Historical Towns and Villages
A village which had city privileges from 1628 to 1945. In the times before the Teutonic Order’s conquest of the land, it was the most important town of the Bartians – one of the Prussian tribes. After the conquest it became an important centre of Teutonic administration.
The oldest buildings are the Gothic castle built by Teutonic Order in the 14th century and the Gothic Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The big castle (with 50-metre long wings) was built in order to improve the defence against Lithuanian raids, which often occurred in these territories. The current state of the castle is a result of the works that started after 1990, aiming to reverse the redesigns and changes to the layout made by the owners in the 19th century. Sadly, these works were never completed.
Thanks to its location in the area with the most fertile lands in the region, the city’s existence has always been connected with agriculture. It is surrounded by a multitude of granges; some of the manors and palaces built during that period survived to this day; however, in most cases they are in very bad condition. Examples of such castles include the impressive neo-classicistic palace in Silginy, as well as the ruined Baroque palace in Arklity.