. 58 km
- In 1911, in Šeteniai, in a small manor near Nevėžis, Česlovas Milošas – honorary citizen of Kėdainiai Region, a poet and writer, literary historian, philosopher, translator, great thinker, Literary Nobel Prize winner, fosterer of the idea of joint Europe, and aristocrat of the tradition of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was born. The entire route runs along the picturesque Nevėžis, described with love by Česlovas Milošas. In one of his poems, Č. Milošas confesses: "Wherever I may wander, no matter what continents I visited, my face was always turned toward the River ... " Milošas would depict Nevėžis River as a mysterious and magical place, where "there are many devils, much more than anywhere else". The names of the childhood places of Milošas near Nevėžis were mentioned in his memoirs: Šeteniai, Apytalaukis, Šventybrastis, Kalnaberžė, Sirutiškis – with their manors, parks and terraces going down to the river.
- Apytalaukis. Mentioned for the first time in 1371. St. Apostles Peter and Paul Church, funded in 1635, still remains. Česlovas Milošas' parents married in this church, and Česlovas himself was baptized in Apytalaukis parish: "I was baptized and renounced the devil/ In Apytalaukis parish, Kėdainiai county... My baptism metric was written down in Apytalaukis in the Russian language. " (Where the sun rises and where it sets) Neo-renaissance Apytalaukis Manor House was built in the 19th century by Counts Zabielai, and is currently abandoned.
- Gineitai. A roof column was built in Gineitai village, in Urbšiai patrimony, to commemorate the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the interwar independent Lithuania Juozas Urbšis. The monument was created by Gendrikas Galvanauskas from Paberžė. Juozas Urbšys is the last Minister of Foreign Affairs of independent Lithuania. He was a colleague of Oskaras Milašius in the Lithuanian Embassy in Paris. He was the one who signed the Lithuanian Neutrality Treaty. Soviet government which took over Lithuania brought him to Russia where he was jailed for many years. In the end, he was allowed to return to Lithuania, and since he lived for many more years, he also lived to see the restoration of the freedom of Lithuania in 1990.
- Šeteniai. "My mother was born in the same place as her mother, and where I was also destined to be born: In Šeteniai Manor on the left bank of Nevėžis, three kilometres from Šventybrastis, right next to Liaudė". Šeteniai was described in Č. Milošas novel "The Valley of Isa", where Nevėžis was called Isa. According to Č. Milošas, the manor and Šateiniai were described accurately in "The Valley of Isa". The characters were also described accurately, only the intrigue was more fictional and symbolic... Šateiniai was not a typical noblemen manor... the manor was eluded by everyone, left alone, as it was inhabitat by rather eccentric people...a pair of dreamers, my grandmother and grandfather, who could not be considered as a normal example ... My grandmother was peculiar and could not stand guests. She also refused to eat normally, which is also reflected in the Valley of Isa." (Autobiography) On 7 September 1997, Česlovas Milošas Cultural Centre was established in the restored manor granary, where you can learn about the life and work of Česlovas Milošas. The first project of artists – International Symposium of Wood Sculptors "The Valley of Isa", held in 2001, established a sculpture park in the homeland of Č. Milošas. While walking through the park, you will find the "Black Pig" (author A. Sakalauskas), "Magdalena" (author B. Jakštienė), and the "Little Devil" (author A. P. Kartanas) from Č. Milošas novel "The Valley of Isa", as well as many other works.
