Places of interest > Plungė region

Plungės district places of interest

Administration of Plungė District Municipality
Vytauto g. 12, 90123 Plungė
Tel. +370 448 73 166, fax +370 448 71 608,

The greatest wonders of Samogitia region, so called Samogitia Meccas – Plateliai and Žemaičių Kalvarija - are located not somewhere else but in Plungė district. Beautiful Minija River and Varduva River flow through Plungė. Gandinga mound which is wrapped in legends is situated near Plungė. And dukes‘ Oginskiai Palace which is one of the best preserved complexes of manors in Lithuania and which invites attention of every visitor is located in the very heart of the town. Oginskiai Palace kept its 130 year anniversary not long ago. The park seamed with valleys of Babrungas River and surrounding the palace is the greatest blessedness in all seasons. Plungė district was in time already to form its, as recreational place, image. Plateliai lakes and Žemaitija National Park established here which attract the large flows of tourists had the biggest influence to this. Plungė district distinguishes for its valuable natural and cultural resources: rich water resources, forested territories, natural monuments. The plenty of such objects composes perfect conditions for development of various kinds and forms of the tourism: natural-cognitive tourism, water tourism, cognitive-cultural tourism, air travel, country tourism with additional services, such as horse-breeding, herblore and others.

City Square (photo by S. Narkus) M. Oginskis Manor (photo by V. Gaudiešius)

• Dukes Oginskiai Manor. Area – 58,3 ha
Parko str. / Dariaus ir Girėno str., Plungė.
Ensemble of duke‘s Michael Oginski manor and mysterious park surrounding it are that special places where the time preserved not only tangible, but also spiritual heritage. It is one of the most dramatic and the best preserved ensembles of manors of 19th century in Lithuania. They were designed and built in 1879 by an architect of German origin Karl Lorentz. Because of its grandeur and beauty this palace is called Versailles of Samogitia. The ensemble of the manor consists of Neo-Renaissance style palace, Neo-Gothic stable, two outbuildings, clock room-greenhouse, park gates and guard‘s house, household gates, pheasant grower‘ s house, and laundry house. The park of mixed types of 18th–19th centuries was landscaped in the place of Samogitians‘ sacred forest – Alka. At the instruction of duke M. Oginskis, 7 cascade ponds interconnected by stone bridges – sluices were dug. One of the first academies of music where M. K. Čiurlionis studied, worked here at the end of 19th century.

Samogitian Art Museum
Parko str. 1, Plungė, tel./fax +370 448 52 492,
Working hours: Museum works every day from 10.00 a.m. till 17.00 p.m., except Monday, Tuesday.
Samogitian Art Museum is the first and the only one regional art museum in Lithuania for the meantime. It is established in Plungė‘s dukes Oginskiai Palace. The largest part of museum funds is composed of works donated by artists and their collections. The library is also a pride of the museum, where valuable books from historian Zenonas Ivinskis and other collections of Samogitian books are preserved. Personal and sectional exhibitions of professional art are organized constantly. The fine art‘s exhibitions of world Samogitian since 1994 are organized every four year. International festivals of Mykolas Oginskis are organized since 2006.

Military exposition. Plokštinė, Plungė district
It is established in Plokštinė forest, in the former thermonuclear rocket launching underground site of the Soviet Army, built in 1962.
The Military exposition from 2010 April is closed for reconstruction which will last until 2011 autumn. Reconstruction funds allocated from the European Structural Funds. The Military exposition will be reconstructed to Cold War museum. 

Memorial Museum of writer Žemaitė
Bukantė, Šateikiai Neighbourhood, Plungė district
Bukantė Village is known in the whole Lithuania as the place of birth of the writer Žemaitė (Julija Beniuševičiūtė-Žymantienė). Žemaitė‘s literary museum works in the writer‘s homestead presently. Exposition which comprises books, publications, photographs, personal belongings represents the writer‘s life and creative work. Traditional celebrations of Žemaitė‘s anniversaries are organized in the museum.

• Complex of buildings of the Church of St. John the Baptist

Vytauto str. 32, Plungė
Buildings of the Church of St. John the Baptist are the main accent of Old Town of Plungė. The church is Neo-Romanesque, of Latin-cross Plan, two-tower. The fence of churchyard is of bricks. Wooden Church of St. John the Baptist, the predecessor of the present church, was built in 1797. Since 1806, Plungė belonged to Counts Zubovai. In 1850 Count Zubovas built a brick belfry in Plungė, and in 19th century, he built a chapel of All Saints in old cemetery where noble persons were buried. The construction of the present stone church was finished in 1933.

The Grotto of Lourdes. Birutės str., Plungė
In 1903, duchess Maria Oginskienė invited a nun from Cracow and started to educate young girls secretly, hiding from Czarist authorities. Mari de Grand, a senior nun, who came from France informed Vincentas Jerulaitis, the priest of Plungė, about her wish to build the Grotto of Lourdes. Therefore, the land plot was purchsed. Blessed Virgin Immaculate Conception sculpture was sent from France in 1905 and it was mounted on the stone under the open sky. Grotto was built using money donated by people in 1906. Then the sculpture was placed in the grotto.

