Contents 1 Geography 2 History 3 Culture 4 International relations 4.1 Twin towns – Sister cities 5 People 6 References 7 External links


Geography[edit] Druskonis lake, City museum and a tower of the church. The town is located at the Ratnyčia River estuary to the Nemunas River and is surrounded by a natural forest reserve. The town is situated in a picturesque landscape with rivers, lakes, hills and forests.


History[edit] According to some sources the site of present-day Druskininkai was inhabited by local Yotvingian tribes in the early Middle Ages. In the 13th century the area became a part of the expanding Duchy of Lithuania. A small castle was built in the area as a part of the defence system against the Teutonic Order. In 1308 the castle was conquered by the Teutonic Knights and destroyed, causing a depopulation of the area. The first written mention of Druskininkai dates back to 1636. The name of the town suggests that the local population collected precious minerals. In the late 18th century it was believed that minerals found in the waters of Druskininkai area produced health benefits and their usage in the medical treatment of asthma and other ailments began. In the early 19th century Ignacy Fonberger, a professor at the University of Vilnius, analyzed the chemical composition of Druskininkai's waters and showed that they contain large amounts of Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Iodine, Bromine, Iron and Magnesium. He also promoted the town as a holiday resort for the population of Vilnius. Flowers in central Druskininkai In 1837 czar Nicholas I of Russia bestowed upon Druskininkai the status of a spa, and construction of pensions and hostels started. To ease communication to the spa, a ferry service on the Nemunas was started.[1] Saint Mary's Church, Druskininkai The spa became popular in many parts of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1862 the Warsaw – Saint Petersburg Railway was opened and Druskininkai's railway station was placed only 19 kilometres (12 miles) from the city. By the beginning of the 20th century the Druskininkai spa became one of the most popular resorts in the area, with tourists and convalescents coming from all over the world. It also became a place of summer residence for the middle class of Vilnius, Warsaw and Moscow. After World War I the town became part of Poland (see Polish-Lithuanian conflict). Its popularity was increased by the patronage of Józef Piłsudski, who spent most of his summer holidays there and promoted the development of the area. Soon most of the resort was bought up by the state-owned Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego and the construction of luxurious villas and pensions started. In 1934 a railway link with the Parečča (ru) train station was opened and the town became more accessible to the general public. It was a gmina center in Grodno powiat of Białystok Voivodeship. After Poland was invaded in September 1939, the town was briefly incorporated into the Belarusian SSR as raion center in Belostok Oblast. However, on 7 September 1940, Stalin transferred Druskininkai to Lithuania which in turn was annexed in August of that year and incorporated into the Soviet Union. It was occupied by Nazi Germany on 23 June 1941 and was part of Bezirk Bialystok. At this period, and as part of the "Final Solution" plan of the Nazis, the Jewish community of the town stopped to exist, some of them sent to ghettos in near-by Kaunas, and some killed occasionally during the occupation. It was occupied again by Red Army on 14 July 1944 and passed to Lithuanian SSR. In 1951, Druskininkai began to grow rapidly again and several huge sanatoriums and spa hospitals were opened. The city became a famous resort, attracting around 400,000 visitors per year from all over the Soviet Union. Snow Arena The Water Park in Druskininkai The dissolution of the Soviet Union was followed by economic difficulties faced by Lithuania and some of its resorts, due to the lack of many of their former tourists. In 2001 unemployment reached 29% in Druskininkai. Recently Druskininkai began a revival. Sanatoriums, spas and the city's infrastructure have been renovated by both the local government and privately owned businesses. Despite damage inflicted during World War I, the city features houses and villas reflecting all periods of its development - Russian, Polish and Lithuanian. The first water park in Lithuania was opened in Druskininkai on 26 December 2006. The Snow Arena (construction completed in August 2011) is one of the biggest indoor skiing slopes in Europe, with a year-round indoor slope length of 460 metres, width up to 63 metres, and a height difference of 65.65 metres. In addition there is a seasonal outdoor route of 640 metres. In alpine ski complex Snow Arena works school of skiing and snowboarding DruSkiSchool. Also you can visit Karolis Dineikos Wellness Park or go up to Snow Arena by cableway and enjoy panoramic views of Druskininkai.


Culture[edit] Orthodox church in Druskininkai There are a number of art and historical museums and galleries in the city. Many cultural events take place, most of them during spring, summer and fall. During 1896–1910, famous Lithuanian composer and painter Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis lived and worked in the city. A number of regular events take place at his memorial museum each year. An annual poetry event, "Druskininkai poetic fall", began in 1985 and attracts authors from all over the world. In 2001, Grūtas park was opened near Druskininkai, exposing sculptures and other materials of the Soviet era. There is also an annual International Arts Festival 'Druskininkų vasara su M.K.Čiurlioniu' (eng. The summer in Druskininkai with Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis).


