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Regional park

Kurtuvenai Regional Park (KRP) is located in the South-Western part of Šiauliai District and the Northern part of Kelmė District covering a 17266 ha area. The park was established in 1992 with the aim to protect hilly landscape of Kurtuvėnai with forested and laky surroundings, its natural ecosystem and cultural heritage, create good conditions for tourism and recreation.

  • Parko g. 2, Kurtuvėnai, LT-80223 Šiaulių r.
  • 55°49'35.91"N 23°2'54.79"E View map
  • +370 41 370 333, +370 618 29964
  • info@kurtuva.lt

Is waiting for you:

  • The picturesque landscape The picturesque landscape
  • Free admision Free admision
  • Relaxation surrounded by nature Relaxation surrounded by nature

Nature

KRP is situated on the edge of Samogitia hilly land, on the watershed of the Venta and Dubysa rivers. In North-Southern direction the park is crossed by three ridges separated by valleys and lake scoops. 30 small lakelets are swashing and 20 forest rivulets running in the shelter of forests. Kurtuvenai settlement is surrounded by nearly 100 fishery reservoirs. In the western part of the park there spurt well-known springs of Svile, which are considered to be the biggest in Lithuania. In scoops of former lakes there are many little swamps.

   Kurtuvenai RP predominant forests are coniferous; its tessellated landscape is characteristic with high vegetation biodiversity. As many as 981 plant species have been found there. In the western part of the park some number of wolves live. Fishery reservoirs attract flocks of migrating birds. The park abounds with natural heritage objects : trees of impressive size and shape, colonies of grey herons and badgers, nests of prey birds, springs, stones, interesting relief formations. As many as 17 reserves have been established within the park boundaries in order to preserve the most valuable ecosystems. Also, some habitats of European importance (Nature 2000) and key forest habitats have been separated for the same purpose. 

 

The combination of a highly-diversified vegetation, predomi- nantly of coniferous forests, with a landscape covered with numerous wetlands, tiny lakes and streams determines the huge variety of animal life found in the park.

    The fish farms in Kurtuvenai and Šilo Pavėžupis attract a great number of birds. Every year over 100 species come to Kurtuvenai Regional Park in search of suitable breeding grounds. Some of these species, such Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps griseigena), Whooper Swan(Cygnus cygnus), Great Bittern (Botaurus stellaris), Common Crane (Grus grus), Stock Pigeon (Columba oenas), Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus Canus), Tengmalm's Owl (Aegolius funereus) are vulnerable species of outstanding importance and are included in the Red Book of Lithuania.

    The White Stork (Ciconia ciconia), the national bird of Lithuania, which has been facing a rapid population decrease in W. Europe, is a common sight in summer time. Ducks, gulls, owls,  white and grey herons can also be seen in appropriate habitats. Furthermore, globally threatened species such as white-tailed eagle (Haliaёtus albicilla) and corncrake (Crex crex) are present in the park.

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Culture heritage

Surroundings of Kurtuvenai are attributed to the Old Samogitia ethnographic region with dominating sole homesteads and eclectic villages scattered along forest edges and lakesides. People inhabited the surroundings of Kurtuvenai as early as the late Stone Age. Castle mounds, worshipping mounds, and burial mounds are abundant there and indicate that people lived there in Copper and Iron Ages as well.

In 15th century, a nobleman established an estate in Kurtuvenai, which reached the peak of its luxury in 18th century. In 1495, the first church was erected in Kurtuvenai and a catholic parish created.

Kurtuvėnai manor is listed as a predial cultural heritage. The complex consists of the park and its ponds, unique barn, office, horse stable, peons' houses, the house of the gardener, cowsheds, smithies and etc. This manor complex is renewing now and we are trying to adapt it fot active and cognitive tourism. The management of Kurtuvėnai Regional Park (KRPD) administrates the biggest place of the manor (14 hectares) and offers a complex tourism services.

Kurtuvėnai manor is in the crossroad of Samogitia. In the various periods of time it was ruled by famous Lithuanian nobility. Agriculture,  fishery, trade, handicraft prevailed there. Soviet authority exiled to Siberia the last landlord of Kurtuvėnai and nationalized the domain. Some of the buildings collapsed, the park was wasted in the Soviet times. When Lithuania gained its independence the manor came to Kurtuvėnai rural association, later to Šiauliai forestry and at last to Kurtuvėnai Regional Park (KRPD). When the buildings and the land was focused to one holder here came the possibility to renew, keep and develop this object like solid cultural and sightseeing centre. 

The renewal works of Kurtuvėnai manor started in 1993. Six buildings (the office, the barn, the house of the gardener, the horse stable, the cowsheds, the peons' house) of the manor have already been renewed and adjusted for tourism. According to historical and archaeological researches the authentic structure of the manor was reproduced: the park, the garden, parterres, the terrace of the manor, the circuit, promenades, the square, the fence, croquet field and ponds. Kurtuvėnai mound and St Jacob's stone church with its old premises built in XVIII century are nearby and complement the tourism complex.

The wooden baroque barn is the most valuable building of the manor. It is also the biggest one in Lithuania which was built by the landlords Nagurskiai in XVIIIth century. It was used as a place for the theatre and entertainment. After the fire in 2001 the barn was authenticaly rebuilt and adapted for cognitive and cultural activities. 

Recreation centre, located in the office of the manor, burned in Soviet times . The office was rebuilt in 1998. The management of Kurtuvėnai Regional Park (KRPD) with the guest house is settled there. Horse riding centre locates in the stables of the manor and it has been opened since 1995. The tree-star holiday camp "Kurtuvėnai" was established in the garden of the manor in 2008. In the rebuilt gardener's house guests can find toilets, showers and  a kitchen. There are volleyball, croquet, rest and children playing fields.

In the renewed poen's house there is a pub "Kryžkelė". This building was build for the czarist army's warehouses when they dig Venta-Dubysa channel in the XIXth century. In this pub you can try culinary heritage dishes which are made using old traditions: ham with honey souced in the beer, Samogitian kastinys and the carp farci with apples.

The regional park has  numerous places, related to  Lithuanian national movement of the junction of the 19th-20th centuries and to the events of both world wars.  The most interesting object  of Technical heritage is Vindava channel connecting Dubysa and Venta rivers (dug up in 1825-1831).

The Shrovetide Feast of Kurtuvenai is acknowledged as one of the most viable traditional festivals all over Lithuania. Also, other feasts take place there, such as the Festival of barn-theaters, Fire-linkup on the Girnikai hill, Midsummer Feast, and various events of the Christmas time.

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Recreation Resources

Forests of KRP are highly appreciated by enthusiasts of orienteering, skiing, biking and jogging sports. Guided tours are offered for those who wish to get closer to nature.

   Kurtuvenai horse riding service centre provides riding facilities: it organises riding trips, excursions by carriages, offers special programs for visitors with horses, riding camps. Private horses are padlocked and trained here as well. Joint stock-company "Sventjonis" provides an oppor- tunity of fishing carps in commercial reservoirs.

   House-trailers are welcome to stay in the camping. We also suggest our visitors to enjoy countryside tourism houses, which are famous for their agro-environmental activities. Tourists with tents can stay in camping places. Larger groups of visitors could take advantage of leisure centres in Siauliai city hotels.