Attractions of the Panoteriai region
The Panoteriai region is not known for its abundance of hillforts or river valleys. It is a simple flat land in the middle of Lithuania. But even here you can find objects of interest to Lithuanians and visitors. The history of the town itself, which is linked to the building of a chapel for the faithful, was the beginning of the place name in 1441, the year when the parish of Panoteriai was founded and the official mention of the place name in archival documents. The name of the chapel is also mentioned on the geographical map of Lithuania between 1918 and 1920. The central square of Panoteriai is of particular importance for the town, where markets were held until 1914.
In the post-war years, partisans who were shot during the Strib raids were laid to rest there, so that people could see the corpses when they came to church for services. The Stribs would not let the family bury their relatives, but with God’s help, people say, the corpses disappeared after the night. Today, the flags of the Republic of Lithuania and the town of Panoteriai fly in the square, and this is the starting point of the tour of the town, where guests are welcomed.
A very important part of the history is the establishment of the Panoteriai school in 1909, the bright personalities of the teachers who worked there, whose fates were quite varied: some of them suffered exile, others went into partisan struggles for the freedom of Lithuania, and the post-war period, when the teachers were especially needed in the Lithuanian countryside.
The town of Panoteriai was badly damaged at the end of July 1944, when the German army retreated. But the wooden school, the municipality building, and 2 dwellings survived, which today constitute the surviving wooden architecture.
From Panoteriai towards the north-east is the birthplace of the poet, playwright, translator Petras Vaičiūnas and his homestead museum. The museum is now privately owned by a relative of P. Vaičiūnas. The homestead hosts plein-air workshops and meetings, but less and less frequently. The name of the village of Piliakalnis derives from the existing mound, which dates back to the end of the 1st millennium, as a hillfort with a settlement. But in the stories of the people of our region, the mound was destroyed by Swedish soldiers after the death of their officer.
The manor houses within the boundaries of the Jonava district belonged to Polish or Russian families in the 18th-19th century, where Lithuanians were employed as mercenaries. After the restoration of independence, the estates were given to wealthy Lithuanian families, who carried out economic activities on the estates. The manor houses of Taukadažiai, Milagainiai, and Markutiškai have been preserved in the Panoteriai region. There are no dwellings in them, the remaining farm buildings, and the park in the Markutiškės manor. In Milagainiai manor, a mill and a barn are being restored and visitors are welcomed. Panoteriai manor with its long history since the 16th century and since the 19th century it has been in the possession of the Domeikai family has not survived. Only 3 outbuildings, whose small architecture is a reminder of their age.
We invite you to visit the Panoteri sites described above!