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AKMENE AREA
 
Akmene
Paragiai. Photo by Jonas Danauskas
Vieksniai. Photo by Jonas Danauskas
Papile. Photo by Jonas Danauskas
Akmene region
Established in 1950 in the North of the Republic of Lithuania, Akmene Region is in the area of Rivers Venta, Dabikine and Vadakstis and has an area of 1054 sq. m and a population of 38110.
This area is rich in limestone fit for production of concrete and lime which resulted in the well-developed industry of construction materials. Fertile soil encouraged the development of horticulture and cattle raising. In 1997 the region had 97 stock or closed stock companies, 552 individual companies and 41 agricultural companies.
The youth are educated at 8 secondary schools, 6 basic and 13 primary schools, 10 pre-school institutions. In addition, there are 9 clubs, 18 libraries, and 200 historical heritage monuments.
Naujoji Akmene
(Town Ward)
Naujoji Akmene was founded in 1949 and became a town in 1965, when a regional center was moved here. The town has a post office, central hospital, polyclinic, municipal institutions, 3 secondary schools, and a sports and music school. The country side orchestra „Akmena”, the choir and dance company of the Culture Center are well known throughout Lithuania.
Naujoji Akmene is the largest industrial center of the region. Built in 1952, joint stock company „Akmenes Cementas” produces 700-800 thousand tons quality Portland concrete annually. German-Lithuanian joint venture „Eternity Akmene” produces roofing materials without hazardous asbestos.
Visitors frequent to the private botanical garden of A. Ciapas.
 Naujoji Akmene
(Rural Ward)
Established in 1997; area – 195 sq. m; population – 3070. A beautiful village Kivyliai is situated here. The Klykoliai village boasts a wooden church of the Virgin Mary's Descent. Luokava hill, an archaeological monument, is situated in the northern part of the ward. In the southern part of the ward there is a recreational zone, including Dabikine pond of 123.8hectares.
 Akmene Ward
Area of the ward – 150 sq. m; population – 5800, its center – the town of Akmene founded in the 16th century, in 1792 Akmene was awarded the Magdeburg (town) rights and coat of arms.
The ward has Kamanai state preserve of 6464 hectares. It is an upland moor boasting 330 species of plants with some plants and animals listed in the Lithuanian Red Book.
 Kruopiu Ward
It is an agricultural and forest area in the eastern part of the region. Ward area – 97 sq. m, population – 1270. The old town park has rare species of trees.
 Venta Ward
With a population of 4500, Venta wards is situated by the Venta River and Siauliai-Mazeikiai Highway. Venta settlement, the center of the ward, has Akmene Railway Stastion, companies „Ventos Arklas” and „Ventos Meistrai”, a bakery and other enterprises. Folk Music Company „Ventukai” is known throughout Lithuania.
 Papile Ward
Located in the southern part of the region (area – 159 sq. m, population – 4250), Papile is mentioned in the written sources starting 1253. Its archaeological monuments includes two mounds, in addition to two important natural monuments – the rock exposure of the Jurassic period and a lime-tree of 15 stems.
Simonas Daukantas, a 19th century Lithuanian historian and writer, is buried in Papile.
The architecture monuments include the Siaudine wooden church built in 1775 and a bell tower. Another place of interest is Paragiai, a memorial farmstead of two writers sisters Sofija Psibiliauskiene and Marija Lastauskiene who signed their work by one pseudonym of Lazdynu Peleda.
The area of Vieksniai situated in the west of the region is 164 sq. m, with the population of 5400.
The center of the ward – Vieksniai – was awarded the Magdeburg (town) rights and coat of arms in 1792. It has a surviving 18th century wooden house that since 1860 houses a pharmacy which also has a museum.
In the mid 19th century airman Aleksandras Grikevicius who constructed self-propelled flying machines resides in Vieksniai. His house of residence now houses a museum.
The town center boasts a monument to the Birzisku family. Three brothers Birziskos – Mykolas (1882-1962), Vaclovas (1884-1956) and Viktoras (1885-1964) – professors at Vilnius and Kaunas Universities were born here. Mykolas Birziska was the signatory of the Lithuanian Independence Act (1918 02 16). Antanas Birziska, father of the professors, worked as a doctor in Vieksniai for 42 years.
Vieksniai Ward abounds in historical and natural monuments. A huge Meiles (Love) Boulder, otherwise called the Black Boulder, lies in the Zibikai forest. According to the legend, the devil carried the boulder with the intention of dropping it on the Vieksniai Church, but a cock crowed, and the boulder fell into the forest.
From: „Akmenes krastas”. Vilnius, „Atkula”, 1998. Page: 28-29.

Page updated 2014.09.01.
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