Molėtai district municipality

  Administrative centre – Molėtai
  Area – 1367 km² (19 % of the county’s area)
  Population – 23 187 (13.4 % of the county’s population)
  Wards – Alanta, Balninkai, Čiulėnai, Dubingiai, Giedraičiai, Inturkė, Joniškis,   Luokesa, Mindūnai, Suginčiai, Videniškiai

Molėtai district municipality is located in the southern part of Utena county, in the Molėtai and Bijutiškis moraine massifs of the Aukštaičiai Upland. The main reserves: Žalvariai geological, Stirniai botanical, Lakajai and Dubingiai landscape, Urkis ornithological. Part of the territory falls within the Asveja and Labanoras regional parks. The terrain is characterised by abundant hills, valleys and dips. There are many lakes and streams, falling within the basins of the Šventoji and Žeimena rivers. There are the Virinta and Siesartis rivers, about 230 lakes (Stirniai, Baltieji and Juodieji Lakajai, Galuonai, Kertuojai, Siesartis, 54 m deep Malkėstaitis Lake and others). The largest forests – those of Pliešiškės, Rudesa. Forests are mainly pine, fir, aspen, and are rich in mushrooms and berries. Agricultural land makes up 47 %, forests – 28.5 %, roads – 1.9 %, built-up area – 2 %, water bodies – 8.8 %, other land – 11.7 % of the municipality.

There is one town – Molėtai, and five townships – Alanta, Balninkai, Dubingiai, Giedraičiai, Joniškis.

The administrative centre of the district municipality – Molėtai. The name of Molėtai was for the first time mentioned in 1387 in a document, by which Jogaila made the settlement over to the bishops of Vilnius, who governed Molėtai until the end of the 18th century. It was only in the 19th century that Molėtai started growing; it was a time when the settlement was populated by craftspeople and merchants, markets were started to organise. In 1907, Molėtai was devastated by fire. In 1915–1917, it was a county, since 1950 – a district centre. Molėtai was built in a picturesque place, surrounded by lakes, on the banks of the Siesartis River. Educational, social and service, as well as construction sectors are developed. Due to an increasing flow of holidaymakers and tourists, businesspeople take an increasing interest in the town.

Molėtai district attracts tourists and holidaymakers with its lovely landscape, unpolluted nature. It is annually visited by about 150 thousand holidaymakers. There are more than 40 rest establishments, located in the most beautiful places, rural tourism services are provided, water tourism routes are arranged. There are plenty of so-called second homes. There is a sports aviation club functioning near Molėtai, with an aerodrome for sports planes; tourist flights are organised.

Visitors may familiarise themselves with the history, customs of, places that are worth visiting in the region in the Molėtai Region Museum. Among objects worth visiting are the Suginčiai, Alanta and other castle mounds, the church of St Laurence in Videniškiai and of the Assumption in Inturkė, a former Dubingiai pub, the monument to Lithuanian soldiers killed in the 1920 fights against the Zeligowski’s army in Giedraičiai. There is an astronomical observatory and the Ethno-Cosmology Museum on the Kaldiniai Hill in Kulionys and the Fishery Museum in Mindūnai.

The region is characterised by an active cultural life: there is a biennial folk music and dance festival Ežerų sietuva, an annual children’s popular choirs festival Vaikystės aitvarai, children’s theatre festival Kaukas.

Useful links
Molėtai district municipality