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About Utena

Welcome to Utena, one of the oldest cities in Lithuania, which has counted 752 years. It seems not so many. During the passed centuries the face of Utena has been changed by historical events, people and their actions. We can be proud that Utena is famous for its culture, landscape, activity of communities, industry and the fact that it is the city of happy residents.

During the 20 years of independence none industrial company in Utena went bankrupt. The industry giants - companies Utenos mėsa, Utenos pienas, Utenos trikotažas, Utenos brewery have been successfully developing their activities so far. Their products are famous not only in Lithuania the foreigners are willingly tasting or wearing them.


• 66% of food production and processing;

• 34% of textile products, wood products, building materials and hardware products;

• 38% of production is exported.


Green city - a happy city


Utena is located in hollow surrounded by hilly uplands. The city has two lakes Dauniškis and Vyžuonaitis. They are hosting the most beautiful parks in the city: Dauniškis park – the place of recreation and entertainment, Vyžuonaitis park - a future port of peace and walks are developed. City garden, Krašuona river-walks in downtown, Vyžuona Park bring joy to the eyes and the hearts of Utena residents and guests. The bike enthusiasts are not forgotten: there are many bike paths, old streets are reconstructed and new built installing the bicycle lanes. When you start a walk along the shores of the river Krašuona admiring City garden and enjoying space of Vyžuona park, you can cross on foot or by bicycle the entire city from one side to the other. Utena stands out from other towns because in such manufacturing city the new green spaces are in perfect harmony with the industrial areas. This has been achieved successfully using European Union funds.


• Green area consists of 900 hectares (i.e. 30% of the city's territory);

• Landscaped areas cover 375 hectares;

• It is provided 140 hectares for parks.


Protected areas:

2 parks

9 reservations,

20 objects of natural heritage.


Cultural values ​​– source of happiness


In past Utena was a wooden city and burned some times. Lot of objects of cultural heritage didn’t remain. The latter ones are now highly protected. The Utena district municipality takes care of 403 cultural heritage objects - the former manor houses, archaeological and mythological heritage sites - mounds, churches, traditional cross carving wooden monuments (crosses, roofed pillars, shrines) in 2001 added by UNESCO to the human oral and intangible heritage list.


 403 values of cultural heritage:

- former manors,

- mounds

- churches

 traditional cross carving wooden monuments


Archaeological and mythological heritage sites - mounds are processed in promoting cultural tourism. Information boards, stairs, tables, benches are installed and environment is cleaned. The initiative to administer the mounds is shown by individual community members, organizations, schools. Ethno-cultural events are organized in the territory of mounds.

The most notable immovable heritage building having cultural cognitive function after renovation is the old post office of Utena town. The Art School is located in the building. The restoration preserved the historic floor spaces designed for today's school, for science, art and cultural activities. The ensemble of old building has an art gallery, where are organized the exhibitions of artists from Utena land, Lithuania and other countries, as well as educational activities, events and concerts of national heritage.

Another building of cultural heritage is Utena Kristaus žengimo į dangų Church with belfry. The church was built in 1882-1884 in Greek cross plan style. In a number of sacred treasures of art (paintings, chandelier, altar, pulpit, sculpture) the religious festivals and feast are attracting many pilgrims.

Just in different style, modern and contemporary is built Utena Dievo apvaizdos Church. In 2005 it is constructed of red clinker brick. When you enter the church it astounds with greatness, it seems that its height passes through the skylight of the presbytery to the cross on the roof of the church tower.

Both parish communities are especially active. They bring together parishioners to do good works, prepare a variety of charitable campaigns, organize events, especially for children and take care of the sick and the lonely citizens. The communities maintain close ties with collectives of schools and kindergartens, associations of disabled, blind and low vision people.


Utena district is rich in the traditional holidays of family, work, calendar, that are an intangible cultural heritage. Celebrations uphold the traditions of land and pass them to the younger generation. The most popular – in September celebrated city's birthday, which attracts a plenty of foreign visitors and Lithuanians. The year 2013 Lithuania declared as a year of dialects. The dialect of Utena residents - the value of the land, picturesque and melodious, not one literary work is written in this dialect. It is promoted in cultural, educational events and holidays, the tradition of its usage is nurtured, its viability is maintained.

