Tauragė district municipality

  Administrative centre – Tauragė
  Area – 1179 km² (26.7 % of the county’s area)
  Population – 50 690 (39.8 % of the county’s population)
  Wards – Batakiai, Gaurė, Lauksargiai, Mažonai, Skaudvilė, Tauragė town, Tauragė, Žygaičiai

Tauragė district municipality is located in the south-western part of Lithuania, in Tauragė county. A large part of the municipality is situated in the Karšuva Lowland. A smaller part is occupied by the Vilkyškiai chain of hills and the southern part of the Žemaičiai Upland. The territory is crossed the Jūra River with tributaries the Akmena, Šunija, Šešuviu, Ežeruona. The largest lakes – Draudeniai, Glitis, Buveiniai; there are also five ponds, large marshes – Laukesa, Artoji. There are the protected Jūra landscape, Artoji ornithological, Plynoji botanical (cranberry) reserves, Pagramantis Regional Park, Viešvilė reserve. The largest forests are those of Tyreliai, Tauragė-Batakiai, Šilinė, Sakalinė. Agricultural land makes up 50.2 %, forests – 38.4 %, roads – 2.2 %, built-up area – 1.9 %, water bodies – 2 %, other land – 5.3 % of the municipality.

There are two towns (Skaudvilė and Tauragė) and four townships (Batakiai, Gaurė, Pagramantis, Žygaičiai). The name of Tauragė consists of two words: tauras (meaning “an auroch”) and ragas (meaning “a horn”), and reminds of the times when this land was still inhabited by forest giants – aurochs, and their horns were used by craftsmen (so-called tauragiai) for making horns (bugles), weapons, cups for mead, and other articles. In the course of history, Tauragė found itself existing between two different ethnical, religious and political worlds. At times, the region had to function as a frontier separating these two worlds, while at other times – as a bridge connecting them. It was due to this reason that this region, like a small pine by a wide road, acquired an exceptional character and an individual, unique local flavour. In historical sources, Tauragė was for the first time mentioned as late as at the beginning of the 16th century, when a church was built there in 1507. However, the town was founded much earlier – in the 13th–14th centuries, when important ways of crusaders to Lithuania went through its environs. As a new road was built through Tauragė in 1836–1844, the town started rapidly growing. It was impacted on by its favourable location, as well as the status of the borderland, which conditioned an active commercial life. Tauragė was customs, through which considerable amounts and numbers of cereals, flax, horses and geese were carried from Lithuania to Prussia, and miscellaneous goods – to Lithuania.

Today Tauragė is not only the municipal, but also the county centre, the most important county’s industrial (woodworking, building materials, food industry), trade and service centre. In 2002, a branch of Kaunas University of Technology was established in Tauragė. It is hoped that higher education studies in Tauragė will provide impetus for increasing the county’s productive, economic and social potential, as well as the level of intellectual and administrative capacities.

By the water bodies of Tauragė district, intensive amateur (spawning areas equipped, environment landscaped) and amateur sports fishing activities take place; they are also used for swimming and boating. The Balskai and Skaudvilė water basins attract many visitors. Another place attracting many locals and guests of the region all year round – the Nightingale Valley (Lakštingalų slėnis) in the Pagramantis Regional Park.

In Tauragė castle, which was built in 1847–1864 and is considered to be the only monument resembling Renaissance castles which had been built at the turn of the 16th century, the Santaka museum was opened. Currently the museum houses the collections of archaeological, numismatic, iconographical, textile, folk art, peasant business, crafts, domestic articles, as well as stuffed birds, mammals and fish, produced in the taxidermy laboratory of the nature division, insects and fossils. The name of the museum (santaka – “confluence”) is also a symbol of history and customs of people of various confessions and nationalities merging into a single river in Tauragė district.

In Tauragė town and district, cultural and educational programmes are implemented by the public library of Tauragė district municipality, having branches across the entire district, as well as by the cultural centre of Tauragė district municipality.

Useful links
Tauragė County Governor’s Administration
Tauragė public library