Rokiškis city attractions

  • Priest – enlightener Jonas  Katele’s museum & crafts centre of Panemunelis

A memorial museum of Jonas Katele opened to the public in 1883. It was housed in presbytery of Panemunelis church. Since then, it has exhibited a collection of crosses and a unique exposition sacred to the memory of the very first theatrical acting in Lithuania. A nearby crafts centre organises a series of educational programmes for those interested in wood carving, weaving, stonebreaking, apiculture and other trades. You will also get acquainted with Gireišiai station, a part of triangulation chain of Struve Geodetic Arc, its history, functional purpose and folk dresses of the countries it crosses.

  • Vaclovas Kontrauskas’ collection of antiques in Laibgaliai

A collection of antique consisting of several thousand items has been accumulated at the old homestead. Here you will see a wide range of exhibits starting with dowerchests, metal reliefs of Lithuanian rulers, distaffs & spindles, coffrets, horn decorative items and ending with the pieces of furniture, means of transportation and farm implements. A big part of the collection consists of handmade items produced by folk craftspeople who, in Soviet times, worked at art factories.

  • Salos estate mansion implements the project of a crafts centre development

Salos is attracting more and more visitors. In the spring, two ceramic pottery kilns are going to be  installed in the estate park. You are welcome to familiarise with the trade secrets of black and  leaven ceramics, however, wicker weaving is not less fun, and you will be taught it this coming summer as well. You may stay at the mansion longer in case you wish to deepen your skills and knowledge.

  • Cognitive educational route for children (Rokiškis manor estate, Bajorai puppet theatre, B. Kairienė’s farm)

Rokiškis museum offers to visit an exposition of porcelain toys and clothes which belonged to the earl’s children. You will also play cricket, the old English game, or shoot a bow and arrow of Rokas the hunter, or choose any other activity advised by the museum staff.  Bajorai puppet theatre will introduce its rich collection of dolls and ČIZ (Cheese) theatre personages.     Vivacious and full of unbelievable impressions route keeps going, so in the afternoon, you will make friends with the aplaca named Chocolate and its friends, exotic animals and birds living on a farm. After the chicken eggs are picked up, you will cook delicious omelette, and shortly after, put your impressions and beauties of scenery on canvas.

  • Jūžintai surroundings

The old homestead of a small village Laibgaliai has become a private museum for over 6000 antique artefacts produced from straw, wool, clay, wood and metal. This rich collection will really bring a tear of joy to your eye.
Another site to visit is Gacionys manor house, which opened its doors after a complete renovation in 2001. It is the only manor in the Baltic States still belonging to the same family,  and its owner, baron Piotr Rosen, is always happy to see the guests.

Jūžintai invites you to visit the church of St. Michael the Archangel housing a former monastery of the penance chapters, monk cells and family vault. Then you will be entertained with the meat and drink prepared according to the old traditional recipes, and surely  rye bread baked in oven. While walking through the promenade wood, you will meet the theatrical personages Devil and Witch, and taste a delicious forest food.

  • Rokiskis Manor ensemble – Regional Museum 

This place attracts both foreign and Lithuanian tourists. Supposedly, construction of the manor house was completed under the supervision of Laurynas Stuoka Gucevičius by 1801.  Today’s visitors usually spend more than an hour doing sightseeing here, especially when they are accompanied by a qualified guide, and as a result, they leave impressed with what they saw and learned.  (Tel. + 370 458 31512)

  • Salos manor ensemble 

There are not so many places in Lithuania like Salos. The estate was mentioned in written texts from as early as the 16th century. Its  manor house was established in a beautiful park which still attracts people to walk around. Supposedly, the park is one of the oldest in the country going back to the times when it belonged to the Radvilas. Later, under the ownership of Tyzenhauz counts, the manor estate became the centre of cultural life for all parish, moreover, the best feasts of Kaunas province used to be arranged down here. Nowadays, it is well known with the cultural events like international conference on linguistics, classical music concerts and festivals.  (Tel. +370 682 66 998)

  • Ilzenberg manor

The only completely restored estate of Lithuania is famous with its unchanged 19 century manor house, harmony with surrounding scenery and advanced farming. The most amazing parts are designed for recreation and long walks along over three-kilometre paths of well groomed, 15 ha, English – style park. A gracefully shaped bridge will take you to the weaved with legends Island of Love resting on Ilgis lake. The mansion farm is also unique since it follows the principals of natural farming, the highest standards of ecological and environmental management. You are welcome to stay longer and have meals from the locally grown, raised and produced food.

