Prienai city. Virtual tour

Prienai is a town situated on the both banks of the river Nemunas, in Kaunas region, in the south of Lithuania. It is the centre of Prienai District Municipality, Prienai Neighbourhood. The biggest part of Prienai town is located on the left bank of the river Nemunas, and on the right bank of the river there is only Paprienes Neighbourhood, where is a central hospital. Also, there is the Foster Home for elderly people.

Prienai Bridge is the only bridge across the river Nemunas in Prienai. In the centre of the town, there is The Freedom Square, a wooden Christ’s Manifestation Church (built in 1750), the museum of Prienai Region, a culture centre, a post office, a monument for Kestutis (made of bronze, built by sculptor K.Ausiejus in 1937, it was rebuilt by sculptor G.Kamarauskas and architect K.Lupeikis in 1990), Prienai site of an ancient castle (or Butler castle) and Revuona Park (a town park), to the north – there is a cemetery of the town.  .

Nearby the Drubengis riverbank, there are some remaining buildings of the one of the biggest paper factories, which used to be in Lithuania (the XVIII–XIX centuries). Also, there is a windmill, built in the XIX century, in the place where used to be Prienai Castle and Prienai Manor.
Historical resources have been mentioning Prienai since 1502, when Grand Duke of Lithuania Aleksandras made a nobleman Mykolas Glinskis a present of Prienai Manor and surrounding lands.. Later, Lithuanian government confiscated all his wealth.
The first Prienai church was built in 1604.

Prienai town began to increase in the XVII century, nearby the manor. Magdeburg Rights were granted to Prienai town in 1609.
At the beginning of the XVII century the town expanded, however, there were several fires in the town. In 1782, in Prienai key inventory there is given a description of a quadrate town square nearby which were 27 Jewish courtyards and a synagogue. Nearby Dvaras, Zalioji, Kaunas, Baznycia, Balbieriskis streets there were 95 courtyards. A paper factory was established in 1785, it was the one of the biggest paper factories in Lithuania (the building has remained until nowadays). German G.Thierbach started his producing high quality paper in it.
In 1791, the Parliament renewed self-governing rights, granted the seal and a coat of arms.

In the XIX century the town increased – there were 1972 inhabitants in 1827; there were 2477 inhabitants in 1897.

On the 3rd of August 1946, Prienai became a town of regional subordination. In 1954, the town was devastated by fire. During the soviet times, Prienai had “Suduva” sewing factory, butter, bread enterprises, and a plant of experimental sports aviation (ESAG).

Origin of a name of the town
The name of the town has probably a personal name’s origin, because until nowadays, you can meet people who have this surname in Lithuania.
One of the legends says that this place was named by Duke Prienius name who hunted here. This storied duke was fascinated by beauty of these surroundings and built a castle here and gave it his name. Following the other story, in ancient times criminals were sent to Prienai, one of them (surname Prienas) built a farmstead near the Mielupis stream, later the place got the surname of the owner.