Immaterial cultural heritage is fostered by recently established centre of traditional crafts “Svirnas” (Grange), which carries trainings and dissemination of folk art and traditional crafts projects (restoration of national costume and activities of its promotion, creative workshops, publications, exhibitions), joins the folk artists of Utena district passing the traditions to the younger generation.

Youth Education and Training Centre is the Ceramics Museum of potter Vytautas Valiušis in Leliūnai, which accumulated nearly 1,000 exhibits. There are held the camps and pleners of artists, the young people learn to make pots, familiarize with ceramic manufacturing and decoration.


Clean environment - happy people


In the time of the growth of industry and consumption, it is important properly dispose of the waste. Implementing the EU-funded project in Utena district were closed 18 environmental non-compliant landfills and a modern regional waste dump was established. The new dump of 19.66 ha contains 2 million tons of waste. Closed landfills are recultivated in accordance with the environmental requirements and planted.

• the new dump replaced 18 old landfills;

• to produce the thermal energy is used biofuel, which 30% reduced emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere;

• the efficiency of treatment of wastewater network is 86%.


People of Utena can be proud of the quality of water, that is provided by UAB “Utenos vandenys”, one of the most modern water supply and wastewater management companies in Lithuania. The projects of water supply and sewage networks are successfully implemented in the town and currently are running in rural areas. Thanks to them the inhabitants are improving their living conditions, household is better and the environment is protected.

The renovation of blocks of apartment home gains momentum. Currently Utena has renovated 6 blocks of flats, till 2015 will be renovated more than 24 houses. Renovation was in educational institutions too: in Utena are renovated all gymnasiums, pro-gymnasiums, primary schools and kindergartens.


This autumn in Utena district the heating prices for building residents and the enterprises are the lowest in Lithuania. This is achieved by using the most environmentally friendly fuel - biofuel in Utena heating networks. The Utena district municipality successfully kept the heat sector and was awarded by one of the most important national prise of Lithuanian Association of Local Authorities – “Golden staff”.


Protecting the nature and the environment, where the community lives, encourages the on-going events. It's “Car Free Day”, “Christmas tree for warmth at home”, festival of decorating the tree, exhibition of Christmas bouquets and others. The contests of beautiful homesteads, educational institutions and residential areas are organised. The townspeople are actively contributing to the global voluntary action “Let's do it” in the spring, during which are cleaned the parks, suburbs, pine forests and popular visiting places.

Much attention is given to protected areas. The Utena district municipality has a number of protected areas. These are two parks, 9 reserves, 20 objects of natural heritage.


In Utena district are found the plants and animals listed in the Red Book of Lithuania - 53 species of plants, 40 species of birds, 6 of insects, 10 of amphibians and 7 of reptiles.


Plants and animals protected in Utena district:

53 species of plants,

40 species of birds,

6 species of insects,

10 species of amphibians,

7 species of reptiles.


In 2007 in Utena district municipality, the first in Lithuania, were established the Care home for homeless animals of Utena district. During six years were distributed 2,900 cats and 2,050 dogs for the urban inhabitants. Students and young people are frequent guests in Care home. They not only come to enjoy the four-legged, but also help workers taking care of pets, take dogs for a walk, repair their enclosures, clean and comb cats. Animal shelter also gives the other services: animal capture, collection, transportation, treatment and if it is needed - euthanasia, acceptance and care of wild birds and animals in need.


Happy community


Utena urban infrastructure, environmental and other projects have been implemented primarily in consultation with the community. In many cases, the community was the initiator, which led to the sort of green spaces in the city equipped with parks. An example - Vyžuona park, its trails, walkways, flower beds were not designed in the offices: the authorities of the city listened to what the people say, what they want and what park they see in the future. Now there is one of the finest and most popular parks in the city.

