Old post office building
Red brick old post office is an example of Tsarist architecture that was alive in Lithuanian land at second half of 19th century and beginning of 20th. Actually such post offices were quite similar in whole Lithuania, the same could be told about Tsarist time’s railway station buildings.
Manor of Tiskeviciai
You have to walk further and cross the wooden bridge through artificial Sirvena lake to reach Tiskeviciai manor (or, differently, Astravo manor). Manor was constructed in 1842 – 1862 by a project of Jonas Ticeskis. It is one of the best survived romantic style manors in Lithuania.
Nowadays palace houses an administration of yarn factory, it is possible to go inside to see some remains of old interior.
That’s pity that (like usually) manor territory was neglected in Soviet times, additional ugly yarn factory buildings were constructed.
Wooden lake - bridge
Astravas manor (or Tiskeviciai) manor is located in other part of Sirvena lake, so you need to cross long wooden bridge to get there. Actually without bridge to reach manor would take much more time quite big round.
Bridge was built in 1987. The length is 525 meters; it is the longest such type bridge in Lithuania. It seems like locals love to use it for fishing and cycling to Astravas yarn factory.
Evangelist Reformer church in Birzai was built in 1874. Historically this place was influenced by Reformation quite much, as owner of Birzai land were Radziwili, Reformers themselves.
Historical facts show that different religions were always tolerated in Lithuania, so that’s why Birzai for long time was Reformers area and had their own house for prayers.
Construction of a castle in Birzai started in 1586 by initiative of noble family Radziwili (Radvilos). It was the main post for defending land against Swedish in 17th century. In 1625 castle was bombed, only in 1669 finally rebuilt in a style renaissance, by type it looked like Dutch bastion.
Castle is famous as here was signed a Poland – Lithuania Commonwealth and Russian Empire agreement about common war with Sweden (1701). Anyway, it hasn’t helped, and in 1704 castle was destroyed again.
Only in Soviet times it was little by little reconstructed and nowadays houses nice museum about Birzai region history and a library. Museum’s entrance to an adult is 6 litai (1,74 euros).
Castle bridge is a nice example of bastion castle type bridges. Actually this one was reconstructed in around 1988 – 1990 and nowadays serves as the main convenient entrance point to Birzai castle.
In older times bridge went through artificial water channel, nowadays only trenches left.
Monument for defenders of Independence
Monument for independence was built here in 1931, projected by sculptor R. Antinis. After Soviet Union occupation, in 1946, it was demolished, but recovered in 1990 again.
Monument shows a woman. Simply it means waiting mother, sister, wife, friend of soldier, who never came back home after battle for independence. Such type of monuments is quite popular in Lithuania.
Cemetery of Soviet army soldiers
Controversially, cemetery of Soviet army soldiers and monument for them is located just nearby monument for defenders of Lithuania’ independence and Catholic church.
Any guide talks about this monument, but it is for Soviet soldiers, fallen in Second World War. Monument seems like recently renovated.
Monument of J. Janonis
Monument for famous Lithuanian poet Julius Janonis stands in the same name square. Actually square in older times was a place for town hall, but later badly damaged, never rebuilt.
Julius Janonis (1896 – 1917) born in Birzai region, lived only 21 year, as on First World War lost life in unfortunate accident. Monument was built in 1976 to commemorate 80 years of his birth.
Catholic Church of John the Baptist
Church of John the Baptist stands not so far from J. Janonis square. Catholic church designed in neo – baroque and Romanticism styles and was built in 1861. Few different sources tell about different people, who made a project of church – these are Tomas Tiseckis or possibly Ceasar Anichini.