History of Panoteriai

Panoteriai town is the centre of Panoteriai eldership of Šilai eldership of Jonava district, located 19 km to the north from Jonava. The settlement is bounded on the south by the Bareišiai forest. The right tributary of the Lokys, Notera, flows through the town. According to the linguists, the name of the area originated from the name of the river.

In the historical sources, in the donation document of the Church of Siesikai, Panoteriai has been mentioned since 1441. According to this source, Baltramiejus Urbonaitis donated a land called Panoteriai to the Church of Siesikai and promised to build a Catholic chapel on it. From the 16th century, the mentioned Panoteriai manor was mentioned in the sources. It is known that in 1584-1700, the Panoteriai Chapel belonged to the Evangelical Lutherans. The letter that remained from 1594 testifies that at that time the preacher of Panoteriai Evangelical Reformed was the priest Simonas Senkevičius (Petras Martinavičius sold his land to him for 30 graves of Lithuanian groats). The chapel burned down in the 1700s, but was rebuilt and owned by Catholics after 44 years. 1774 The data of the case of Kaunas Castle Court show that Karolis Vižikovskis was the pastor of Panoteriai at that time (the case complains about the demolition of the sacristy house that stood in the land of Panoteriai).

In the 19th century, the owners of the Panoteriai manor were the Domeikava (surviving documents testify to their donations to the Panoteriai church in the 1920s and 1930s). During this period, a town grew near the church. Until the 20th century. The town and manor of the 1920s were called Chapels (it is believed that Panoteriai manor had been called Chapels before). In 1864, under the care of priest Juozapas Sakalauskas, the church was renovated and enlarged. It was given St. Title of the Discovery of the Cross.

During World War I, the school, established in the village of Pasoda, was relocated in Panoteriai in 1909. During 1919–1950, Panoteriai were the centre of the county. In 1923 there were 242 inhabitants in the town and village. During the interwar period, Panoteriai had a parish municipality, a primary school, the Ausra cooperative, a small credit society, a couple of shops, a police station, a postal agency, a health centre, etc. During the Soviet era, Panoteriai had the status of a collective farm settlement.

In 1994, there was rebuilt the wooden church, which burned down in 1941. Priest Vytautas Kazimieras Pesliakas took care of it. Panoteriai is currently the centre of the parish and eldership. In the town, up to 2019, there operated a basic school. Since 1967, the museum of the playwright Petras Vaiciunas, born in the nearby village of Piliakalniai (now private), the cultural centre and the library and the dispensary opened their doors.

Panoteriai has objects of the preserved historical heritage: 19th century. St.Joseph painting and a bell of the same period in a church, a manor house with a barn, a barn and a linden alley, a residential house built in 1870. The school’s wooden building was constructed in 1935. In 1920, a building of the former parish was built. Currently, the town has a population of about 350 inhabitants.

Coat of arms

of the community of Panoteriai


Petras Vaičiūnas 1890–1959

Pioneer of Lithuanian dramaturgy, founder and playwright of the first professional Lithuanian theater, poet and translator

Poet, playwright, translator. Born on July 11 in 1890. In Piliakalniai (Jonava district).

He studied at Ukmerge four-grade school, from which he was expelled for participating in the 1905 schoolchildren’s exertion. He graduated from mathematics courses in Kaunas. During 1914–1918, he studied at the Petrograd Institute of Psychoneurology and 19th Petrograd University.

P. Vaičiūnas’ mother was married twice because the young man remained a widow. In the Vaičiūnai family, the children of the two mother’s marriages communicated harmoniously throughout their lives, feeling the spiritual connection.
He married Antanas Razumas for the first time, came to his farm, and had 4 children: daughter Ona and sons Ignas, Stanislovas and Jurgis. However, Razumas died early, leaving young children and a farm.
For the second time, M. Razumienė married Vincas Vaičiūnas. In this marriage, she had 3 sons: Viktoras, Petras and Juozas. All three brothers made Lithuania famous by their works: Viktoras became a doctor and is a pioneer of psychotherapy in the Lithuanian medicine, his daughter Judita Vaičiunaitė is a famous poet. Brother Juozas chose the priesthood, supported the young people studying the family, and took great care of fostering Lithuanianness in Vilnius region. P. Vaičiūnas became a poet, playwright and translator. In the Razumai-Vaičiūnai family, Brother Stanislovas Razumas was also a priest who helped the family members to pursue education.

