Klaipėda district municipality

  Administrative centre – Gargždai
  Area – 1336 km² (25.6 % of the county’s area)
  Population – 50 617 (13.4 % of the county’s population)
  Wards – Agluonėnai, Dauparai-Kvietiniai, Dovilai, Endriejavas, Gargždai,   Judrėnai, Kretingalė, Priekulė, Sendvaris, Veiviržėnai, Vėžaičiai

Klaipėda district municipality, surrounding Klaipėda in the shape of a half-moon, approaches the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon. The territory is crossed by the Minija River with its tributaries – the Žvelsa, Skinija, Agluona, Veiviržas rivers and the Danė River with its tributary the Eketė. It is also crossed by the Klaipėda (Vilhelm) Channel; there are the lakes of Kalotė, Kapstatas, Plazė, the ponds of Agluonėnai, Plikiai, etc., the marshes of Tyrai and Svencelė. The forests growing are mainly coniferous (those of Vėžaitinė, Kliošiai, Padumblė). Klaipėda district also includes part of the Seaside Regional Park, with Plazė natural reserve, Nemirseta, Šaipiai and the Dutchmen’s Cap landscape, Karklė marine, Kalotė botanical-zoological and Karklė  ethnocultural reserves situated in it. Agricultural land covers 55.7 %, forests – 25.9 %, roads – 2.0 %, built-up area – 2.2 %, water bodies – 9.4 %, other land – 4.8 % of the municipality.

The unusual fact is that the name of the district (Klaipėda) differs from that of the administrative centre (Gargždai). In addition to Gargždai, there is one more town in the district – Priekulė, and 7 townships – Dovilai, Endriejavas, Judrėnai, Kretingalė, Plikiai, Veiviržėnai and Vėžaičiai. Gargždai was first mentioned in 1253. Both in the town and the district, building materials, oil extraction, chemical, food industry is being developed; there are mineral resources, oil being the most important thereof (Diegliai, Vėžaičiai, P. Šiūpariai, Vilkyčiai deposits). Klaipėda district is the most attractive location for living, business, tourism and recreation in Western Lithuania. Special attention is directed towards the development of recreational and tourism services in the Kuršiai Lagoon coastal region and the near-shore zone. Fans of water tourism are particularly attracted by the Minija River, with the only route of the 2nd degree of complexity in Lithuania. The tourist rout in Western Lithuania – the Kuršiai Way (Kuršių kelias) – is meant for developing comprehensive tours by bicycles and cars, in the course whereof 27 sites are visited, which reflect history, customs and nature of Western Lithuania.

The cultural oasis of the district is Gargždai Regional Museum with branches: Agluonėnai ethnographic farmstead – one of the few extant examples of wooden architecture of Lithuania Minor (a barn theatre functions in the barn of the farmstead; the first festival of Lithuanian barn theatres – village community assembly (krivūlė) – took place there; performances of barn theatres, concerts, exhibitions, local celebrations take place) and the Museum of Fights for Freedom and History of Exile, memorial museum of the writer  I. Simonaitytė, cultural centre of ethnic culture in Dovilai, cultural centres in Gargždai, Kretingalė and other townships, where local festivals, arts events, etc. take place.

Useful links
Klaipėda district municipality