(Telephone for reservations +370 616 29 375)

  • Gacionys manor

Built in the 19 century, the estate was turned back to Antanas Rozen, a descendent of the Rozen dynasty. Fifteen years ago,  the manor house was authentically restored in a stylish neoclassical design. The estate was always famous for its cuisine, so these days, nothing much has changed.  All dishes are cooked and served by the owner, baron Piotr Rozen. The menu is mainly made up of Polish, French, Italian and Lithuanian dishes. You are welcome to stay per night, and have dinner accompanied by intellectual conversation, warmth and hospitality of the owner.    Please do not forget to walk along the 200-year-old linden alley.  (Tel. +370 686 29 438)

  • The most beautiful churches of Rokiškis land

Rokiskis St. Matthew the Evangelist Church

This one of the most beautiful Neo Gothic architectural ensemble in Lithuania, and pearl of the town was left by the Tyzenhauz family for the future generations. Every tiny detail of its interior was thoroughly chosen and adjusted. The church ensemble was the most ingenious and artistic among the architectural complexes of the 19th century. The family vault was set up under presbytery where the remains of Reinold Tyzenhauz, a founder of the church, are resting.

Salos St. Cross Church

It was designed by the Austrian architect Georg Werner who also built the gorgeous Rokiškis church. It was rigged up with the squared fir logs and bound with planks. The interior is very nice, with a lot of interesting small eclectic details, Gothic style arches and three wooden altars. This church is a true worth for historians, architects and art critics.

Jūžintai church of St. Michael the Archangel 

The structure of a very complicated configuration was built from the clay bricks, with domination of Baroque style and Renaissance elements. It is the only church in the Baltic states having a monastery, though inactive these days, just behind the altar. There is an assumption that sinful monks lived there in very ascetic conditions, asking the Lord for guidance and forgiveness. Jūžintai church has become a very popular destination for tourists.

Onuškis St. Michael the Archangel church

One of the oldest in the country, a wooden church of Neo-Baroque style was placed on stone foundation. In the centre of a large altar, there is a life-size sculpture of the crucifix, Jesus on the cross. The church draws attention of construction experts since it was built without pillars or bearing elements, just using wooden nails and articulations.

You are welcome to see and hear the nicest Christmas legend at the residence of Santa Claus in  Rokiškis manor house

  • Rokiškis – the residence of Santa Claus

Some years ago, the local regional museum signed a historic agreement regarding the residence of Lithuanian Santa Claus in Rokiškis.   During the seasonal period, a variety of events takes place here: craft fairs, art shows, theme markets and museum education programmes. Santa Claus waits for the guests and packages the gifts while his assistants, Daniel deer, wait for children and their regale.

  • Christmas post office

It starts work in November in a house of a gatekeeper where several elves dwell. They socialize with children, pick up their letters and pass them on to Santa Claus who, in his turn, reads and replies every single letter by himself.

  • Christmas education programmes
    • Christmas Eve food traditions learn how to to lay a table, the secrets of dinner etiquette, symbolism, your future prediction and peculiarities of fortunetelling.  Sure, tasting of Christmas dishes will be offered.
    • Christmas tree decoration listen to the history of Christmas tree and learn how to make Christmas decoration with straw and flax.
    • Honey cake decoration  decorate and taste a honey cake made after the old recipe,    and chase it down with hot chocolate.
    • Bread of countess Hermancia get familiar with bread baking and eating traditions. Taste the seasonal bread of countess Hermancia along with yummy hot chocolate.
    • Christmas Road of Cheese degustate various kinds of cheese produced by AB ”Rokiškio sūris”, chase it down with cinnamon and clove hot tea.
    • Looking forward for Christmas under the supervision of a craftsman, make and decorate a figure of angel and a bird feeder.
    • Candle casting learn the history of a candle and significance of fire in Lithuanian  ethnology. Cast your own candle.
    • Glass painting using stained glass paint, you will be able to draw a picture or decorate your own glass utensil with Christmas motif.
  • Exposition of Christmas cribs in Rokiškis museum 

It is one and only exposition of such kind all over the country, delivering the spirit of Christmas. There are cribs which the museum either purchased or got as a gift from the best-known craftspeople of Lithuania. The idea was offered by Angelo Frosio, an Italian painter, businessman and a generous patron of the  arts. The exhibition consists of over a hundred cribs created by professionals and amateurs, adults and children. Material differs: wood, clay, straw, oakum, bark, fibre flax, paper, dried plants and some others. Recently the cribs from Vietnam, Mexico, Guatemala and  Austria were added. The exposition draws attention of both crib contest participants and visitors.

