If you want to see a city in a park, visit Alytus. It is the largest city in Southern Lithuania located between green forests and fields. It is called the capital of Dzūkija ethnographic region. In Alytus there live approximately 68000 inhabitants. The city occupies territory of 40 sq.km. Alytus is divided into 2 parts separated by the largest Lithuanian river Nemunas. The bigger part of the city is located on the left shore of the river.
It may sound ironically, but the history of Alytus city began in 1377, when it was described in Marburger chronics how successfully the city was gutted by the Teutonic Order. So the official life of Alytus began in collapsing. The city did not have church till 1524 so it was not mentioned in any documents of Grand Duke of Lithuania. In early 16th century Alytus was finally accredited to be an official town and celebrated its housewarming.
The location of Alytus city was very favourable for city expansion, however, constant wars, diseases and fires disturbed the city flower. Interestingly, the fires often were caused by local citizens as they always were of quite fiery temper. As a result, hardships, diseases, wars and rebuilding works after each collapse changed the face of Alytus many times. However, each time the renewed city looked poorer and poorer. In the 18th century Alytus city became very insignificant, especially when the main symbol, the Town Hall, was destroyed in 1776. After the third division of Lithuanian- Polish Republic in 1795, Alytus was divided into 2 parts. The left part of the city accrued to Russia and the right one to Prussia.
Alytus started expanding in the end of 19th century when the Tsar government decided to build barracks, 4 fronts, a highway and a railway in there. After the First World War Alytus became a center of district and the history of the city started continuing once again. New buildings, streets, growing number of inhabitants beautified the city. In 1931 Alytus became a primary city which was even declared to be a resort in 1932. The resort attracted people not only for its beauty, but for its flirty and adventurous atmosphere too. Gossips about crazy love stories happening in Alytus spread in local printings and delighted many people to come here even though there was a charge for entering the city. The fast development was disturbed by the Second World War. In 1941 German military air forces destroyed the center of Alytus and the new period of Alytus existence began only in 1964. Then it was decided to make the city a regional center of industry so new living areas erected, the number of citizens started growing again. As soon as in 1990 Lithuania declared its independence, the self government of the city was regenerated.
Alytus nowadays is full of attractions and places worth visiting. Plenty of museums, the most attention catching of which are the Alytus Museum of Regional Studies, Fight for Freedom Museum, Alytus Law and Order Museum, number of memorial museums and many art galleries. The city also includes many beautiful theme parks like the City Garden, the Resort park, the Youth Park, sculpture park Drevinukas and the beautiful Gulbyne (Swan) park. In addition, many nature reserves, protected areas and mounds are located in the region of Alytus city. That’s why it is called the city between parks. Visitors who want to see some architectural and historical heritage will not be disappointed too. Alytus includes many beautiful churches, thematic monuments and a few remarkable historical places to visit. A Jewish genocide cemetery and a partisan headquarters bunker Dainava may also be found in Alytus. Visitors are also able to spend their leisure time in Alytus while taking some of great variety of active entertainments. A paintball, tennis courts, review flights, horse riding, skiing, canoeing and other activities are available in this lively town. Daily life in Alytus is filled with choices of time spending in culture centers, cinema, night clubs, bowling or shopping centers. Great supply of entertainments in Alytus city as well as its friendly citizens would never let guests of the capital of Dzūkija get bored.
Alytus is a city really worth getting acquainted to it. Great tune of beautiful surroundings and plenty of entertainments guarantees good time. Like phoenix rouse from ash, Alytus surprises everyone with its beauty and vitality.
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