In consultation with the community were a lot of different meetings. Some were held in the premises of the municipal administration, the other in the streets and in the yards of townspeople. Such meetings, project considerations helped not only make the most appropriate solutions, but also mobilize and unite the community.

Preparing to mention the 750 -year anniversary of the city emerged the idea properly commemorate ​​this date. Three options were offered to the community: to install the shining musical fountain in Dauniškis lake, to build a memorial stone or indicator about partner cities. After much deliberation, discussion in the press and meetings the community voted for the fountain. Now in the Dauniškis lake from May to mid-October, the citizens and guests enjoy the playing full-coloured fountain, its water jet rises into the sky up to 15 meters.

In renewed Utenio Square in 2012 sprayed out another fountain with dancing and sparkling colours, in hot summer it has become irreplaceable and one of the most pleasant places of refreshment for the little and big Utena residents.


The local communities are very active. Utena has more than 70 communities. Some are less numerous and still growing, other - more numerous that have emerged ten years ago and have a great experience. The activity of communities are the most diverse related to health, safety, personal development, recreational organisation, environment protection and other relevant issues about quality of life in local community. Community members successfully find and use the money allowed by the Utena district municipality, various international organizations and foundations for implementing the projects.

The unity of community especially reveals in various charity campaigns. Besides the spring action campaign “Let's do it” the members of the community, especially young people actively involved in the initiative “Food Bank”, “Help the sick”, “I was hungry, you fed me”, “ Health to the house”. The community of Utena especially benevolently involve and voluntary aid others and learn together to condole, understand and help.


The various charity events include youth volunteers and coordinate youth activities in several organizations. This is the union of Utena Public Youth Organizations “Round Table” and Utena Youth Council, the president – the mayor of Utena district municipality Alvydas Katinas. “Round Table” is an independent non-governmental voluntary union of youth organizations uniting 19 active organizations of Utena youth and representatives of youth informal groups. The Utena District Municipality Council has funded the implementing of youth activities. In 2013 from the municipal budget were funded 17 youth projects. The educational institutions and youth organizations of Utena district are currently engaged in over 36 projects with the means of EU and the municipal budget. The Utena District Municipality annually is giving ……. for the development of youth projects.


The young people of Utena thinking about their future and willing to try themselves in the business has a helper - Business Information Centre, which activities are related to the development of business spirit among young people, help the recently established companies and communication with foreign businessmen. In this Centre the members of community, who create business, are consulted, trained and given the diverse theoretical and practical help.

Another attraction of youth and aged Utena residents - the new library. After the reconstruction the library was acknowledged as the best of the eight competing teams of architects to implement the projects and aspired to get the award of the Ministry of Environment for the engagement of the community in order to become a modern information centre, library was recognized as representative of Eastern and Central European countries. It has become an integral part of community life in Utena. The eloquent example of this - the young people of Utena declared the library as the best partner of youth organizations in 2012.


One of the models of community engagement in local governance - the establishment of the Institute of elders. In 2012 the local communities of Utena elected their new representatives. The elders working on a voluntary basis are representing the interests of the people – present to the local authorities the views of the eldership residents on some issues, suggestions and proposals about the promotion of living environment in the community. The elder is familiar with the current issues of local population, helps to take care about the objects of local infrastructure and their maintenance, organizes cultural and sporting life of the community and promotes community’s civic engagement, initiative and good neighbourliness.

The free informative publication “Self-government and the community” about the various activities, initiatives and plans for future development of Utena District Municipality is appearing once a month and is publishing in some thousands of copies.


A healthy community - a happy city


The community of Utena goes in for sports. For the purpose that people of Utena would live healthily and move more, the excellent conditions are allowed: the multi- sports centre was built, the city pool opened the door after reconstruction, this year Utenio stadium was opened conforming to international standards, the Rašės hippodrome was completely reconstructed, in the city parks the trails were built not only for walks, but for skateboarders and cyclists during the winter they become ski trails.


