This white parish Roman catholic church of St. George (Sv. Jurgiu baznycia) was built about 1817. It didn't look very interesting for me from the outside as I could easily find similar churches around my place in Poland.
Unfortunatelly all church doors were closed in early afternoon on business day when I was there.
Instead I could find a few interesting statues, graves and monuments around.
1. POLISH - LITHUANIAN KINGDOM
Veisiejai was founded at the beginning of the 16th century (1501). Until 1775 Veisiejai was part of Polish-Lithuanian Kingdom (common state - a kind of federation - of Poland and Lithuania).
In 1795 there was the third division of Poland by the three superpowers of those times that was Russia, Prussia and Austria. The part of Lithuania on the left side of the Neman river (Nemunas), including Veisiejai, was handed over to Prussia while the rest to Russia. Prussia ruled there during the years 1795-1807. Veisiejai became a county center during these years.
3. NAPOLEON AND GREAT DUKEDOM OF WARSAW
When Napoleon defeated Prussia and after signing the Tylza agreement in July 1807, Polish territories occupied by Prussia were transferred to what became known as the "The Great Dukedom of Warsaw". Veisiejai became part of the Bialystok district of the Dukedom. The King of Saxonia, Friedrich-August, was appointed Duke. The Napoleonic codex became the constitution: everybody was equal before the law, except for... the Jews who were not granted any civil rights.
After the defeat of Napoleon, all of Lithuania was annexed to Russia in 1815. Veisiejai was included in the Augustowa Region (Gubernia) and in 1866 it became a part of the Suwalki Gubernia as a county center till WWI 1914-1918.
Veisiejai is located in country of lakes which covers large part of Lithuania close to Poland's and Belarus's border.
Well, I stopped by one of them along highway 134 from Lazdijai to Veisiejai. I didn't see any visitors and any tourist facilities there - I mean camping, restaurant, hotel etc. Instead, I found pure nature, clean water, peace and quiet. It maybe great destination for adventerous backpackers with tents, right?
I stopped in Veisiejai for the two reasons:
1. it was marked as place, object of interest on my map,
2. I saw this lovely park, on my picture, along the right side of my highway 134 from Lazdijai towards Druskininkai. In a moment I saw white edifice hidden among trees (parish church) opposite to the park.
The green and empty park was nice area to take a walk, to rest and to see a few wooden statues and a monument put there.
I found this sculpture on a chapel put outdoors by St. George's church. It depicted a brave knight killing a dragon.
Well, with reference to legends and tales, there were many dragons living in Lithuania including Nine-headed Dragon. Well, not all dragons were bad...
More: follow the link below, please.
This chapel was put outdoors by St. George's church.
I paid attention to typical Lithuanian roof over the holy statue, hmm... not that typical statue as not wooden one. The design of wooden decorations was typical for this area of Lithuania, and northeastern Poland as well.
I found this high and thin wooden chapel, on my picture, put on a meadow by St. George's church. Its design, shape and especially the roof topped by cross was typical for Lithuania. Only the white colour was unique.
Lithuanian wooden, high and thin chapels were usually either not painted or painted in brown-like colours.
This cross with crucified Jesus Christ was put by the grave of priest Stanislovas Mikalajunas.
I paid attention to typical, Lithuanian decorative design of edges of the holy cross. It's strange, but sometimes they reminded me more relatively far Romania than very close Poland.
There were a grave with high, wooden cross (on the left on my picture) and wooden statue - chapel (on the right) in front of facade of St. George's church.
There were fresh flowers put on the grave. The commemorative plaque had inscription which said that priest Stanislovas Mikalajunas was burried there. I found strange that three dates were put but his name: 1939 - 1967 - 1993.
I think that it means that he was born in 1939, died in 1967 but could be burried there in 1993 that was after Lithuania regained independence from Soviet occupation. Before, Soviet authorities didn't allow to put up his grave. Am I right?
I parked my car on that parking lot, on my picture, just by a white building which housed the city Town Hall. Nothing great but I could find ATM cash there. And I found an inscription: Veisiejai 1501 - 2001. Haha, the city really celebrated its 500 anniversary in 2001. Additionally I could see the coat of arm of Veisiejai on the town hall. It contained three ducks.
I found this wooden gate in Veisiejai city park. It leaded to Veisiejai Regional Park (its Administraton to be more exact). It's not the USA, the entrance to the park was free :-).
I only drove through that area and stopped at a few places. My impression was that the park was really wild, empty with almost no tourist facilities but offered a lot of peace and quiet, lovely landscapes with lakes which reminded large rivers.
The park covers 12,200 ha including 37 lakes and was established to preserve the forested landscape in 1992.
Highlights of Veisiejai Regional Park:
- nature (lake, forests, rare specious of both plants and animals like common gromwell, tree frog or pond turtle),
- cultural heritage (mounds and ancient fortifications, church in Veisiejai),
- recreation (swimming in the lakes, walking trails, boating, canoening, fishing).
More: follow the link below, please.
This monument, on my picture, was put in the middle of city park. There was no plaque and no information on that monument. There was a flagpole put by the monument.
Those signs (of canddlesticks?) put on its top part reminded me Jewish and catholic symbols. This area of Europe was inhabited by many Jews in the past. Was it monument of local victims of any war or genocide ?
These three statues were put on a grass of city Veisiejai park. There were, as usual in Lithuania, thin and high.
I think that they dipicted a king or duke (in the middle), a priest/monk (on the left) and a peasant (on the right). Am I wrong?
Looking at the stone circle put up in Veisiejai city park I thought over old pagan traditions of Lithuania. Keep in mind that finally Lithuania was baptised and introduced Roman catholic religion in 1387 that means the last among all European countries. Well, nowadays, Lithuanian (together with Poland, Italy, Spain and Portugal) belongs to the most Roman catholic countries in Europe.
Well, the stone circles in Viesaijai didn't look as impressive as famous stone circle Stonehenge in England I have to visit someday. And it didn't as beautiful as stone structures/circles I was lucky to see in Malta.
There were a few wooden benches in Veisiejai park. Besides there were these three seats, on my picture. They looked like three wooden thrones put on a meadow. But, believe or not, they were not very comfortable.
Driving around Veisiejai, I passed by beautiful colorful meadows. Green colour dominated but there were areas of yellow, violet and white field flowers as well.
Well, I was there in June 2004. Keep in mind that Lithuania is not that cold country as many think and has a lot of warm sun from May to September.