Lazdijai region

Region of Lazdijai is on the south part of Lithuania so-called Dzūkija. Cultural landscape is one of the main Europe’s cultural heritage components – combination of amazing forests, water and agriculture, which marks centuries of archeology, history and natures monument. Together they perfectly fit developed services for tourists, hospitality of local inhabitants and feel the spirit of Dzūkija events.

Name of Lazdijai came from the stream running through the town called Lazdija (another name of Raišupys stream). But how the name Lazdija appeared is still a mystery. It is assumed that Jotvingiai tribe used Raišupys name and it was related with nut. As nuts grown on nut-trees in Lithuania, probably for that reason stream was named Lazdija (also called Lazda).

It is assumed that 4 – 6 thousand years ago people already lived in this region. Many years ago the tribe of Balts and Jotvingiai who are related with Lithuania and Prussia settled here. They worked with plough agriculture, fishing and hunting. Names of terrains, rivers and lakes in Jotvingiai language tells us that they lived in this territory. In the end of XII century German order conquered and annihilated them.

In 1532 Lazdijai are referred to as lord’s estate and township. A peace of land was assigned for the town to build near Lazdija then Žygimantas Augustas ruled Lithuania in 1560. Lazdijai started to form on a crossing of three roads from which later on it spread to all sides evenly. It is mentioned in historical sources that primary school was working in 1571. A wooden church was built in 1570s. Lazdijai was granted the rights of Magdeburg by king Žygimantas Vaza on 1597 May 17th. This date is considered as a birth of town. A privilege of town was granted to Lazdijai in this document where a stamp (blazon) of town was put on. A stamp consisted of elk and three keys underneath it in red background. In 1995 it was renewed and became not only a symbol of town but also a symbol of local governments region which Lazdijai administrates. In the begging of 2007, Lazdijai region had 25.2 thousand residents. It is 26th largest region in Lithuania and has 130,937.7 hectares territory. Agriculture land – 59,164 hectares, forests 42,976.15 hectares, lakes 10,738.51 hectares.

Protected terrain in Lazdijai region takes 18.5%. Recently Veisiejai and Meteliai regional parks attract many tourists. Veisiejai and Vainežeris parks also 4 reserves: Kalniškės landscape reserve, Krakinis reserve, Kučiuliškis zoological reserve, Kuzapiškės reserve. Rudamina, Paveisininkai, Prelomciškiai and other hills have their own history to tell.

The region is famous by the amount of lakes it has – over 150 which take 10738 hectare territory. Biggest lakes – Dusia (2,334 hectare), Metelys (1,290 hectare), Veisiejis (765 hectare), Seirijis (503 hectare). Yachtsman really enjoy Dusia lake and fisherman enjoy their time by other lakes. On the edge of region flows largest river in Lithuania – Nemunas, and on the South edge – Baltoji Ančia and Seira.

The largest and most beautiful forest is Kapčiamiestis forest. Pertako and Dainavos forests are included into nations protected territories list.

In an untouched environment near basins you can find over 40 countrified homesteads. Here tourists have great opportunity to relax by the lakes and enjoy forests. Hunters can hunt, fisherman – fish, those who like to relax – pick berries or mushrooms, daredevils – travel on watery courses by boat and canoe, horse lovers – to have a ride.