The poet began publishing poems in 1915. He wrote the first drama “Blossoming Flowers in Bloom” in 1916. P. Vaičiūnas did not devote himself exclusively to creative activities. During 1920–1923, he worked in the Directorate of the State Theatre. From 1931 to 1932, and from 1935 to 1939, he was a member of the theatre’s repertoire commission. 1930–1945 the director of the Central Library of the Academy of Sciences.
P. Vaičiūnas first considered himself a playwright. J. Vaickus directed the first dramatic work “Blooming Flowers Blossomed” in in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) in 1916. P. Vaičiūnas wrote more than 20 dramas, for example: “Empty Pairs”, “Patriots”, “New People”, “Confusion”, “Homeland Shelter”, etc. His dramas were staged by Kaunas, Panėvežys, Šiauliai, Klaipėda and other theatres.
P. Vaičiūnas was also famous as a poet. In the years of independence, a collection of poems “Rasoti rindulėliai”, “Tekanti saulė”, “Gimtuoju vieškeliu”, etc. appeared.
The works by G. Hauptman, K. Hamsun, J. Slovackis and Ibsen talk about P. Vaičiūnas as a translator. He translated drama works by K. Meterlink, S. Psibisevski, Sophocles, Gorky and other authors.
The poet died in Vilnius on June 7, 1959. He is buried in Rasų cemetery. On July 11, 1990, in the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the poet and playwright Petras Vaičiūnas, a monumental bust of P. Vaičiūnas was unveiled in the Peace Square in Jonava. The former Panoteriai Secondary School was named after Petras Vaičiūnas. The street named after Petras Vaičiūnas in the Rimkai district of Jonava.

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Historical Facts


Mentioned for the first time

In the historical sources, in the donation document of the Church of Siesikai, Panoteriai has been mentioned since 1441. According to this source, Baltramiejus Urbonaitis donated a land called Panoteriai to the Church of Siesikai and promised to build a Catholic chapel on it.


Petras Vaičiūnas is born

Petras Vaičiūnas was born on 11 July 1890 in Piliakalniai.


P.Vaičiūnas' first drama

His first dramatic work "The Withered Flowers Bloomed" was written in 1916 in St. Petersburg


The first church in independent Lithuania

In 1989, the construction of a new church was authorised by the then Ministerial Council. It was the first church built after the restoration of Lithuania's independence and was consecrated on 21 August 1994.

Heraldry and significant monuments

The chapel is depicted with St. The figure of Elena, who is the patron saint of the Church of Panoteriai (because the Holy Cross was discovered by St. Elena and our parish church is called the Discovery of the Holy Cross). The colour of the coat of arms is chosen to be green, as it reflects Panoteriai as a land of farmers and a landscape of its green meadows. In the heraldry, green means freedom, beauty, joy, health and hope. The creation of the Panoteriai coat of arms was also initiated by the people of the Panoteriai region. They are proud of it because it is their long lasting gift to their homeland, the people who live in it, their families, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The benchmark of the Panoteriai coat of arms was created by the artist – Arvydas Každailis. It was approved by the Lithuanian Heraldry Commission on October 20, 2016. (Minutes of the Commission meeting No 6K-16 (512).
Description of the coat of arms: in the green field – a silver chapel with a golden cross and St. Helen’s figure.
There is one archaeological monument of the Republic of Lithuania in the territory of Panoteriai region – the mound of Piliakalniai village, one of the five mounds of Silai eldership, which is of non-natural origin; one monument of cultural heritage of the Republic of Lithuania – homestead (private) of the poet and playwright Petras Vaiciunas – Piliakalniai village; one natural monument of local significance – Markutiskės Park. There was another natural monument – the Švėgzda Pear, which was about 180 years old, but in 2019, the tree broke and did not recover from the statute of limitations.
The sites of the former manors in the Panoteriai region are remembered by the long-lasting linden alleys, centuries-old trees, outbuildings, and residential houses that ruined or were destroyed. However, the names of the manors remained the stories of Markutiskės, Milagainiai, Taukadažiai, Vatėnai and Panoteriai, Boreišiai nobility, and the stories of the peasants. It is a country where people lived, took care of their farms, tried to allow children to study and saw the future of Lithuania with an educated and progressive society.


Choose what you would like to see or feel!

The project “Ways of Jonava Region Writing” is dedicated to the preservation and nurturing of famous people of Jonava region who have contributed to the basics of the history of Lithuanian writing: Abraomas Kulvietis, Petras Vaičiūnas, Justinas Vareikis.

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