Marijampolė municipality

  Administrative centre – Marijampolė
  Area – 755 km² (16.9 % of the county’s area)
  Population – 68 973 (38.1 % of the county’s population)
  Wards – Gudeliai, Igliauka, Liudvinavas, Marijampolė, Sasnava, Šunskai

Marijampolė municipality is situated in the south-eastern part of Marijampolė county (southwest of Lithuania), in the Užnemunė Lowland. In the eastern part thereof, there are parts of low Veiveriai and Šilavotas chains of hills. The municipality is crossed by the Šešupė with tributaries – the Dovinė, Pilvė, Kirsna, Sasna rivers. There are the lakes of Amalvas, Liudvinavas, Paežeriai, Ygla and others, the large marsh of Amalvas. Bird wildlife is preserved in the Žaltytis ornithological reserve. The larger forests are those of Bukta, Palios-Balos, Žaltytis, Gurbšilis, Varnabūdė. Agricultural land makes up as much as 71.3 %, forests – 15.3 %, roads – 1.8 %, built-up area – 4.1 %, water bodies – 2.6 %, other land – 4.9 % of the municipality.

There is one town, municipal centre – Marijampolė, as well as six townships – Daukšiai, Gudeliai, Igliškėliai, Liudvinavas, Sasnava and Šunskai.

Marijampolė is an unofficial capital of Suvalkija region. It ranks seventh in terms of size in Lithuania and is a county centre, located astride the Šešupė River. In the 16th century, there had been Pašešupis village, which since the 18th century had been called Starapolė, and, after a monastery of Marian monks had been established in 1750, a town had stared growing there, which since 1758 has been called Marijampolė. Self-government (Magdeburg) rights were granted to Marijampolė in 1792 by the King and Grand Duke of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Stanislovas Augustas (Stanisław II August Poniatowski). At the end of the 19th century, Marijampolė became a centre of the national movement and the educational centre of Užnemunė region. The revival of the Independence was being wakened by  J. Basanavičius, V. Kudirka, the creator of the standard Lithuanian language J. Jablonskis.

The municipality is located at the intersection of highways. After reconstruction, one of the highways – Via Baltica – will join Helsinki with Central and Southern Europe, the other – Karaliaučius (Kaliningrad) city with Moscow (via Minsk, Belarus). There are favourable conditions for the development of both agriculture and industry (food, wood processing, etc.), as well as the service sector.

Marijampolė has its own media: newspapers, an ethnocultural magazine Suvalkija are published; there is local television, a local radio station Kapsai, Drama Theatre, youth theatre studio Gaja, Marijampolė theatre society Gabija. There is an actively functioning art club Kiemas (The Yard), which constantly organises exhibitions and plain-air sessions. The male vocal ensemble Sūduvietis (The Sudovian), choreographic groups Vilga, Javonėlis are well-known in Lithuania. The public library of Petras Kriaučiūnas in Marijampolė is a community cultural and information centre; more than 600 cultural events are annually organised in the library and its branches, and are visited by about 10 000 residents of Marijampolė town and adjacent villages. These are the exhibitions of documents, readings, presentations of books, contests and quizzes for children, performances of the puppet theatre, art and photographic exhibitions.

Well-known archaeological monuments are the castle mounds of Padovinys, Varnupiai, Lakinskai and others. The church of St Michael the Archangel (Minor Basilica) is an important monument of architecture and fine art of the 18th–19th centuries.

Useful links
Tourist Information Centre of the Šešupė Euroregion