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About Lithuania » Alytus

Alytus, the sixth largest Lithuanian city, is settled along both banks of the Nemunas river. The main roads linking Kaunas with Grodno (Byelorussia) and Vilnius with Lazdijai travel through Alytus. Travelling along the Via Baltica from Alytus to Kaunas is 70 km., whereas from Alytus to Vilnius is 105 km. This allows for quick travel from Alytus to the two main cities of Lithuania.

 

The first written mention of Alytus dates back to 1377 in the Chronicles of Vygaudas Marienburgietis. On the 15th of June 1581 Alytus was granted the Magdeburg right, which allowed an area to incorporate as a city. This day is now known as Alytus city day and is celebrated every year. The life of Alytus, an important economic and culture center, was inseparable from all the events of Lithuania. Historical events divided Alytus into two parts: Alytus I and Alytus II. The east- side was transferred to the Russian Empire, the west to Prussia. After its victory against Napoleon, Russia occupied all of Alytus but the differences in administration remained until 1863. During W.W. I in 1915 when the German military administration consolidated its position in Lithuania and the Suwalki province, Alytus I and Alytus II were united into one Alytus town. But even now the smaller town is called Alytus I and the town with the parks, micro districts and industry – Alytus II.