  • Concert of classical music on December 31 ”Waiting for the New Year”

During the concert, the most beautiful pieces of popular classical music will be performed, and that will take the audience on a unique journey of senses.

  • Other Xmas services:
    • To invite Santa Claus to the education programme you have booked.
    • Celebration of your birthday along with Santa.
    • Taking pictures of yours in the surroundings of the beginning of the 20th century.
    • Visiting traditional Christmas exhibition-sale to buy a gift for yourself and friends.
    • To make a festive postcard and to have fun in a children’s room.
    • To greet and feast the Daniel deer (food bags are available at reception).
    • To use a museum audio guide free services in Lithuanian, English, Latvian and Russian languages.
    • To buy and send a Christmas postcard at the museum post office or residence.
  • Museums

Rokiškis regional museum

Museum was established in the premises of manor estate in 1952. Over 80,000 artefacts has been accumulated since then. The Museum’s permanent exposition gives an overview of the history of Rokiškis land, culture and mode of life at the manor estates. Exceptional exposition presents the unique creation of Lionginas Šepka (1907-1985), the most outstanding Lithuanian godmaker. You will also be pleasantly surprised seeing the exhibition of Christmas cribs, the only in the country. Over 100 cribs were made by the annual contenst participants, professional craftspeople and amateurs. Art shows, plein airs, classical music concerts and literature evenings regulary take place in the premises of the crib exposition. Museum staff has prepared over 40 education programmes for the people of different ages. (Tel. +370 458 31512)

Kriaunai museum

Museum displays the permanent exposition of history and ethnography. The section of agricultural inventions draws everyone’s attention: flax seed grinder and oil press machine,  step forge bellows, cabbage shredder,  apple juice press machine and many others. The typical country house interior design of the beginning of the 20th century is also liked by the visitors. The museum prepared education programmes ”The history of handbags” and ”Bee the Grey”.  (Tel. +370 617 95200)

Obeliai resistance museum

Museum accumulated a rather rich collection of coins, banknotes, medals, orders, and other valuable artefacts. It also displays the archive of Lokys division partisans, who operated in the north-east of Lithuania. Besides, another room exhibits the period of creation of Lithuanian army, fight for freedom and independence. Education programme ”Revealing winter misteries” is offered. (Tel.+370 458 79 603)

The Memorial Museum of Justinas Vienožinskis

Justinas Vienožinskis (1886-1960) is one of the most prominent personalities in Lithuanian culture of the 20th century. A professional painter, brilliant teacher, farseeing and principled critic of art, active organizer of cultural life and modifier of cultural milieu, he accomplished significant deeds in many spheres of culture. He spent his childhood and youth in Dačiūnai village, near Obeliai, Rokiškis District, where a big part of his creative inheritance was painted: native home, landscapes, series of portraits. Works of art, painting tools and supplies, furniture, family relics and photos are displayed in his homestead, which still has not lost its 19th century’s authenticity. (Tel. + 370 458 78 893)

J. ir A. Tunaičių ethnographic homestead –museum
Museum was established in the premises of a very old Tunaičių homested. A wonderful collection of an average farmer lifestyle in 19-20 centuries, agricultural tools and equipment, woodworker small tools, spinning and weaving machines and some others.
(+370 458 75564)

  • Meet. Recreate. Taste.

Thematic education programmes of Rokiškis regional museum.

