Administrative centre – Lazdijai
Area – 1309 km² (24.1 % of the county’s area)
Population – 24 823 (14 % of the county’s population)
Wards – Būdvietis, Kapčiamiestis, Krosna, Kučiūnai, Lazdijai town, Lazdijai, Noragėliai, Seirijai, Šeštokai, Šlavantai, Šventežeris, Teizai, Veisiejai town, Veisiejai
Lazdijai district municipality is situated in the south-western part of Alytus county, and borders on Poland and Belarus. The district is famous for its beauteous nature, untouched by industry, lakes and forests, historical, cultural and ethnographical monuments, hospitability of the locals – the dzūkai. At the eastern border of the district, the Nemunas with its tributaries – the Baltoji Ančia and Seira – flows. There are about 200 lakes, the largest thereof being the Dusia, Metelys, Seirijis, 5 ponds (Veisiejai, Baltoji Ančia, etc.). Loam and sandy loam soils are favourable for growing buckwheat and other agricultural crops. Forested area of the district exceeds the national average; it is dominated by pinewoods (the largest one being the Kapčiamiestis Forest). Forests make up as much as 34.9 %, agricultural land – 45.2 %, water bodies – 8.2 %, roads – 2.6 %, built-up area – 2.1 %, other land – 7.1 % of the municipality.
There are 2 towns (Lazdijai (administrative centre of the district) and Veisiejai and 6 townships (Kapčiamiestis, Krosna, Rudamina, Seirijai, Šeštokai, Šventežeris). The origin of the name of Lazdijai is the name of the Lazdija River. In 1560, at times when Lithuania was governed by the Grand Duke Žygimantas Augustas, a land plot near the river was allocated for the creation of a town. On 17 May 1597, the King Sigismund III Vasa granted Lazdijai Magdeburg rights; since then on, this date is held to be the date of birth of the town. In the document, by which Lazdijai was granted the privilege of a town, a seal – a coat of arms – of the town was pictured, which was restored in 1994, and since then on became the symbol of the entire district municipality.
Lazdijai district municipality is a territory with a well-developed infrastructure, sustainable development of rural and urban areas, safe and harmonious environment. The road network in the district is well-developed and convenient. In Šeštokai township, there is an important international railway station, where the railway of a standard Russian width is gradually changed by a European standard railway line. The previously secluded region grew in importance after the restoration of independence of Lithuania, when a state border control post was established near Akmenys village, and became the first Lithuanian gateway to Europe. Many residents are employed in the infrastructure and forestry. Wood processing enterprises have been expanding. Although the soil in the district is not fertile, the locals had been engaging in agriculture for rather a long time. There are wonderful places for rural tourism in Lazdijai district, which is being successfully developed. For the convenience of visitors, a new tourism information centre was established in Janislavas village, at the Lithuanian–Polish border – the result of successful cooperation with the Polish Puńsk municipality (gmina). The modern tourism information centre at the frontier is useful not only to the district, but to the entire country. Tourists and fishermen are attracted by picturesque landscapes, forests abundant with mushrooms and berries, water bodies abundant with fish; fans of canoe sport have recently discovered the picturesque river of Baltoji Ančia, the lakes of Veisiejai and Ančia.
The most picturesque places of the region – natural monuments – are protected. For this purpose, Meteliai and Veisiejai regional parks were established. There are Rudamina landscape, Trakas, Krakinis botanical reserves. The oldest objects, reminding of the past, are castle mounds, tumuli, ancient settlements and places of manors. The landscape is ornamented and history is glorified by the old castle mounds of Prelomciškė, Paveisininkai, Rudamina, wrapped in legends, picturesque and significant castle mounds of Šlavantai, Verstaminai. Near the Nemunas, where the Margotė River flows into it, there are the castle mounds of Krikščionys – an archaeological monument of national importance. Educational, cultural, ethnographical events take place in various cultural and arts locations – the Public Library of Lazdijai and its branches, museums (memorial museum of Motiejus Gustaitis, Museum of Fights for Freedom, Veisiejai region ethnographical homestead-museum of Pranas Dzūkas) and elsewhere.
Lazdijai district municipality
Lazdijai tourism information centre