Administrative centre – Prienai
Area – 1031 km² (12.7 % of the county’s area )
Population – 33 580 (5 % of the county’s population)
Wards – Ašminta, Balbieriškis, Išlaužas, Jieznas, Naujoji Ūta, Pakuonis, Prienai, Stakliškės, Šilavotas, Veiveriai
Prienai district municipality is located in the southern part of Lithuania. A larger part of the municipality is situated on the Nemunas Plateau, near the famous Nemunas Loops. The landscape is ornamented with the largest river in Lithuanian the Nemunas with tributaries the Jiesia, Peršėkė, Verknė. The largest lakes – Alšia, Bebrukas, Gelužis, Pazelvės. Agricultural land makes up as much as 59.6 %, forests – 27.6 %, roads – 2.4 %, built-up area – 2.5 %, water bodies – 2.8 %, other land – 5.1 % of the municipality.
There are two towns – the municipal centre Prienai and Jieznas, and three townships – Balbieriškis, Pakuonis, Veiveriai. Prienai town is situated astride the Nemunas, at the south-eastern segment of the Small Birštonas Loop. Prienai was for the first time mentioned in historical sources as a manor in 1502. The year 1580, when Prienai was granted a privilege by the Grand Duke of Lithuania Stephen Báthory (Steponas Batoras) is considered to be the year of birth of the town. In 1604, the first Prienai church was built. Prienai started growing in the 17th century. In 1609, it had been granted Magdeburg rights; in 1791, the Seimas (Parliament) restored its self-government rights, awarded it a seal and a coat of arms. In 1791–1795 and 1946–1950, Prienai was a county centre.
From the economic point of view, Prienai district has certain specific features; it is situated near the second largest Lithuanian city – Kaunas, which has great socioeconomic development potential. This neighbourship provides favourable conditions for communication in the field of the development of the local infrastructure, human resources, preparation of joint projects. However, the most popular and developed fields in Prienai district are agriculture and forestry, as well as related branches.
The location of the district, abundant objects of cultural and historic heritage are favourable for developing tourism and the recreational infrastructure. There is the Pociūnai Avia-Tourism Centre situated in the Nemunas Loops Regional Park; it is a complex of aviation-related service and recreational facilities, where aviation festivals, plane, glider and hot air balloons flights, parachute jumpsare organised, and conditions are provided to enjoy the wonderful nature of the Nemunas Loops Regional Park and communicate with the hospitable locals. Both amateur and professional aviators are welcome at the Pociūnai Airport.
The Medžionys landscape historical and Degsnė botanical reserves should be mentioned as natural historical monuments. The number of archaeological monuments – castle mounds, tumuli, mythological stones – alone makes as much as 48. There are the impressive Paverkniai, Klebiškis, Pašlavantis, Lepelionys (also known as Napoleon’s Hat), Pieštuvėnai castle mounds. Cultural monuments – the Baroque church of St Michael the Archangel and John the Baptist in Jieznas, the church of the Epiphany, paper workshop, a monument to the Duke Kęstutis in Prienai and others.
The Prienai Region Museum exhibits and stores almost 20 thousand exhibits. There are the regional history, folk art, ethnographic, sports aviation and aeronautics, cultural and educational, writers’, scientific and art personages’, sacral exhibitions, the largest part whereof reflects activities and achievements of personalities who impacted on the region’s cultural, historical, spiritual life, fought for the Independence of Lithuania. There are memorial rooms of the most famous locals: travellers and originators of cooperation in Lithuania Matas and Petras Šalčius, an internationally accredited linguist, specialist in Baltic philology Jonas Kazlauskas, poet, academician, and essayist Justinas Marcinkevičius, writer Vytautas Bubnys, promoter of Lithuanian identity and famous doctor Juozas Brundza. In the Skriaudžiai Folk Museum, one may familiarise himself with regional life and customs of the 17th–20th centuries.
Prienai district municipality