Utena District Public Health Office takes care about wellness and health of Utena residents and promotes it. The society of Utena continuously gets new projects, competitions, events, actions. People of Utena with office specialists go sporting, hiking, take part in exercising and learn to live a healthy lifestyle. The care of children and youth health has a priority in the activities of Bureau. For children and young people are often organized the lessons, promotions, contests, quizzes, discussions, debates about health, healthy living, bad habits, etc. These events are involving not only students but also school staff, parents and representatives from other institutions.


Of course the life in Utena does not go on without the troubles and problems. One of the most painful - people consume alcoholic beverages too much and too often and violate the public order, also the young people smoke too much. Dealing with the last sore the the Utena District Council in 2012 decided on no-smoking zones. Since 2013 February 1st in Utenio Square and the Dauniškis park smoking was banned. Utenio Square and the Dauniškis park were declared smoke-free zones.

Meeting the problem of alcohol consumption the Utena district municipality cooperates with the Crisis Centre “Meadow of Angels”, which patronages, takes care and supervises the residents of Utena, who are addicted to alcohol and drugs. The premises are given to Crisis Centre, where are founded the charity dining and Help Centre for needy people. The Crisis Centre in Utena district operates on the principle of volunteering.

The last autumn was opened another social institution - the day centre. Here are educated the families of Utena town that are at social risk, are enhanced their social skills. The social workers, educators, psychologists and doctors are working with them.


By the means of EU Cohesion Promotion Action Programme this autumn in Utena was opened the Utena psychiatric day hospital, in which each individual has the chosen treatment program, psychotherapy sessions, relaxation sessions, movement therapy, developing of social skills, patients have access to computers, sports equipment, listen to music, watching video films.


Following the ideas of lifelong education program in Utena was founded The Third Millennium University TAU. Utena residents, who reached the retirement age, have the opportunity to learn there, to get knowledge about health, culture and art, local history and tourism, to spend leisure time, to maintain efficiency, physical activity and go for sports.

Future plans

The Utena district municipality implemented a strategic planning system, which includes:

  •   Strategic Development Plan (7-year horizon)
  •  strategic business plans (3 years)
  •  annual plans.

This system is based on the general plan of the district.

All of these plans are based on the vision of the city, created by the community and the legal formalization is the signing of the municipal population charter.

The municipal administration in purpose to make sure that the plans and their implementation are in line with the expectations of individuals and organizations frequently organizes meetings with the groups of various interests.

Recently started a new stage in the planning, when not the administration after consultation with the community develops and implements the projects, but the community prepares and implements them. The municipality supports the projects financially (LEADER program).

 Future plans include:

 * Arts Incubator was established;

* Street lighting system modernization with LED technology;

* Integrated arrangement of infrastructure of residential areas.


In Arts incubator the particular attention is paid on attracting the young artists and promotion their creative vitality and the entrepreneurship. In the incubator will be permanently located 17 representatives of the creative industries, which will be provided with premises on concessional terms. There will be established with the studies of arts, music, theatre and cinema - workshops, rehearsal rooms and creative spaces. The short-term residency space – gallery will be equipped, studies of photos, make-up art, modern technology, audio-visual arts, records and other studios.


The Utena district municipality won numerous awards in Lithuania and in the international arena.

In 2012 was received the National Award for the landscape. The parks of Utena have been recognized as the best example of landscape in Lithuania. It is also the Utena district municipality represented Lithuania in 2013-2014 the Competition of Landscape of the Council of Europe.


The Utena district municipality in 2005 got one of the most important awards of Association of Lithuanian Municipalities – “Golden stuff” for nurturing the culture. In 2009 Utena has been rewarded with “Golden stuff” as the best municipality in the EU using its support. This year “Golden stuff”, as mentioned above, was given for the best keeping of heating sector.


In 2013 the mayor of Utena district municipality Alvydas Katinas acknowledged as the best mayor in the country.


The efforts of Utena district municipality to create a city, where is good to live, are showing the results: this year in July and August the Social Project “Barometer of Happiness” found Utena as a happiest city in Lithuania. In September Utena was behind the luckiest city - Vilnius only 0.1 points. It can be argued that the activities selected by Utena municipality meet the expectations of Utena community.

