Molėtai

Molėtai is a small town located in Eastern Lithuania, 63 km far from Vilnius. It occupies area of just 3,77 square kilometers and there live a bit less than 7000 inhabitants. The town has everything what is necessary for normal daily life – educational institutions, art school, library, hospital, post office and so on, but the most valuable possession of the city is its unspoiled natural surroundings. Molėtai town can be proud to be a center of one of the cleanest areas in Lithuania.

History

When Molėtai was mentioned in historial sources for the first time in 1387, it was only a village which was given as a present to bishop of Vilnius city by the Grand Duke of Jogaila. Molėtai belonged to Vilnius bishops since 18th century. In 1517 there was a mansion built where breweries of beer and spirit were established.  In 1522 there a church was built. In 1795 Molėtai mansion devolved upon a family of local noblemen and soon in the beginning of the 19th century, Molėtai town began growing as merchants and craftsmen started settling over there. In 1866 Molėtai had only 1 street stretching by the road to Utena city. In 1907 Molėtai faced a terrible fire. In 1919 polish military forces occupied the town. the last big fire broke out here in 1949 after which only a red brick building left in the center of Molėtai. The town was rebuilt and in 1956 it was declared to be a city although in comparison with other cities in Lithuania it is too little to be called a city.

Nowadays

Molėtai district attracts visitors because of its beautiful nature and cultural heritage objects located there. 220 lakes stretching in this area distinguish in their clearness and cleanliness. Visitors can get acquainted with history of the district in local museum of Molėtai district. In addition, a Fishery museum here also attracts with its rich collection of fishing equipment and trophies. There is nothing to be surprised about that – clean waters of local lakes create great conditions for many species of fish and crustaceans to breed. Perhaps the most interesting museum there is the museum of Ethnocosmology. It is established in Molėtai observatory which is also a very interesting sightseeing object. In Molėtai district there is also the longest Lithuanian lake Asveja stretching which may be admired from the top of Dubingiai mound. What is more, there is a Glass museum located in Balninkai village where clearly described history of Lithuanian glass manufacturing and exhibits of greatest art works from glass can be found.

Molėtai district as one of the cleanest areas in Lithuania offers number of rural tourism homesteads. The most exciting ones are “Duonos sodyba” (The Bread homestead) where visitors can enjoy bread baking process from very beginning, “Gojaus smuklė” (Gojus` Pub) where get-together evenings are held for visitors to enjoy local cuisine heritage while listening to fun folk music. Another popular homestead is “Įlankos sodyba” (Bay homestead) where visitors can have a nice voyage in the lake of Bebrusai or have other water activities or pottery classes. These are only a few homesteads offering various attractions and activities for their guests in Molėtai district. Tourists there must also visit the Alanta mansion , Dubingiai and Liesėnai mounds, former Jewish Trade houses and number of beautiful churches scattered all around the Molėtai region.