Population:                      106,4 thous.

Area:                                81,13 sq. km

Šiauliai is located in Northern Lithuania on the picturesque hillsides of the Žemaičių (Samogitian) Hills in the watershed of the rivers Venta, Dubysa, Nevėžis and Mūša. The lake of Talša lies in the very center of the city. There are more lakes in and around the city: Lake Ginkūnai lies to north of Lake Talša, the picturesque minor Lake Švedė borders in the eastern part of the city while Lake Rėkyva, which is the largest lake in Lithuania, lies to the south.

It was founded in 1236 and is the fourth biggest city in Lithuania by the population. It was first mentioned in the German Chronicles in the 13 century as the place where the Lithuanian troops under the leadership of duke Mindovg routed the army of the Teutonic Order. That battle is known in history as “the Battle of Saula”. “Saula” is the original name of modern “Siauliai”. The other hypothesis is that the name “Siauliai” originated from the Lithuanian word “shaulis”, that means a rifleman. In confirmation of this hypothesis you may visit the central square in the city which is called the Saules Likrodzhio (the translation is the Square of the Sun Clock). There is situated a column with a rifleman on its top. Siauliai appeared as a result of a battle and its history was сonnected with different battles and wars. It was destroyed many times by Napoleon, Wilhelm and others. But still there are many historical buildings and monuments which were not destroyed and have been preserved till our days. The most famous is  St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in a Renaissance style, with a tower that is visible from afar, 70m high, is the landmark of Šiauliai panorama. The tower houses the survived unique solar clock.

The Hill of Crosses, one of the most famous symbols of Catholic Lithuania attracting crowds of visitors from all over the world, is located in close proximity to Šiauliai. Presently, the Hill of Crosses is the most frequented sacral site in Lithuania. 

In 1923, the famous Aušros museum was founded in Šiauliai, presently holding several interesting branches, including the museums of Photography, Bicycles and others as well as the complex exposition of “Country Mansion” installed in Frenkelis’ Mansion. Previously it displayed some of its exhibits in international exhibitions in New York and Paris. It is worth visiting the old cemetery of the city where people of different beliefs are buried, or walk along an ecological path, 5km long, around the lake of Talša.

Those who love extreme experiences are offered to go on a tour to the former Soviet military airport of Zokniai.

Another interesting place to see is Šiauliai Arena. It is one of the most impressive buildings in the city.

Functionality, acoustic, modernity and other matters of the building are solved integrally. Not only cultural events are held in the Arena. Sport also has its own place there.

Šiauliai City is also a centre of culture and science – Šiauliai University – was opened in 1997. Besides the University there are a Music Conservatoire, 3 Colleges, Šiauliai Vocational Education and Training Centre in the city.

There are over 70 institutions of education in Šiauliai: schools, kindergartens and institutions for additional education.

Šiauliai is one of the major cultural centres in Lithuania. Professional art companies and single performers make the town famous. Both residents of Šiauliai and visiting guests may sweep into the vortex of the intensive cultural life, which is full of original events.

Sports are given due attention in Šiauliai and thus many of the sporting events have become traditional.

The Municipality of Šiauliai seeks to foster actively business connections and therefore co-operation through town twinning is intensive and diverse. The municipality has so far signed twinning agreements with 10 cities: both form Eastern, Western Europe and the USA as well. Since 1994 the city is also a member of the Union of the Baltic Cities.

The growth of tourism provides favourable conditions for the creation of new job places. Municipality of the City of Siauliai promotes the development of this sector. A Tourism Information Centre is operating successfully.

Intergration process into the European Union has encouraged the city development. The European Union has oppened broad possibilities for the cities to realize their expectations and endeavours. The EU funds make the residents dream true: to construct the Sports and Entertainment Center, to clean up the lake Talša, to build streets and new cycling tracks.

Global practice proves that investments need favourable conditions. This is exactly what Šiauliai may proudly offer: advantageous geographical location and a qualified labour force. The city may also offer empty facilities ideally suited for any kind of production or plots of land for those wishing to construct new premises.

It is also of utmost importance to create a favourable business climate. This includes providing the related information, tax system, unambiguous legislation, competence of the personnel in charge of negotiations, and this what Šiauliai is glad to offer.





Source:   www.edem.siauliai.lt