Anonymous hotline

Since 16 November 2011, a free and anonymous hotline has been in operation in the Utena District Municipality. Upon dialing (8-800) 77472, a caller hears a recorded message, and at any time of day or night may leave a message with information about criminal activity involving corruption (such as abuse of office, bribery, and the like) in the municipality as well as in institutions and enterprises subordinate to it. Residents’ tip-offs and reports are recorded to electronic storage media.

The Municipality’s reception desk

Working hours:
Monday 8am-5pm
Tuesday 8am-6pm
Wednesday 8am-6pm
Thursday 8am-5pm
Friday 8am-3.45pm
Lunch break 12-12.45pm

The General and Personnel Department’s senior specialist Stanislava Martusevičiūtė (tel. (8 389) 64041 , e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) and specialist Genovaitė Vegėlienė (tel. (8 389) 64041, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) work at the reception desk.
The mayor of the Utena district, Alvydas Katinas, receives residents regarding their questions and concerns on Thursdays from 3-5pm.
The director of the Administration of the Utena District Municipality, Jonas Slapšinskas, receives residents regarding their questions and concerns on Tuesdays from 1-5pm. Residents, in order to receive consultations and answers to questions of concern to them as well as to register for consultations with the Municipality’s specialists or for an appointment with the district’s leaders, may register via the Internet, using e-banking systems (AB SEB bankas, AB Swedbank, AB DnB NORD, AB Šiaulių bankas, Nordea Bank Lietuva, AB Ūkio bankas, AB Citadele bankas, UAB Medicinos bankas, AB Danske bankas), using a personal identity card, as clients of the UAB Skaitmeninio sertifikavimo centras (JSC Digital certification centre), using the mobile electronic signature of UAB Bitė Lietuva (JSC Bitė Lietuva), the mobile electronic signature of UAB Omnitel (JSC Omnitel), through the State Enterprise Centre of Registers, and/or through a Lithuanian credit union. A client, having requested a consultation service, may check the process by which it is being carried out, find out the name of the person responsible for carrying it out, and see the history of hand-overs of associated tasks. This information is accessed by logging on to the personalised (individualised) section of the Utena District Municipality’s website.

Deputy director of the Administration

Deputy director of the Administration Zita RingelevicieneZita Ringelevičienė
Tel.: (8~389) 64040, mobile (8 618) 70032
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office: 202
Residents may present questions and concerns on Mondays from 1-5pm.
A brief CV
Born in 1958 in the Anykščiai district. Deputy director of the Administration of the Utena District Municipality, member of the republic-level council of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, deputy chair of the Utena branch of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, member of the LIONS club of Užpaliai, Utena, and Anykščiai. From 1976 to 1980, studied at the Vilnius Pedagogical Institute (now known as the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences). From 1980 to 1985, worked as an instructor at the Joniškėlis Agricultural Technical School. From 1985 to 1989, worked as a teacher at the Utena Agriculture and Food Industry School (now known as the Utena Regional Professional Training Centre). From 1989 to 1991, worked as an instructor at the Utena District Committee of the Lithuanian Communist Party. From 1995 to 2010, worked in the Administration of the Governor of Utena County, performed various duties: secretary to the county governor, head of the administrative department, head of the personnel and facilities management department, secretary of the county administration. In 2007, earned a master’s degree in public administration at Kaunas University of Technology. Represents the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania. Married. Husband Rimvydas and son Aivaras live in Norway, daughter Indrė lives in Utena. Hobbies: nature, political science. MOTTO: Work is life.

