The most interesting sights of Lithuania near Grodno region: Lishkava (Lishkuv, Lith. – Ushkiavia), Merech (Lith. Merkine), Dzukiysky National Park – (Dzukiysky National Park, Lith. Dzukiyos natsionalinis parkas), Makitnkantsy (Lith. Martinkonys), Druskeniki (Lith. Druskininkai), park Grūtas, Kofievo. (Lüh Kapchiamestis), Lazdee (Lith. Lazdiyai).
LISHKAVA (Lishkuv, Lith. – Ushkiavia). In inter- war time on December 12 000 in Lishkava, on the territory of modern Lithuania, a meeting of Presidents of Poland and Lithuania took place. In Lishkava one can see Castle Hill and Dominican Monastery Ensemble. A sight of a settlement with remnants of the castle has survived on castle hiQ. Duke Vitovt built a stone castle, and only the foundation of the round tower has survived. Nearby is Catholic Church / Kostelnaya Hill, on which stood a brick church. Today one can find there only the foundation of this temple. The Catholic Church and the Dominican Monastery located on the steep left bank, was built in the late XIII-th century sponsored by Ezhy Kossila. In 1796 after the third partition of Rzechpospolita, Prussian authorities closed the monastery and made there a prison for priests. When the prison was transferred to the St Cross, a library was placed in the monastery, and after the Second World War there was a secondary school. The Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity is characterized by its interior in Rococo style. In one the side altars is the Miracle Icon of God’s Mother.
MERECH (Lith. Merkine). This is a township in the place where the river Merechanka falls into the Nieman. In the XTVth century a defensive castle was built there. The surrounding forests were used as favourite places for hunting which was popular among Lithuanian Dukes and Polish Kings. In 1569 Merech was granted town rights; the decision was taken at the Sejm of Rzeczpospolita which took place in Grodno in 1793. Merech became the capital of the voevodstvo. In 1795 the town was part of the Russian Empire. During the Napoleon War of 1712 Merech was partially destroyed. In the XIX century most of the ancient monuments were ruined. The surroundings of Merech are included in the Dzukiysky National Park. Today the population of Merech is about 1.4 thousand people.
THE DZUKIYSKY NATIONAL PARK – (Dzukiysky National Park, Lith. Dzukiyos natsionalinis parkas). It was opened in 1991. It occupies an area of 585.19 square kilometers, and that makes it a big national park in Lithuania. More than 90 percents of the park are coniferous forests. This is the reserve of more than 54 species of mammals, more than 150 species of birds, 38 species of fish and a lot of different of snakes. A comparatively small part of the park is occupied by 48 lakes (232 hectares). The office of the national park is situated in the village Martinkantsy (Martinkonys).
MAKITNKANTSY (Lith. Martinkonys). It is the largest Lithuanian village. It dates back to 1637. The railway to Petersburg was built in 1864. In the village there is a museum of ethnography, a wooden Catholic church of 1880. The office of the Dzukiysky national park is situated in this village.
DRUSKENIKI (Lith. Druskininkai). It is a popular resort on the bank of the Nieman. It occupies an area of 22 square kilometers; with a population of 16.647 people. It is the biggest modern resort of Lithuania, one of the best climatic and balneological resorts in Europe. There one can find numerous mineral springs and pools with mineral water. There are 9 sanatoriums and a balneological centre in the town. One of the largest aquaparks in Europe is situated there.
PARK GRŪTAS. It exists from 2001. It has a private exposition of monuments to Soviet politicians and leaders and numerous objects connected with the history of this area and especially with the history of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. The owner of this park is the businessman Vilyumas Maliniuskas.
KOFIEVO. (Lüh Kapchiamestis). The town is the centre of the Koptevo starastvo. The grave of the legendary Emilia Pliatter, who died during the Uprising of 1831 in the village Yustianovo, is situated there. Her body was brought to the closest cemetery, which was in Koptevo. In the centre of the town one can see the Monument to the heroine. The phrase from the poem of Adam Mitskevich «Death of a Colonel» on its pedestal can be seen.
LAZDEE (Lith. Lazdiyai). In 1560 King Sigizmund August founded a town here. In 1597 Sigizmund the HI Vasa granted the town with Magdeburg right; the coat of arms is an elk in the red field with three crossed keys. After the third partition of Rzeczpospolita in 1795 the town became part of the Russian Empire, and in 1807 it was again part of Warsaw Duchy and in 1815 – part of Polish Kingdom. St Ann’s Catholic Church was built in 1894-1895 in mixed style, which combines features of Baroque and Classical styles. Inside the church one can see an interesting ambo. The altars were made mainly in Warsaw workshops.
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