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grabas.peperonity.net

My Native Town - Kedainiai

Here are some interesting facts and history of my native town.

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Kedainiai - situated in the middle of the Lithuania lowland on the banks of the Nevezis River. Kedainiai is a regional industrial center. The history of the town has been calculated since 1372, when the name of the settlemant was mentioned for the first the in written sources. Kedainiai was granted town rights in 1590. In 1614, Kedainiai and its surrounding areas fell to the Radvilas (Radziwills), one of the most influential families of that time. The supporters of the reformation, and established a Reformation center in Kedainiai. It was there that Calvinists and religious emigrants from Scotland and other European states took shelter from the Jesuits. The competition which took place in the 16th and early 17th centuries between Reformists and the Catholics was quite beneficial for Lithuania culture. Competing among themselves, they established schools and published many books. In 1651, a printing-house was built in Kedainiai, and later a paper shop began to operate.
As many as six market squares formed in Kedainiai at that time - an urban phenomenon in Lithuania. There were more than ten artisan workshops operating in the town, and a Reformists church, and a Town Hall, and many other buildings were erected.
However. the period of prosperity ended in the 18th century, when the town was plagued by attacks of the Swedes, disease, famine, and fire. The town only began to revive a bit in 1871, when a railway was built through the region and industry began to grow.
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Several centuries ago it was already a lively commercial and trade centre. As the time of the Reformation Kedainiai was an important of the movement and education. Kedainiai is the only among smaller towns of Lithuania that has preserved its Old Town from the 17th century. The former Town Hall, the House of Rectors, the Church of St. Calvinist, the House of Scotch Merchants and others are valuable monuments of architecture. It was a custom here that everyone arriving in Kedainiai had to bring a stone for the construction of the town.
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Upon arriving in Kedainiai, take a look around the town itself. Most of the monuments of the Old Town can be found in the big market square and the surrounding streets, which were formed in the 16th and early 17th centuries. Although much of town was destroyed during various wars and fires. Kedainiai is still one of the few Lithuanian settlements which can be proud of its Old Town as an urban monument.
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The former Kedainiai Town Hall was rebuilt in 1653 - 1654. The two-storey stone building was L-shaped and had a clock-tower. On the first floor there were stores, and on the second - the court and governmental institutions. The jail and the archives were located in the basement of the building. The Town Hall also housed one of the first pharmacies in Lithuania (established in either 1650 or 1655). In 1960 the building was renovated, and in 1983 it was given back its original appearance.
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Next to the Town Hall is the Calvinist Church (1631 - 1653) and Bell Tower was erected during the period of religions wars, which is perhaps the reason for its fortress - like appearance. The laterguadrangular Bell Tower is completely Baroque.
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The 17th century Scottish Merchant House is still standing. The so-called Rector House, which was built around 1660, was where the Rectors of the Kedainiai school lived. Both buildings face away from the street and are connected by an arch. The form and layout are reminiscent of Lithuanian residental houses.
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There are architectural monuments farther away from the central square as well. The Church or St. George looms like a fortress on the high bank of the Nevezis. The first church in that place was built in the 15th - 16th centuries, and later rebuilt in the 18th - 19th centuries. At first the church was surely Gothic in style, but it later acquired Baroque features as well. On the other of the town, behind the bus station, is a 17th century Renaissance Lutheran church. There is also a monument of Lithuanian independence next to the railway station.
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I hope it´s quite good for a start.:) Later I´ll put more info about present situation and status of my home-town.


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