Director of the Administration

Director of the Administration Jonas SlapšinskasJonas Slapšinskas
Tel.: (8~389) 61620, mobile (8 687) 24902
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office: 204
Residents may present questions and concerns on Tuesdays from 1-5pm.
A brief CV
Born in 1956 in the Vyžuonos eldership of the Utena district. Graduated from the Vyžuonos School in 1975. From 1982, worked in the Utena District Consumers Cooperative, in 1983 became one of the company’s directors. In 1987, earned a university-level degree in trade economics. From 1993 to 2003, worked as a hired employee in the private sector. From 2003, the head of the Utena city eldership. Since 2007, the director of the administration of the Utena District Municipality. Married. Wife Loreta works in the Utena office of the State Social Insurance Fund Board. Children: daughter Sandra and son Andrius. Hobbies: fishing, hunting, underwater diving, downhill skiing. MOTTO: Your friend is not the one who flatters you, but the one who rebukes you.

Utena district

Utena District is an area of heights, hills, thick woods and picturesque lakes situated in the North-western part of the Aukštaičių Highlands of Baltijos group of hills, in the basin of the river Šventoji. Ethnographically it belongs to East Aukštaitija, administratively – to the Utena County. It is surrounded by six administrative areas, i.e. the districts of Rokiškis, Ignalina, Molėtai, Anykščiai, Zarasai and Švenčionys. The area of the Utena District is 1229 sq.km. It is smaller than the average area of the country’s districts (by 2.1%) and covers 1.9% of Lithuania’s territory.

History. Utena is one of the oldest places in Lithuania. Its beginning is associated with the Narkūnų mound that is mentioned on numerous occasions in Sword-bearers' chronicles. Archaeologists believe that a settlement existed here as early as in the II millennium BC King Mindaugas' letter of the year 1261 is the first written source where of a wooden castle on the banks of the Utenėlė rivulet was mentioned. The legend has it that the castle was erected by the legendary duke Utenis. During the conquests of Lithuania by the Sword-bearers in 1373-1375 Utena and the surrounding areas were severely devastated, the Utena castle was destroyed in 1433. A settlement on what today is the confluence of rivulets started only as late as in the 14th century. In 1416 it already had a church, a manor was established, trade fairs started taking place, merchants moved in and inns were built. During its 700 years of history since the first mention (in 1261) Utena suffered all kinds of disasters. In 1655 the Russian army invaded and badly destroyed the town; the Swedes devastated Utena during the Northern War (1700-1721) and in 1812 it suffered a lot from Napoleon's troops. In 1831 it saw a big battle between the Tsar's troops and the rebels. People of Utena also participated in the rebellion of the year 1863. Even during the hard times Utena used to rise from ashes, it grew and developed. The Warsaw - St. Petersburg highroad that was built in 1835 was very important for the town. A big post station was erected and the narrow-gauge railway was constructed. The town developed in a spontaneous manner, houses were jammed together, therefore 3/4 of the town burned down during the fire of 1879. Before the World War I Utena was merely a rural district centre. After the recovery of Independence Utena became a county centre, in 1924 it was granted the rights of a secondary town and had its own burgomaster. Streets were being built, beds of rivulets were being put in order, bridges and houses were being erected. The industry, however, remained of a local nature: there was a dairy, a printing house, three mills, a sawmill and a small power station. Unfortunately, the development works were interrupted by the World War II. Before the beginning of the World War II the population of the town had not yet reached 7 000, but in 1941 more than 4 000 were executed by German occupants. It took Utena 20 years to reach the pre-war level. As the industry of Lithuania was being developed, it was decided to turn Utena into a regional centre. The growth of industry in Utena began by erecting the plant of laboratory electric furnaces (completed in 1960), followed by opening of a number of other enterprises specialised in the production of knitwear, beer, meat, milk, etc. Such growth of industry also stimulated the construction of new residential districts such as Vyturių, Dauniškio, Aukštakalnio, Krašuonos, also the Ąžuolijos community of private homes. Industrial growth also stimulated the growth of the town: what used to be a town with a small population has presently turned into an urban area with nearly 37 thousand inhabitants. Partisan activity, place of mass execution. During 1945-1948 a number of Lithuania's partisans were buried in the closed cemetery of the Katlėrių village. A stone monument to commemorate the partisans buried in the cemetery was erected in 1991 (created by the local artist Vytautas Giedraitis). The rebels of the 1863 rebellion who were tortured to death by gendarmes are also buried in the cemetery. Dičiūnų cemetery is the place of burial of the partisans who died in 1945. After the start of the National Revival a monument and a commemorative board carrying the names of the defenders of the homeland's freedom who perished on May 28th, 1945 in the village of Gudėniškių was erected to commemorate M. Bivainis, B. Budrionis. J. and P. Čižai, J. Sakalys, L. Sinkūnas, A. Trinkūnas, S. Vaišnoras, V. Deveikis, J. Gaidamavičius, B. Raudonis, V. Sirgedas, A. Vaitkevičius, A. Valiulis, K. Vyžinis and K. Žala. A prominent partisan Antanas Kraujelis who was born in 1928, fought in the H. Ruškulio-Liūto' (Lion's) detachment of Žėručio district and was a member of the regional headquarters was hiding in the estate of Albinas Pinkevičius, a resident of the Papiškių village of the Utena district, since 1960. Until 1965 he lived with his wife and son in a hiding place under the stove that was installed at the time of building the house. He died on March 17th, 1965 when the occupation army surrounded the estate. On May 19th, 1998 President of the Republic of Lithuania issued a decree and post mortem awarded Antanas- Kraujelis- Siaubūnas (the Monster) with the Vytis Cross Order of the 3rd degree. The flag of Lithuania's Independence has been preserved in the village of Biliakiemio. Anti-Soviet resistance newspapers and proclamations were being printed there during 1944-45. In 1945 and 1947 Stasys Žibėnas, Vytautas Petravičius, Algirdas and Jurgis Katinas as well as other residents and partisans perished.

