Administrative centre – Kėdainiai
Area – 1677 km² (20.7 % of the county’s area)
Population – 63 033 (9.4 % of the county’s population)
Wards – Dotnuva, Gudžiūnai, Josvainiai, Kėdainiai town, Krakiai, Pelėdnagiai, Pernarava, Surviliškis, Šėta, Truskava, Vilainiai
Kėdainiai district municipality is located in the central part of Lithuania, in Kaunas county. In Ruoščiai village, there is the geographic centre of Lithuania. A larger part of the municipality is situated on the Nevėžis Lowland. There are the Pajieslis geomorphological, Aluona hydrographical, Lučynė and Šušvė landscape reserves. The district is crossed by the Nevėžis River with tributaries the Obelis, Barupė, Liaudė, Kruostas, Dotnuvėlė, Šušvė, Smilga. There are 19 lakes (the largest – that of Baublys), 34 ponds. Agricultural land makes up 65.2 %, forests – 25.5 %, roads – 2.1 %, built-up area – 2.6 %, water bodies – 2.5 %, other land – 2.1 % of the municipality.
There is one town – the centre of the municipality Kėdainiai, and 10 townships – Akademija, Dotnuva, Gudžiūnai, Josvainiai, Krakės, Pagiriai, Pernarava, Surviliškis, Šėta, and Truskava. The town was for the first time mentioned in 1372 in the Livonian Chronicle by Hermann von Wartberge. In 1590, a nobleman Jonas Kiška provisioned Kėdainiai with city rights. A period of prosperity in Kėdainiai started in the 17th century, when the town was governed by Jonušas and Boguslavas Radvila (Janusz and Bogusław Radziwiłł). In 1915–1950, Kėdainiai was a county centre. After World War II, industry started developing rapidly. Since 1653, as many as six market squares were formed in the town, this urban phenomenon being the only one of such kind in Lithuania. Currently, four former market squares remained in the Kėdainiai old town. It is one of the economically strongest regions of Lithuania, distinguished by well-developed chemical and food industry. Agriculture is well-developed as well. The centre of the municipality – Kėdainiai – is an important industrial and cultural centre.
There is the unique Kėdainiai old town, which formed before the 17th century. Important architectural monuments – the Gothic church of St George, Renaissance Evangelical Reformed church, a complex of two synagogues, a Renaissance city hall. Šeteniai village is a homeland of the Nobel laureate Czesław Miłosz. The church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Paberžė is an architectural monument; Antanas Mackevičius – one of the leaders of an uprising of 1863 – was a priest there. Since 1966, when a priest Algirdas Mykolas Dobrovolskis (Father Stanislovas) – a Capuchin monk – was assigned, the small village became a centre of attraction. In the presbytery and the nearby granary, Father Stanislovas established a repository of unique vestments, missals, lamps and many other valuables. There is the only minaret in Lithuania, which was built in Kėdainiai about the year 1880 by a then governor of Kėdainiai estate, a general of czar’s army E. Totleben.
In 1995, the geographic centre of Lithuania (N 55°19’ and E 23°54’) was officially established and marked with a big stone in Ruoščiai village. According to a project of an architect Vytautas Kundrotas, two more stones, which symbolise the regions of Žemaitija and Aukštaitija, were brought to the place.
The hills of white phosphogypsum (the gypsum formed as a by-product of processing phosphate ore into fertilizer with sulphuric acid) of a public company Lifosa is a unique phenomenon in Lithuania. The formation of these hills started in 1968, and currently the total amount of waste makes about 21 million tonnes.
Kėdainiai is a Cucumber Capital of the country; therefore, the unique Cucumber Fest, in the course whereof a Cucumber King is elected, takes place there. The date of birth of the town, celebrated at the second weekend of August, is an important event both for the town and the locals. In the course of the celebration, friendship bridges are “built” on economic, social and cultural grounds, the town is visited by folk artists from the entire Lithuania, as well as by art groups from abroad. The Ice-Cream Festival is a traditional celebration, which attracts people from the entire country.
Kėdainiai tourism information centre
Kėdainiai Regional Museum