Birštonas

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Birštonas
City
Skyline of Birštonas
Coat of arms of Birštonas
Coat of arms
Birštonas is located in Lithuania
Birštonas
Birštonas
Location of Birštonas
Coordinates: 54°36′10″N 24°1′14.0″E / 54.60278°N 24.020556°E / 54.60278; 24.020556Coordinates: 54°36′10″N 24°1′14.0″E / 54.60278°N 24.020556°E / 54.60278; 24.020556
Country  Lithuania
Ethnographic region Suvalkija
County Kaunas County flag.png Kaunas County
Municipality Birštonas municipality
Capital of Birštonas municipality
First mentioned 1382
Granted city rights 1529
Population (2005)
 • Total 3,138
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Birštonas (About this sound pronunciation ) is a balneological resort and a spa town in Lithuania situated 30 km (19 mi) south of Kaunas on the right bank of the Nemunas River. Birštonas received its city rights 1529, and was appointed a city in 1966. The city is the administrative centre of the Birštonas municipality.

Name[edit]

Birštonas is the Lithuanian name of the city. Versions of the name in other languages include Polish: Birsztany, Russian: Бирштаны Birshtany, Belarusian: Біршта́ны Birshtany, Yiddish: בירשטאן Birshtan, Latvian: Birštona.

History[edit]

Birštonas was first mentioned in chronicles of the Teutonic Knights in 1382 and described as a "a farmstead at the salty water". Many Lithuanian dukes and other noblemen vacationed in Birštonas during 14th and 16th centuries to hunt. The resort was founded in 1846. Many people from Russian, Polish, and Lithuanian cities visited sanitoriums for the area's mineral water and to receive curative mud applications, including Lithuanian writer Balys Sruoga, who was ill after the Stutthof concentration camp.

Environment[edit]

Birštonas is surrounded by pine forests and the Nemunas River, which is very good for the ill. Some hills offer nice views of the Nemunas River. There are also shops, police department, library, theatre, clinic, pharmacy, book store, schools, museums, cafes, restaurants and the City Hall. There are many apartments and rare houses. Birštonas serves as a center of the Nemunas Loops Regional Park.

Transportation[edit]

Birštonas is accessed by national status roads from Kaunas, Vilnius, and Marijampolė. It is served by Kaunas International Airport, the second largest airport in Lithuania, located in Karmėlava site.

Festivals[edit]

Birštonas holds several festivals. The Birštonas town festival is held during the second weekend of June. It features concerts, folk art exhibits, and air balloon and motorboat races. Another devoted to jazz attracts thousands and is held every two years at the end of March. The jazz festival is more than twenty years old and is now broadcast as well.

Tourism[edit]

Panorama of the Nemunas river

Birštonas is known for its mineral water. This water is used by sanatoriums for mineral water pools and baths. There are three large sanatoriums in Birštonas – Tulpė (English: Tulip), Versmė (English: Spring) and Eglė (English: Medical SPA "Eglės" sanatorija). All of them offer halotherapy, therapeutic mud bathes, mineral water pools, baths, massages, and a wide range of curative procedures. Birštonas also has hotels and country farmsteads, adapted for rural tourism. Local attractions include Vytautas hill, where a Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas had his hunting mansion; two museums; and the Promenade, a path near the Nemunas River. Cycling in local Žvėrinčius forest, riding a horse, sailing, sculling, or canoeing along the Verknė or the Nemunas rivers are provided. Birštonas is one of Lithuania's few resorts.

Notable residents[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns - sister cities[edit]

Birštonas is twinned with:

Image gallery[edit]

External links[edit]