Veliuona Things to Do
The mound of Gediminas grave is known from end of 13th century. There was at first wooden castle, later – brick castle, both named Junigeda (it is also old name of Veliuona). A way how castle looked like you could see at second my tip photo.
Some unproven information tells that here Duke Gediminas (founder of capital Vilnius) was murdered, and here is his grave (from 1337). Anyway, historians believe that here is only Trakai duke with the same name. Now here is a monument for Gediminas, and a nice place too see panorama of Nemunas river.
Manor of Zaleskiai
The place is known from the beginning of 19th century, when manor and park was created, landowners Zaleskiai. The main wooden palace is typical classicism building, nowadays housing the exhibition of Veliuona region. Main spots here to see is a class, where famous Lithuanian writer Vincas Kreve was learning, also old wooden farm - items.
Park nearby is not big, but known for rare tulip - tree, only two such found in Lithuania.
Church of the Virgin Mary's Ascension
Veliuona church is known from Great Duke Vytautas ruling times (first part of 15th century). At first it was a gothic building. In 1644 church was reconstructed into renaissance style by famous noblemen Albertas Radvila. Nowadays it looks the same as from 17th century.
There is a museum at tower of church, but at visit time it was not working. Church is a landmark of Veliuona.
Car is a good choose to travel to Veliuona, mostly due to a way it is among other small interesting towns, and it will be too difficult using bus every 10-15 kilometers. Also driving car offers a better way to see banks of Nemunas river, to stop at panoramic places.
The road along Nemunas starts from (the best views actually start from Vilkija) and ends up in Jurbarkas. Later North – West road takes you to Kaunas – Klaipeda autobahn and you could continue to Baltic sea ar take a way back to Kaunas side.
Veliuona Off The Beaten Path
Vytenai village with castle
Vytenai is more or less a village with a castle. Representational castle was built in 1604 – 1610 by Hungarian merchant Janusz Eperjesh in renaissance style. In 18th century some classical details were added. It is one of the most picturesque castles in Lithuania together with Vilnius, Trakai, Birzai, Kaunas castles.
Nowadays it is under reconstruction, a place sometimes is used by Academy of Arts students, they also make exhibitions here.
If you ever find place in the Internet, it also could be called Panemunes castle.
Vytenai is about 20 kilometers from Veliuona.
Raudone and its castle
Raudone is located near Raudone river (“raudona” means “red”). Place is the most known due to representational style castle, built in 16th century by possible Prussian origin landowners Kirsensteins. Nowaydays, after some reconstructions, it is in more or less neo – gothic style. Raudone castle is surrounded by nice park. Place houses a school, they offer climbing to castle’s tower for 2 litas (nice panorama to Nemunas river and small town).
Raudone is about 12 kilometers from Veliuona.
Seredzius - Palemonas mound town
Seredzius is the most known due to Palemonas hill (mound). According to Lithuanian annals, Palemonas was a duke of Rome, who moved to Lithuanian territory in 1st century (due to persecution of Emperor) and died and was buried here. Anyway, it is just like a legend, not proven with real facts. This legend for some time was a basis to call Lithuanians as former Romans. Real facts tell that Seredzius was first mentioned in 1293.
Climbing to the mound is a great choice, offering nice panorama of Nemunas river, some parts with small town with church.
Seredzius is about 10 kilometers from Veliuona.
Town of river Nemunas
Favorite thing: River Nemunas for a long time was a defensive border of Lithuanian Grand Duchy and Order of Crusaders. So, that’s why the banks of both sides were fully of castles. Nowadays only representational castles left, a place is famous in means of tourism (so called Nemunas – bank trips from Kaunas to Jurbarkas). Veliuona is one of mains stops here to overnight, take a break, lunch, sightseeing.
It is interesting enough, that already Veliuona part of Nemunas already belongs Samogitian region, another part of Nemunas is Suvalkija.