Tasting tour: Discover the city of the Sun Šiauliai
Šiauliai is the fourth most populous city in Lithuania, often called the City of the Sun, and sometimes even the cycling capital. He is famous for his only bicycle museum in the country, Chaim Frenkel’s villa, Lithuanian candy farm Rūta and more.
We start our acquaintance with this region from Burbiškis manor, which became most famous since the tulip flowering festival taking place here. The park of the landscape-type manor, occupying 28 ha, features impressive ponds with as many as 15 islands. The manor buildings are designed to form a large enclosed courtyard, thus reminiscent of a fortress. The park is rich in the works of the sculptor Kazimieras Ulianskas: the monument to the poet Adam Mickiewicz (built in 1911), the monument to the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas (built in 1912), the magnificent gates of the park, the lion bridge. There are paths in the park, pond islands are connected by as many as 12 bridges, let’s take a walk!
We continue on to the Hill of Crosses. In the Middle Ages, a wooden castle stood on this hill, which was destroyed by the Livonian army and for many centuries the hill stood bare. 19th century in the middle of the mound, on the mound, popularly called the Castle Hill, began to build crosses. Locals say the first crosses were built in prayer to God for health. According to other stories, the construction of the cross on the mountain began in 1863. in memory of those who died in the uprising. After suppressing the uprising, the tsarist government forbade the construction of crosses – people whose homesteads had crosses were punished and the cross was demolished. The pious people did not intend to refuse to build crosses, but they chose a more remote place, such was the Hill of Crosses. So the Hill of Crosses is also a sign of the strength of faith that overcomes all obstacles. The most important event in the history of the Hill of Crosses, which made him famous all over the world, was the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1993. The Holy Father prayed on the Hill of Crosses, sacrificed to St. Mass in the chapel built by the hill and addressed a huge crowd of believers gathered. Over 100,000 crosses are counted here today!
We hurry to the city of the Sun – Šiauliai. They miraculously survive the 19th – 20th century. the villa of Chaim Frenkel, one of the richest industrialists of the time. It implemented all the twentieth century. technical innovations of the beginning: water supply, central heating, electricity, telephone. And today it is an exceptional Šiauliai space. Unique, one of the few the authentic interior of the buildings of modern architecture in Lithuania in the 20th century. the facade of which intertwines elements of various styles, is charmed by the surviving wooden decoration, ornate moldings, fragments of impressive frescoes. The expositions of the villa present the culture of the manors of the Lithuanian province and the interwar city of Šiauliai, as well as the Jewish heritage. Next to the villa we will take a walk in a modern style park.
It’s time to indulge and visit the Rūta Chocolate Museum. When you visit here, it becomes clear where the “chocolate trees” grow, how chocolate was made by the Mayans and Aztecs, and how traditions of its consumption have changed over the centuries. It also tells about the first Lithuanian chocolate factories and the longest-running candy factory in the country, Rūta. There is no shortage of interactive activities in the museum: you can also take photos, email your photo or created a candy wrapper to friends to play various chocolate related games.
We are going to the manor of Counts Zubovas near Šiauliai in Bubiai. Here we have a cozy cellar where we will taste non-alcoholic wine. We will also learn a lot of interesting and unheard of about this drink; a qualified professional will advise you on how to choose a non-alcoholic wine and that’s not all in this spectacular space!