What you need to know before traveling to Alytus

The town of Alytus is the largest industrial center in the province of Dzukija in Lithuania.  It is located on the Nemunas River, and dates back to Neolithic times. Graves from the 6th century AD have been found in the city park. Visitors with a taste for history who stay in budget hotels in Alytus will be interested to know that this was the site of the Lithuanian wooden fortress called Aiten that was mentioned in the German Chronicles. This spot has been fought over by Teutonic Knights, and the armies of Russia and Prussia.

The Church of the Guardian Angels was completed in 1810 and is an interesting attraction. In the church’s cemetery is the grave of Colonel Antanas Juozapavicius, the first Lithuanian officer to die defending Alytus in the fight against invading Bolsheviks in 1919. The bridge across the Nemunas River is named after him. When you stay in a cheap Alytus hotel, make sure you see the Church of St. Louis, which dates back to 1524. The Historical Museum of Alytus has many displays relating to the history and culture of southern Lithuania. There are artifacts relating to the cultivation and processing of flax, and examples of Dzukai clothing. There is also a reconstruction of a Dzukai cottage. The museum’s collection includes historic documents, military equipment, and a three-hundred-year-old treasure chest that belonged to King Jonas Kazimieras. The museum includes an art gallery. Another interesting stop is the Museum of Children’s Literature.

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