Šilutė

Šilutė is located in Western Lithuania, Klaipėda County. Šilutė district is in the oceanic climate zone where rainfall level  is higher than elsewhere in Lithuania. Although oceanic climate dominates in all Baltic coast, in these areas it is the most tendentious. It is even said that daily life in Šilutė district is created by both: people and waters.  Šilutė is the center of district municipality with well developed infrastructure and cultural life. Thus, despite nature cataclysms like rainy periods and periodical floods, more than 53 000 inhabitants live in the district. 21 000 of them are settled in Šilutė town.

History

The reputed beginning of Šilutė town history is 1511 when an inn was opened in the halfway between Tilžė  and Klaipėda. 50 kilometers far from Klaipėda the inn was a place where travellers stopped to have a rest and to rest their horses. The settlement where the inn was opened used to be called Šilokarčema (Pinewood Alehouse). Since crusade times Šilutė town was under strong influence of German culture. Political aspects conditioned the town to belong to Prussian government which took care here about social, educational and economical fields.  The land was being Germanized  for centuries until the end of the First World War. The situation changed because of the Treaty of Versailles: Šilutė district was disposed to France in 1919. The temporal occupant France administration intended to dispose Šilutė district to Poland, but not to the formatting Republic of Lithuania. Lithuanian government reacted fast and well organized. In the end of 1922 a Rescue Committee of  Lithuania the Minor was established which declared a manifest in Šilutė town in 1923 January the 9th announcing the beginning of rebellion. Lithuanian rebels smashed into the lands of Klaipėda region and unarmed the France military forces. The Rescue Committee announced the declaration about subordination of Lithuania the Minor. 1924 Klaipėda region became part of Republic of Lithuania de jure and de facto. During the Soviet occupation many historical and cultural heritage objects were destroyed in Šilutė district. Long years of occupation degraded the face of historically outstanding lands. However, as soon as Lithuania got back it`s in dependence, Šilutė district soaked into creative works, restorations and regeneration of former district face.

Nowadays

As it was already mentioned, Šilutė district distinguishes from the rest of Lithuania in its periodical floods flooding the area every early spring. Some territories here become separated from civilization. That cause many problems for local inhabitants as well as for administration of local government. However, it gives a oneness to this region attracting visitors to come and see the natural forces themselves from all Lithuania and even foreign countries. One more distinguishing nature object here is the beautiful Vente Cape village where the ornithological station is established. In all over the district there are 312 objects of cultural heritage scattered around. Architectural, archeological, technical and marine heritage objects are of the best state of preservation. Not only the variety of heritage attracts people to come here. An infrastructure of water entertainments like fishing, boating, kayaking, diving are not less important in Šilutė district. Rusnė, Kintai, Šliažai, Švėkšna villages located nearby Šilutė are often attended by water entertainment lovers. Some of the most famous festivals are the Laivininkai (Shipping) fest on the coast of river Atmata and the „Šaktarpis“ fiesta when a mass smelt fishing is organized. To describe the oneness of Šilutė district is quite difficult. The best way to get acquainted to it is to come here and see.

Šilutė as a town includes everything that is necessary for guarantees of comfortable and good life being. There is a great communication conditions both with continent and the sea. Kaliningrad belonging to Russian Federation is also hand reachable. A well developed train infrastructure also raises the comfort conditions. The Šilutė town center includes beautiful church of evangelical Lutherans, solder graveyard. The Šilutė Museum , Šilutė Culture house, H. Šojus estate buildings, town park, beautiful gardens around the settlement create an impressive painting of this little exceptional region of Lithuania the Minor. Water, fishery and German culture remains distinguish the town. And who could ever think that it everything began from a simple wayside inn?