Vilkaviškis district municipality

  Administrative centre – Vilkaviškis
  Area – 1259 km² (28.2 % of the county’s area)
  Population – 47 978 (26.5 % of the county’s population)
  Wards – Bartninkai, Gižai, Gražiškiai, Keturvalakiai, Kybartai, Klausučiai,   Pajevonys, Pilviškiai, Šeimena, Vilkaviškis town, Virbalis, Vištytis

Vilkaviškis district municipality is situated at the border with Poland and Kaliningrad Region, in the Užnemunė Lowland. In the southern part thereof, there is the Sūduva Upland. The territory is crossed by the Šešupė River with tributaries the Rusvė and Širvinta. There are Virbalgiris botanical and zoological reserve, Vištytis Regional Park, 62 lakes (the largest one – Vištytis Lake – at the border with Kaliningrad Region). Agricultural land makes up 77.3 %, forests – 10.6 % (this percentage share being the lowest in Lithuania), roads – 1.9 %, built-up area – 2.5 %, water bodies – 1.9 %, other land – 5.8 % of the municipality.

There are three towns (Kybartai, Vilkaviškis, Virbalis) and five townships (Bartninkai, Gražiškiai, Keturvalakiai, Pilviškiai, Vištytis). The centre of Marijampolė county – Vilkaviškis town, located at the confluence of the Šeimena and Vilkauja. Vilkaviškis is one of the older towns of Sūduva region, which obtained Magdeburg city rights as early as in the 17th century. In 1867–1950, Vilkaviškis was a county centre.

Intense activity is undertaken in the district municipality in order to develop communication of frontier regions in the fields of economy, culture, education, environmental protection, regional planning and tourism, close relations are maintained with cities and towns in France, Spain, Poland, and Latvia. The municipality is crossed by an important highway Vilnius–Marijampolė–Kaliningrad and a railway line Kaliningrad–Vilkaviškis–Kaunas–Vilnius–Moscow. A highway Via Baltika provides great possibilities to communicate with foreign partners, as well as to promote the development of the tourism sector. The highest concentration of industrial enterprises is in Vilkaviškis, where wood processing, sewing, processing of furbearers’ fur and other enterprises are located. Rich soils are suitable for intensive agriculture, which is therefore developed, while people inhabiting the hilly and barren part of the district are encouraged to engage in the provision of tourism services.

The Piliakalniai castle mound located in Vilkaviškis district is one of the most beauteous castle mounds in Suvalkija region, while that of Pajevonys (Kunigiškiai) – one of the biggest. At the bottom of the Piliakalniai castle mound, remains of a settlement that had been fortified in the 5th–14th centuries were found. Natural treasures are preserved in Širvinta hydrographical and Virbalgiris botanical and zoological reserves, as well as in the Vištytis Regional Park.

In the Vilkaviškis Regional Museum, located in the building of a servants’ hall of Paežeriai mansion, traditional crafts festivals and regional study expeditions are organised, anniversaries of famous people are celebrated. The stock of the museum comprises 180 thousand exhibits, and is constantly supplemented with new ones. Well-known are also the Vištytis stone, Keturvalakis granary, the complex of the former spirit factory in Alvitas and other objects. An important architectural monument is the Church of the Holy Cross (17th century) with artistic monuments in Vilkaviškis. Vilkaviškis region gave Lithuania the leader of the national movement – Vincas Kudirka, and Jonas Basanavičius. Now there are memorial museums functioning in their homeland, where, alongside expositions, children and adults are offered educational programmes.

Useful links
Vilkaviškis tourism and business information centre
Tourist Information Centre of the Šešupė Euroregion