Administrative centre – Visaginas
Area – 58 km² (0.8 % of the county’s area)
Population – 28 582 (16.6 % of the county’s population)
Visaginas municipality is located in the south-eastern part of Utena county, in a hilly, woody region, predominated by pinewoods with small insertions of deciduous trees. There are more than 100 lakes (one of them – that of Visaginas). Agricultural land makes up 5.9 %, forests – 56 %, roads – 3.2 %, built-up area – 14 %, water bodies – 5.8 %, other land – 15 % of the municipality.
The administrative centre of the municipality – Visaginas – built on the northern shore of Visaginas Lake. The town is well-known for the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, located near it. As the construction of the power plant was started, the development of a plan of a new town was started as well. The beautiful, modern town grew at the former location of Paliaudanė and Visaginas villages. In the summer of 1975, the workers of the power plant brought to the town and put near the first blocks of flats a huge boulder, whose shape reminds of the map of Lithuania to many people. This boulder became the cornerstone of the town, the day of its erection – the date of birth of the town.
As the Ignalina NPP could have as many as four reactors in future, Visaginas was being expanded. Part of the planned town remained inbuilt. After the restoration of the Independence, Visaginas municipality was established, Visaginas was granted city rights. In 1996, a coat of arms of the town was approved by a presidential decree. Visaginas is the youngest town in Lithuania. It is characterised by a well-balanced architecture – blocks of flats match green vegetation, interspersed with parterres. Pedestrian streets lead to a recreation zone and Visaginas Lake, which is the largest in the municipality (220.4 ha). The lake, surrounded with forests, is adorned with small islands, reachable by boats and pedalos.
Convenient communication not only by private but also by public transport, a good highway network connects Visaginas with all locations of Lithuania. Visaginas is crossed by one of the key railway lines of Lithuania Saint Petersburg–Daugavpils–Vilnius–Warsaw–Berlin.
The largest share of the locals currently works at the Ignalina NPP; however, based on an agreement with the European Union, it will have to be closed. Today, many programs for the integration of the locals into the labour market take place in the town; assistance for the start-up of business is provided.
Picturesque environs of Visaginas are favourable for the development of cognitive tourism. Forests and marshes are rich in mushrooms and berries. Within a ten kilometre radius around Visaginas, there are 110 lakes of various sizes, on the picturesque shores whereof there are leisure areas equipped. These are the great locations for recreation, fishing, sport both in summer and in winter.
The municipality is characterised by active cultural life. International events are organised: an annual international country music festival Visaginas Country, a biennial international folk music and dance festival Ežerų sietuva, traditional commemorations of the date of birth of the town, etc. There are also well-known, popular Visaginas Mayor winter motor rally competitions, attracting about 5000 locals and residents of neighbouring settlements.