Siauliai has a long and rich history: after all, according to historical documents, it was here that the battle took place, in which the united army of the Baltic tribes gave a decisive rebuff and inflicted a heavy defeat on the Order of the Sword. Today Šiauliai is a colorful picturesque city that boasts beautiful churches, mansions of industrialists, unique and very unusual museum collections. Despite all the hardships and difficulties that befell this city, today Šiauliai lives and develops. See Andyeducation for education and training in Lithuania.
How to get there
The easiest way for Russian tourists to get to Siauliai is from Vilnius or Riga, from the bus station of which direct buses depart. In the first case, you will have to spend about 4.5 hours on the road and pay about 15 EUR for a ticket, from the Latvian capital – 2.5 hours and about 10 EUR.
In addition, the Siauliai bus station receives a lot of buses a day from Kaunas (3 hours on the way, 12-15 EUR), Klaipeda (3.5 hours and 12 EUR), Palanga (3 hours and 10-13 EUR) and some other cities and resorts.
The second option is to go by train: you can from Vilnius (2.5-3 hours and 12 EUR) or Klaipeda (2-3 hours, 6-9 EUR).
On the site where one of the largest Lithuanian cities, Siauliai, is located today, the first human settlement arose a very, very long time ago. With a high degree of probability, we can talk about the 1st century after the birth of Christ. In historical documents, the settlement with the name Saule is mentioned in the famous “Poetic Chronicles of Livonia”, created in the Middle Ages. It is mentioned in connection with the battle between the knights of the Order of the Sword and the local Baltic tribes, and this happened in the first half of the 13th century.
By the way, that battle remained “for” the united army of Lithuanians, Samogitians and Semigallians, and self-confidence ruined the monastic knights. The swordsmen did not expect an attack from the natives. Actually, this event largely caused the end of the order and the merger of its surviving members with the Teutonic Order.
With a high degree of probability, we can say that Siauliai was formed in the 1st century after the birth of Christ.
More than 200 years later, in the city of Shavli, which had already been formed by that time, the first wooden church was built. In less than a hundred years, the city becomes the center of the parish, which speaks of its well-being. At the beginning of the 18th century, the city was occupied by Swedish troops and suffered from plague epidemics. In 1713, the King of the Commonwealth, August II the Strong, sent a letter stating that Siauliai would be granted the Magdeburg Rights, but these plans remained on paper. In 1791, the Seimas adopted a law on free cities, among others, Shavli also received the right to self-government. During the Third Partition of Poland, which took place after an unsuccessful uprising led by Tadeusz Kosciuszko in 1894, the city became part of the Russian Empire.
Like a large area of the former confederation of Lithuania and Poland, Shavli has always been a major center of the rebels. There was an uprising in 1830-1831, and in 1863. Bloody battles were fought outside the city, more than once it passed from the rebels to the Russian troops and back. Despite the active desire of some of the local residents to be torn away from the Empire and return to their former county existence, Shavli developed. And by the end of the century before last, it was the second largest city in the vast Kovno province. The largest Frenkel leather factory in the empire was based here, the products of which not only had a wide turnover within the empire, but were also actively exported.
During the First World War, the city was badly damaged by the Germans. More than 60% of all buildings were destroyed, that is, Siauliai practically lay in ruins.
Shortly after the Bolshevik coup, the city is renamed Siauliai. During the Second World War, it was in the zone of German occupation for a long time, a significant number of the Jewish population was physically destroyed. After the war it became an industrial center. Today, Siauliai is of interest as an ancient city, in which, despite the difficult fate, many significant and interesting monuments of history and culture have been preserved.