Ukmergė

Ukmergė city is located in Aukštaitija region, 76 kilometers North West from Vilnius. It is one of the oldest cities in Lithuania. More than 27000 local inhabitants live there a quiet and slow daily life. Ukmergė is a historical city having its` own Old town, old street nets, ancient buildings and squares. In Lithuania it is mostly known as a city where a legendary plumber lives according to an old very well known Lithuanian song by famous Lithuanian musician V.Kernagis (1951-2008). Almost everyone knows a verse from the song:  “Montego bay, Montego bay – I work as a plumber in Ukmergė”.

History

Some sources say that Ukmergė was mentioned for the first time in 1225, other historians disagree and claim that 1333 was the year when Ukmergė was mentioned for the first time in Livonian chronicles by chronicler Hermann von Wartberge. A wooden castle was erected in Ukmergė city center which was burnt in 1391. A stone one was built soon after destruction of its` wooden progenitor in the beginning of the 15th century. Then Ukmergė competed with Deltuva town located nearby. In 1486 Deltuva lost its` strategic importance and Ukmergė started developing fast. In 1486 it got city rights and in the 16th century it already had an urban autonomy. In the 19th century Ukmergė as well as the rest of Lithuania was ruled by tsarist government. Then although the local authorities initiated revocation of bondage, tsar government did not let that happen. Bolsheviks were finally hunted away from Ukmergė in 1919. Then Ukmergė became a center of municipality, while later on even of the whole region. During the interwar period when Lithuania was independent (1918-1939) in Ukmergė there many factories were opened like linen, machinery, furniture plants.

Nowadays

Ukmergė has a valuable Old town which was inscribed into the list of immovable cultural properties in 2002. The net of streets, well planned square and a volumetric composition of décor were noticed to be an exceptional elements of architecture. There are 3 catholic churches, a wooden church of Old Believers, also known as Russian Starovery, an orthodox church, a former Synagogue located. Tourists coming to Ukmergė should have a tour around the area where the following sights should be included: the Museum of Regional studies in which also art expositions and cultural events are held,  the burial ground of Lithuanian partisans, remains of Vaitkuškis mansion, Vepriai mansion and a park, a former underground nuclear rocket base in Kopūstėliai village, famous Moko, Šaltupio and Veprių stones as well as beautiful mounds, springs and river valleys. By the way, Ukmergė is established on Šventoji river shore so kayak and boat tourism here is very popular and well developed.

Ukmergė offer several places to stay and to eat for tourists so whenever you are passing by, stop at least for a day here in order to enjoy wild waters of Šventoji river, take a walk in cosy Old town and visit several exceptional old churches here.