Kretinga

Kretinga is a town located in West Lithuania in the Klaipėda County. Also it is the center of Kretinga district and municipality. Kretinga is only 12 kilometers far from Palanga seaside resort thus it is really attractive to live in or to stay in for a while: the best Lithuanian attractions are really close, but you are not dwarfed by epicenter of entertainments.

Kretinga is the 18th largest Lithuanian town and the 6th largest in Samogitia (Žemaitija) ethnographic region. The population of more than 21 thousand people lives there. Kretinga distinguishes in an amount of cultural, historical and ethnographical monuments scattered around the area. Believe it or not, but there are more than 750 objects of culture heritage, 554 of which are included into Lithuanian Cultural values list. The reason of the oneness might be that Kretinga is one of the oldest Lithuanian towns.

History

The legendary establisher of Kretinga city is thought to be king Armon born in Grutingai family. 1253 was the year when Kretinga name was mentioned in written sources for the first time. The historian region of Kretinga was divided among Germans and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 15th century. Generations changed one after another when the Kretinga village devolved to counts Chodkevičiai family. The family inspired first building works here, thus the first wooden church and a monastery for Bernardines were built. In the 18th century Kretinga was bought by Masalskiai family. The family did much for the town. The noble bishop Ignotas Masalskis took care about the environment and cultural life in Kretinga. He implemented renovation works for the famous Kretinga palace then. Park works, orchard implantation was thought to be the beginning of the famous Kretinga palace history. The estate then flourished! It`s beauty could undoubtedly  rival  with beauty of the best European parks and estates. Bishop Ignotas Masalskis brought here first exotic plants from far away countries and gave a start for a beautiful Winter Garden, which grew a lot and can be visited till nowadays. In the 19th century, the estate was sold to counts Zubovai. This family also brought here many good things and innovations. In 1882 the a telephone line was established in the estate connecting Kretinga with Plungė and Rietavas. 1890 was the year when electric lamps started lighting the halls of the palace. In the end of 19th century counts Tiškevičiai overtook the possession of Kretinga estate and town. After the First World War Kretinga was declared to be a center of the county. The Second World War was tough times for Kretinga city. Nationalization of biggest companies was started, the monastery of Franciscans was closed. Mass deportation, Jewish genocide did not bypassed Kretinga city too.  Kretinga could only respire in 1950. Soviet occupants allowed to establish Culture center, musical drama theatre, music school. When Lithuania got back its independence, the monastery of Franciscans started to work again, new administration of city was elected.

Nowadays

Kretinga nowadays is a town where an idyllic quiet daily life flows day by day. Culture, sports and arts are here valued a lot. Monks Franciscans influence the city life a lot too. Actually, Kretigna is a Lithuanian center of brothers Franciscans. Their prayers, music and sermons inspire Kretinga people to live in harmony. Thus Kretinga is a town where every year there are festivals of choirs, village chapels, amateur theatres held. Educational field is also well developed. 44 educational offices are working here in Kretinga district. Business field is also important here. The largest companies working here are “Kretingos grūdai“ (Corns of Kretinga) that produce fodder and „Kretingos žvėrininkystės ūkis“ ( Beast Farm of Kretinga) that produce fures of foxes and minks.

Kretinga town is a place where you may get acquainted with great variety of values: it is an ancient architecture, unique Samogitian landscape decorated with number of crosses, chapels, graceful wooden churches. The religious temper, echos of pagan ritauls create a wonderful atmosphere there. There is no doubt that Kretinga is a fireplace of culture with old deep traditions.