International relations[edit] See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Lithuania Twin towns – Sister cities[edit] Druskininkai is twinned with:[2] Augustów, Poland[2] Dzerzhinsk, Russia[2] Elbląg, Poland[2][3][4] Grodno, Belarus[2] Kolpino, Russia[2] Strzelce Opolskie, Poland[2]


People[edit] Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911), lived here Jan Czeczot (1796-1847), poet and ethnographer, died here Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973), Jewish sculptor, was born here Antanas Sniečkus (1902-1974), first secretary of the Lithuanian Communist Party died here American actor Charles Bronson (1921-2003)'s father was born in Druskininkai Rabbi Shmaryahu Yitzchak Bloch (ca. 1862-1923), lived here


References[edit] ^ (in Lithuanian) Apie kurortą Archived May 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. ^ a b c d e f g "Tarptautinis Bendradarbiavimas" [Druskininkai international cooperation]. Druskininkų savivaldybės administracija (in Lithuanian). 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2013-08-03.  ^ "Elbląg - Podstrony / Miasta partnerskie". Elbląski Dziennik Internetowy (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2011-03-15. Retrieved 2013-08-01.  ^ "Elbląg - Miasta partnerskie". Elbląg.net (in Polish). Retrieved 2013-08-01. 


External links[edit] Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Druskininkai. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Druskininkai. Druskininkai homepage Druskininkai municipality Wolf golf club Grūtas park M. K. Čiurlionis museum Druskininkai Aqua Park Druskininkai on Litauen Netz v t e Alytus County Municipalities Alytus (city) Alytus (district) Druskininkai Lazdijai Varėna Cities Alytus Daugai Druskininkai Lazdijai Simnas Varėna Veisiejai Towns Butrimonys Kapčiamiestis Krokialaukis Krosna Leipalingis Merkinė Nemunaitis Rudamina Seirijai Šeštokai Šventežeris Valkininkai Villages Akmuo Aladiškės Andriūnai Aukštakalnis Ašašninkai Babriškės Bagočiai Balbutai Barteliai Barčiai Bingeliai Burokaraistis Butvydonys Čebatoriai Česukai Čižiūnai Dainava Dargužiai Darželiai Daržininkai Daržinėlės Degsnės Druckūnai Dubininkas Dubičiai Ežeriekai Geidukonys Geniai Genionys Giraitė Glūkas Grybaulia Gudakiemis Gudeliai Gudžiai Ilgininkai Jakėnai Jasauskai Jonionių gyvenvietės Jonionys Jurgiškės Kabeliai Kalviai Kaniava Kaniavėlė Kaniūkai (Jakėnai) Kaniūkai (Kaniava) Kapiniškiai Kareivonys Karužai Kasčiūnai Kašėtos Kašėtų gyvenvietės Katra Kibyšiai Kijučiai Kirklionys Kriviliai Krokšlys Krūminiai Kudrėnai Kukliai Kurmiškė Kuršiai Liškiava Luksnėnai Lynežeris Maksimai Maksimonys Mantvilai Mančiagirė Marcinkonys Mardasavas (Marcinkonys) Mardasavas (Merkinė) Margionys Masališkės Matuizos Mergežeris Meškučiai Mielupiai Miklusėnai Musteika Nedzingė Noruliai Noškūnai Paąžuolė Pabezninkai Pagilšys Paklėštarė Palkabalis Pamerkiai Pamusiai Panočiai Papiškės Paručiai Pavarėnis Paversekis Perloja Pilvingiai Pirčiupiai Punia Puodžiai Puvočiai Pūčkornės Radyščius Radžiūnai Roduka Rudnia Rūsingė Samūniškės Sarapiniškės Šarkiškės Senoji Varėna Senovė Šklėriai Subartonys Tolkūnai Trakiškiai Trasninkas Ūdrija Urkionys Ūta Užuperkasis Vazgirdonys Venciūnai Vilkiautinis Voriškės Vydeniai Zakavoliai Žeimiai Zervynos Žilinai Žiūrai Authority control WorldCat Identities VIAF: 146475551 GND: 4013143-9 Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Druskininkai&oldid=814874452" Categories: Spa towns in LithuaniaCities in Alytus CountyCities in LithuaniaGrodno GovernorateBiałystok Voivodeship (1919–39)DruskininkaiMunicipalities administrative centres of LithuaniaSki areas and resorts in LithuaniaHidden categories: Articles with Lithuanian-language external linksWebarchive template wayback linksCS1 Lithuanian-language sources (lt)CS1 Polish-language sources (pl)Coordinates on WikidataArticles with hAudio microformatsArticles containing Polish-language textArticles containing Belarusian-language textArticles containing Yiddish-language textInterlanguage link template link numberWikipedia articles with VIAF identifiersWikipedia articles with GND identifiers


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