Nature. The relief of the Utena District that took shape in the late ice age is characterised by low hills and valleys. They decorate the landscape of the area but interfere a lot with the work of farmers. The highest hills are near Tauragnai: the hill of Taurapilio is 246 m. above sea level and Lithuania’s deepest lake Tauragnas (60.5 m. deep) is situated at its foot. 186 lakes of different size and form are scattered in the valleys in between the hills. Alaušas, one of the country’s biggest lakes, lies to the north of Utena, its area amounts to 1073 hectares. The legendary Indrajų lake is only three kilometres away, its size is 300 hectares. The Utenas and Vidinkstas lakes are big and picturesque, whereas Utenykštis and Aisetas are among those that have the biggest amount of fish. Numerous lakes and swamps are connected by small meandering rivulets that overflow heavily in spring and go almost dry in summer. Only the rivers of Alauša, Tauragna, Vyžuona and Šventoji that loops approximately 30 kms in the Northern part of the District have a more constant depth. The District is in the area of medium zone mixed forests. Woods cover almost 36 thousand hectares, or 29.3 per cent of the total area of the District. Pinewoods of Rašės and Skaistašilio grow in the vicinity of Utena, Vyžuonų pinewood is situated near the village of Vyžuonų and the forests of Minčios lie behind Tauragnai. Part of the Ažvinčių woods is situated on the territory of the District and the Labanoras virgin forest looms on the other side of Sadutiškis. The variety of kinds of trees is huge. Fir-trees, birch-trees, asps, linden and other trees grow in the woods alongside with pines. Oak groves have been preserved near the Pakalnių village and in the Ąžuolijos woods in the vicinity of Utena. Flooded meadows are fertile, although few: they are found only along the banks of Šventosios and Vyžuonos rivers. The woods abound in roe-deer, wild boars, grey hares and foxes. There are many beavers in the rivers and lakes; some otters and musk-rats are also found. Pikes, perches, breams and roaches are the fish that fishermen catch most often. Eels can also be caught in the majority of the lakes. The Utena District is one of the country’s areas where temperature fluctuations are very distinct. This is the first place in the country where the snow cover forms, the soil freezes in and the average daily temperature falls below zero. In comparison with other districts, winters are colder here.

