Žemaitija (Samogitia, Lowlands)

Žemaitija is in a north western region. The capital of Žemaitija is Telšiai. Žemaitija is the only one region in Lithuania which had an independent self-government for 400 years.  That influenced the formation of greatest differences between Žemaitija and the rest of Lithuania. Many different crafts flourished in Žemaitija. Carpenters, coopers,  tailors, slog makers, blacksmiths and potters had many things to do there. Pottery was the most famous craft in Žemaitija and nowadays Kuršėnai, a small town in Žemaitija is even declared to be the capital of pottery in Lithuania.  It is said that people of Žemaitija are stubborn and faithfull, that might be the reason why today Žemaitija soundly distinguish for its oneness although it is part of Lithuania. The dialect of the region differ from national Lithuanian language in shortening words, rounding vowel letters accenting words on other syllables than literary Lithuanian language requires.  Several open air museums in Žemaitija are held where visitors are able to see how Žemaitija people used to live one or two hundred years ago.

There are many things worth to be seen or experienced in Žemaitija. To begin with, the famous Blues festival in VarniaiBlues Nights” is one of the favorite summer events for many people in Lithuania who appreciate having a valuable free time. Also, number of sightseeing places like Mosėdis Stone museum, Hill of Crosses, Ethnographic Museum of Village of Žemaitija in Telšiai, museum of History of Žemaitija in Telšiai named “Alka”, Palanga resort and the famous Amber Museum in it are the places that must be visited once you come to Žemaitija. The flag and blazon of Žemaitija both are decorated with a dark brown bear. The bear, perhaps, best symbolizes the temperament of Žemaitija`s people as well as some triumphal historic facts like winning the Žalgiris (Grunvald) battle. The battle was a very important historic moment not only for Samogitians (Žemaičiai), but also for the whole Grand Duchy of Lithuania as that was the end of permanent fights between Lithuanians and the Teutonic Order. Žemaitija was not only famous for its militant people, but also for the ones who promoted the nationalism and cultural as well as educational life. Famous Lithuanian figures like Simonas Daukantas who first wrote Lithuanian historical publications, Laurynas Ivinskis who published the first Lithuanian calendar, Motiejus Valančius - a bishop and illuminator, Jonas Basanavičius, the director of the first Lithuanian paper “Daylight” and a writer Julija Žymantienė, who is better known in her nickname Žemaitė (Samogitian - woman) were proud to call themselves people of Žemaitija as nowadays Žemaitija is proud to call them its citizens.

Inexhaustible treasures belong to Žemaitija`s natural surroundings, history, people and culture. Perhaps the pretty stubborn character of local people created such an amazing spirit of Žemaitija we see nowadays. Never give up and you`ll get the same Samogitian results.