- Šventybrastis – the archive of nature and culture in an open space. Located 15 km from Kėdainiai, it most likely received its name from the word "šventas" (sacred) and Brasta River near which it is established. "I dont know any other place in villages with such a lively scenery and a beautiful area than Šventybrastis... the curve of the river flows under us, the ravine is rather deep there, overgrown with centuries-old oaks. You cannot pull your eyes away, so beautiful, magical, such a view, such fertile land, such wonderful people live here, such simple folk!", – says Česlovas Milošas while quoting Jokūbas Geištoras. According to the stories of local people, an ancient Lithuanian pagan ritual place where eternal fire would burn was situated on the hill where a church now stands. Č. Milošas’ mother and Milošas himself were baptized in the Church of The Transfiguration of Christ (1774). There are 75 graves of rebels near Brasta River, and a concrete monument was built here in 1938. "My great-grandfather Sirutis, the son of Mykolas Sirutis and Juzefa from the family of Dukes Druckiai-Sokolinskiai was buried in Šventybrastis. He was married two times: Eufrozina of noblemen Kosakovskiai and Veronika Bogdanovičiūtė, primo voto Kosakovska (with whom he had a daughter - Juzefa, the grandmother of Milošas). He died in a railway accident in Germany in 1870, while returning from his treatment abroad" (Search for Homeland).
- Krekenava. View the exposition in the Visitor's Centre on Nevėžis old riverbed, look at Nevėžis valleys from the observation tower and return back through the right bank of Nevėžis.
- Bakainiai. Bakainiai mound is one of the most expressive mounds from the 12 existing ones in the region. It is located on the southern edge of Krekenava Regional Park.
- Surviliškis. An old town where the most famous Lithuanian wood carver Vincas Svirskis was buried. There is a remaining 18th century wooden Church of the Crucified Jesus. There is also a recreational zone at its base, in Nevėžis Valley, where you can stop with a tent for the night. The recreational zone also has gazebos with tables. There is a "monkey bridge" nearby.
- Kalnaberžė. Kalnaberžė Manor belonged to Radvilas and Čapskiai, however it was confiskated from them for their participation in the 1863 Uprising. Česlovas Milošas wrote: "How to translate Kalnaberžė? Perhaps: "Beržų kalnelis" (a hill of birches)... in the years of my mother's youth, it (Kalnaberžė) belonged to Minister Stolypin. Minister Stolypin had good taste and decided to establish himself in the most beautiful place of the empire... They would spend the summer here, in the beautiful province of the Empire,/ The closest neighbours of my grandparents Kunatai over the river./In my childhood, I have heard of a boat with wheels and a hand gear/ Driving in the evenings, visiting often,/ Stolypin loved the young Kunaitės.“ (Selected poems). Stolypins also visited Šeteniai. Later, the owners of Kalnaberžė Manor changed: it belonged to Kazys Binkis, however, he did not manage to become a true landlord and pay off the loan. Later on, the manor also belonged to the Ministry of the Interior which established a juvenile colony here. The manor, farm buildings and the park still remain (abandoned). Immediatelly after leaving the manor homestead and turning right, on the left side of the road you will see an oak sculpture created by R. Idzelis, symbolizing the past, present and future of Kalnaberžė (created in 2011, to commemorate the 640th anniversary of its name)
- Sirutiškis Sirutiškis was once called Panevėžys, however when the manor was acquired by a reserve officer, Vitebsk castellan, Senator Simonas Sirutis, the area was given the name of Sirutiškis. Šeteniai also belonged to the great-grandfather of Česlovas Milošas Simonas Sirutis, where he was born. "Through marriage, my grandfather Kunatas came to another very local family established near Nevėžis - Siručiai. It was my grandmother Józefa Syruć, therefore the line was already in my surroundings." (Autobiography) Later the manor went to Kamarovskiai who built a historic-style palace on the slope of Nevėžis River. The manor house, park, and neo-gothic smokehouse still remain. Although valuable from a historical and architectural point of view, the manor house currently stands abandoned. We recommend visiting a cafe in Sirutiškis, particularly if you have children – one hall is equipped specially for them.
|"Lord Simonas Sirutis will return to the land/ Kaunas judge, Lithuanian gunsmith.../ Will grasp the road along Nevėžis with his foot, welcome Gineičiai village and the ferry in Vilainiai./ After a thousand years, will be called to the Last Judgment/ Lord Simonas Sirutis." (Lord Sirutis)|