Museum staff have prepared a wide range of education programmes: history of Rokiškis land, the past of manor estates, the development of ethnoculture, ancient crafts, calendar festivals, ancestors’ childhood,  growing and processing flax, old dairying methods, ways of candle dipping, spoon carving, coinage, Easter egg decorating and many, many others. Altogether, nearly 40 programmes are offered, and each one is fitted for children and adults of different ages. However, one of the most popular programme is ”The Road of Cheese” when you learn about old traditional dairying methods and taste various types of cheese with herbal tea, jam and vegetables.  (Beforehand booking tel. +370 458 31 512, +370 615 44 586)

Wine tasting at R. Nagelė’s homestead 

A vintner follows very old traditions of winemaking and, as a result of his creativity, nine of homemade wines were awarded with Certificates of Lithuanian National
Heritage.Visitors are welcome to have a view of the farthest north vyneyard, to taste various fruit and wines, to learn about winemaking quiddities and to see the greatest boast – wine collection stocked in a cellar.  (Tel. +370  686 11 912)

Beer and cheese tasting party 

The old cellar just in the centre of the town invites to taste the collection of wellknown ”Grand” cheeses along with various beers from Aukštaitija breweries and cepelinai (a potato-based dumpling dish).  (Tel. +370 610 00610)

Culinary identity of Jūžintai land

Get familiar with the peculiarities of old dishes cooking, sometimes forgotten but revived  recipes. Taste viands of culinary heritage:  fragrant bread, pancakes, roasted barley beer, and others. Dedustation takes place at Jūžintai community centre.  (Tel.+370 676 43 327)

Cognitive education programme ”Fisherman’s net” in Salos manor house

You will familiarize with the ethnic heritage of Salos area (local subdialect, fairy story of   Dviragis lake, pasture songs and so on), traditions and history of fishing, netting. Next, you will taste old recipe fish soup cooked on bonfire. (Tel. +370 682 66 998)

Tasting of national heritage food in Juodupė

You are welcome to visit ”Šakočių ir baravykų namai” / ”Home of tree cake and boletus”  located near the bakery. High class bakers provide education programmes demonstrating the process of cooking. Tree cake is made of butter, eggs, flour, sugar, and cream, cooked on a rotating spit in an oven or over an open fire. So you will be able to try your pastry-making skills cooking this  delikatessen yourself. This workshop attracts both youth and old age.  (Tel. +370 656 80 373)

Education programme ”Rafting on Sartai lake”

While rafting, you will hear lots of stories about Sartai regional park, Bobriškis old believers and their house of prayer or just admire the mounds and breathtaking scenery. Kriaunai resort will greet you with the local songs and dances performed by a folk group.  (+370 6 17 95 200)

Kart hire at ”Moto – Roki” bike club

You may hire karts for entertaining riding along the track.  (Tel. + 370 686 37 924)
Lionginas Šepka park

Rokiškįs is famous for the largest in Europe thematical park of wooden sculptures, founded   in commemoration of L. Šepka, the best-known god-maker of the 20th century in Lithuania.   The most skillful woodcarvers participate in the annual plein air competition, so as a result,  over 100 sculptures beautify the park.  All of them try to interpret the creation of the old master, at the same time revealing their own vision and individuality. Some of the sculptures are functional, for enretainment, and these are loved by children the most.

Open-air gallery of ornamental window shutters

Since 2005, it has become a tradition to organize plein air of painting the window shutters, aiming to ressurect a house decoration tradition. The central Respublikos avenue still reminds the village ūlyčią (road street) with its one-story houses built in the inter-war period. The diversity of motifs impresses: the world tree, heaven light, Baltic mythological signs, geometric ornaments, figure compositions, national tracery, fauna symbols, still lifes, portraits, articles of archeology, Lithuanian millennium emblem, abstractions, and many others.

Rokiskis Calvary

Rokiskis Calvary is the ensemble of seven sacramental monuments, symbolising  Jesus’ suffering on the way to Golgotha. Count Reinhold Tyzenhauz took the initiative, and construction began in the second half of the 19th century, after the wooden church had been destroyed by fire.

UNESCO World Heritage object – Gireišiai station, a part of triangulation chain of Struve Geodetic Arc

A triangulation chain was being measured during the years 1816-1855, aiming to determine the exact size and shape of the earth. Gireišiai station is one of three points existing in Lithuania. The station belongs to the 2nd category of the most important geodetic points of a coordinate system.

”Dolls’ house” museum in Bajorai village

Museum is established in the local community centre of culture. The collection numbers over 1,000 dolls and puppets, which have been displayed since January 1999. It is a very special place with cosy atmosphere for „ČIZ“ theatre performances, festivals, education programmes, dolls’ manufacturing and creative camping.

  • Nature

Sartai observation tower

Impressive, 35-metre-height tower, with the spiral staircase can be an extreme challenge for those who want to get an eyeful of the splendid scenery of Sartai lake, with its islands and bays, in one word, a picture that is worth a thousand words.