The Grotto of Lourdes (photo by V. Gaudiešius) Salvo (photo by. V. Gaudiešius)

• Landscape reservation of Gandinga

Nausodis Neighbourhood, Plungė district
Gandinga mound which is wrapped in legends about battles with crusaders and Swedes reached us from time immemorial and today reminds us of its glorious historical past. In the ancient times Gandinga was an important cultural, administrative, and defensive settlement. Gandinga is mother of Plungė. High scarps of Babrungas River, water stripe, meadow, in the centre of which the castle stood, compose a wonderful view. Here, Michael Oginskis celebrated his name-day yearly, and concerts were organized where M. K. Čiurlionis played.

Protected area – Žemaitija National Park
Žemaitija National Park (the area is 21,720 ha) established in 1991 is a valuable object of national and European significance. It is establihed in order to preserve, manage and use the most valuable territories of Samogitia in natural and cultural regard. Žemaitija National Park is also protected territory of European significance – Natura 2000, intended to conservation of ornithic and natural dwellings. In 2008 Plateliai
(Žemaitija national park) became the winner of the project “European Destination of Excellence (EDEN)”.
In the territory of National Park are approved 22 protected natural heritage sites, 10 of them have the status of nature monument.

• Plateliai

Plateliai town is situated in the Western part of Plateliai Lake. The deepest and the largest Samogitia lake – Plateliai Lake – opens at full beauty from the observation site. There are 7 isles in the lake declared as natural monuments. Plateliai town is interesting because of its planned structure with central square specific to towns of Samogitia, architectural valuables as well as homestead of Plateliai Manor. Wooden church of squared timber is built in 1744. In the South from the church, there is a park of Plateliai manor with buildings of manor homestead dating back to the 19th century. The thickest ash tree (its trunk is 7,2 m wide) in Lithuania, so called Witch‘s ash tree, grows in Plateliai manor park.

Beržoras is mentioned in written souces from 15th century. Wooden church of Beržoras of squared timber and the belfry were built in 1746. The cemetery of the churchyard is one of the oldest in Lithuania. 14 chapels – calvary stations were built in Beržoras in 1759–1760 in order to retain Jesus Christ‘s sufferings,
and these chapels were rebuilt several year ago.

Žemaičių Kalvarija
Žemaičių Kalvarija was mentioned for the first time as Curonian village with a castle, dead-end, necropolis. The town is very distinctive by its natural and spatial structure (mountain of oze type, network of roads and streets of 9th–13th centuries), archaeological, architectural, arts, sacred and other valuables. Žemaičių Kalvarija is especially famous by its Church Festival taking place here from the middle of 17th century. During Church Festival piligrims walk along the road of Christ‘s sufferings of 19 chapels.

 Homestead of Plateliai Manor (photo by S. Vyšniauskas) Beržoras (photo by A. Kuprelytė)    Church Festival in Žemaičių Kalvarija

The Barn of Plateliai Manor from 2010 spring is closed for reconstruction which will last until 2011 summer. Reconstruction funds allocated from the European Structural Funds. The former stables will be set up Mardi Gras Museum, in the Barn of Plateliai Manor – the expositions of history, etnography and nature, the exhibition hall.

The museum of poet Vytautas Mačernis in Žemaičių Kalvarija.
Exposition tells about life and creative work of Lithuanian poet Vytautas Mačernis of tragical destiny.

Museum of folk art and ethnography of Regina and Justinas Jonušai in Godeliai Village. There you can see paintings and wooden pieces of art of the folk artists, in the old granary there is a small museum of ethnography.

Leonardas Černiauskas’ art gallery–creative workshop in Babrungėnai Village. In the former water mill of Babrungėnai, wooden pieces of art and paintings created by the artist himself and collection of ancient things are exhibited.

The granary of Kazys Striaupa in Dovainiai Village. In the granary you can see woodcarvings of the folk artist.

Folk Art Exhibition of Rimantas Laima in Skirpsčiai Village.
Exposition of carvings is established in the old barn of the homestead.

Folk Art Exhibition of Vytas Jaugėla in Gintališkės Village.
The artist established exposition of his own works and the collection of antiquities in his own house.

For detailed information on places of interest in the District of Plungė, accommodation and catering, rural tourism homesteads, recreation possibilities, and other services please contact:
Žemaitija National Park directorate Plateliai Visitor Centre
Didžioji str. 8, LT-90420 Plateliai, Plungė district,
tel. +370 448 49 231, fax +370 448 49 337,

Shrove Thuesday in Plateliai (photo by A. Kuprelytė)   Žemaitija National Park (photo by V. Bezaras)

Kontaktai: 8 613 87583, el. p.
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