A path in Dusetai forest

It is located in Dusetai wood of Kamajai forestry, a part of Sartai regional park. The track length is 3,4 km, with 14 information stations. There are a board walk across the swamp and  an observation tower. Guided tour takes nearly two hours.  XY:612144, 6185520 (LKŠ);55.7911, 25.7882 (WGS).

Vaidlėnai  (Miliūnai) dam recreation area

This recreation area occupies about 8,5 ha of Rokiskis forestry. There are five well equipped   bonfire spots, bathing-boxes and fairly large space for parking vehicles. Fishermen will be happy to see the small bridges all around the dam, while cyclists and walkers stroll along the paths.  XY: 597766, 6212445 (LKS); 56.0361, 25.5688 (WGS).

Bradesiai oak tree

The oak tree of Brodesiai is listed among the natural objects protected by the state. You need six adults to clasp its trunk, and the locals sometimes call it the brother of Stelmužė’s.  It is said that in ancient times, there was an enormous oakery called Tiltalemiškiai in between Bradesiai mound and Sartai lake. So, the oak tree is the only reminder of those days when the Baltic tribes used to gather in circles for ritual songs and dances, bringing gods a sacrifice of praise. Touching the altar set by the tree, you feel the sacredness of this place, therefore, the modern Baltic faith believers often perform rites here.

Ilzenberg mansion oak tree 

In 2013, the oak growing in the park was declared a natural heritage asset. The size of its mighty trunk is 6.3 m, diameter – 2 m, and height – 30.5 m. The manor park is state-protected since 1963, covers an area of nearly 15 ha, and more than 23 species of trees are growing in it.

Goat’s stone (Ožakmenis)

You will find this stone in Gyliai wood of Vyžūnai forestry. Its size 5,1 x 3,0 x 3,3 m. In 1964, it was announced as a geological natural monument. In 1985, it was ascribed to the monuments of the state significance. Lots of of deers and elks have sharpened their antlers in its sides, whereas bears, wolves and lynxes their nails.

  • Events

International festival of organ music

This annual cultural event is organised by the initiative of Rokiškis Branch of  Panevėžys College in honour of Rudolf Lyman, – Czech musician, pedagogue, and organ player. The festival begins along with the Town Day and lasts for about a month.

Velniakalnis (Devil Hill) 

On July 6 – 9, the local sports and recreation centre organises a regular lap of beach volleyball European championship. The centre is comprised of outdoor tennis courts, beach volleyball pitches and thoroughly trimmed area around the artificial lake.  ”ZUMBA summer fest” concerts of pop music draw attention of numerous guests as well.

The sword of Rokas

Simulated battle of Meodieval tournaments is going to happen on July 8th. As usual, the international rules for medieval-style jousting competitions are followed, so knights will battle in different categories.   Everyone in the audience is welcome to try on an armour and helmet, sword workout or bow shooting.

”Lino mūka” (Flax harvesting)

In September, when flax is ripped, a traditional festival comes over to Panemunėlis land. It is one of the most amazing autumn feast with cultural, religious, folkloric and educational roots. This holiday brings lots of joy recalling the traditions of ancient farming, sharing creativity or just socializing. Women usually demonstrate flax processing beginning with pulling, stooking, rippling, retting, breaking, scutching, hackling, spinning, and finishing with       weaving and bleaching. And only then, they will display their own handmade works like linen rugs and towels. As for men, they show how to weave ropes.

Rokiškis town day

The first birthday of the town was celebrated at the end of September, 1999, on the 500-year anniversary. It is one of the most popular cultural event, colourful and lively 3-day celebration. The honourable citizens of the town are usually announced, and the most active community members are awarded. Diverse music is played all over the town, every eldership gives a presentation, craft fair invites the buyers, and night disco clubs wait for young people.

Obeliai town day ”Obelinė”

The tradition to celebrate the town’s birthday was born in 2003,  at  the second weekend of September. During the festival, a variety of sports and  cultural events takes place.  After the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Birth church feast, the soloists of Lithuanian National Philharmonic orchestra give their concert.

”Lakes Rally” 

One of the annual rounds  of Lithuanian automobile rally championship takes place in Zarasai District.  The best racers of the Baltics and other countries take part in it, and over 20,000 spectators have a nice time watching this competition.