The City of Utena

The coat of arms was created in 1969 by the artists Arvydas Šaltenis and Aldona Jonuškaitė. A year later, the coat of arms was abolished. The coat of arms was later recreated by the artist R. Minkevičius according to a drawing of the 1969 design. The specifications of the coat of arms were approved by the Heraldry Commission of Lithuania on 19 September 1996.
The current coat of arms of Utena was approved by decree of the President of the Republic of Lithuania on 26 September 1996.
History. Utena is one of the oldest of Lithuania’s cities. Utena was first mentioned in a historical record in a letter written by King Mindaugas in 1261 to the Livonian Brothers of the Sword. It is said that the city was founded by the legendary duke Utenis, who built a castle by the Utenėlė stream. Archaeological digs at the Narkūnai hill-fort (mound) confirmed earlier assumptions made by archaeologists that Utena had in fact been located about 3 to 5 kilometers to the southwest from the site of the modern city. A settlement had developed there at the end of the second millennium BCE. During the 13th century, the Livonian Brothers of the Sword repeatedly ravaged the Utena area, the castle was destroyed, and the hill-forts (mounds) lost their defensive significance. The settlement was then moved to its current location, a more convenient one from an economic point of view.
In 1416, Utena’s church was built. The town became a castle eldership, although the role of the castle was at that time performed by the estate of the Grand Duke. In 1499, Grand Duke Aleksandras appointed Mykolas Glinskis as steward of Utena. In 1599, Utena received the market right, that is, the privilege of hosting a market. This encouraged the growth of the city. At the end of the 16th century and at the beginning of the 17th century, the town was redesigned according to a standard right-angled plan. At its centre, a four-sided market square was established.
During the Great Northern War (1700–1721), Utena was razed to the ground by the invading Swedes. In the 18th century, a parish school was opened. 7 children attended it in 1781, and 20 children attended it in 1798. After the partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Utena estate was transferred to private ownership.
The town began to recover when the Saint Petersburg – Warsaw road was built. This was the first highway in Lithuania. The segment between Zarasai and Kaunas was built from 1830 to 1836. Conditions for trade and commerce improved. From 1835 to 1836, a post office, a guest house for postal couriers, and stables for their horses were built next to the road. At that time, the complex was the largest institution in Utena. In 1854, work was begun on the Zarasai-Utena segment of the telegraph line connecting Saint Petersburg and Warsaw, and a telegraph station was installed in the post office. In 1879, most of Utena burned to the ground. In 1899, the narrow gauge railway connecting Švenčionėliai and Panevėžys was built, passing through Utena. In 1918, a telephone station was established in the post office. In 1924 or 1926, Utena was granted the rights of a city.
Utena is a hydronymic place name. In the area around Utena, there are many names for bodies of water based on the root “uten-”, including the lakes Utenas, Vyžuonaitis, and Utenykštis, and the river Utenėlė (or Utenaitė). It is likely that the city was named for the stream Utenėlė, which was earlier known simply as Utena, and as the city grew, the stream took on the diminutive suffix “-ėlė”.
Self-government. In 1599, Utena was granted the market right, but not the other rights of self-government. The town remained an administrative centre (in Lithuanian, “valsčius”). It was only in 1791 that the city was granted the Magdeburg rights, but the townspeople did not make use of them, because almost immediately the entire area became part of Russia. The Utena administrative unit (“valsčius”) belonged to Ukmergė County.
During the First World War, Utena became a county (in German, “kreis”) centre. The Bolsheviks, who occupied the city in 1918, established a revolutionary committee, but on 2 June 1919, the Lithuanian military’s 1st Infantry Regiment, commanded by Kazys Ladyga, liberated the city. The city’s municipal government was established, as was Utena County, which was abolished only in 1950. During the years of occupation by the USSR, Utena did not have genuine self-government.
In 1990, the Utena District Municipality’s council was elected, and since 1995, the city has the status of a separate eldership within the municipality.

Relationships with municipalities and cities in other countries

The Utena District Municipality cooperates with Lidköping Municipality (Sweden) and Preiļi District (Latvia) as well as the cities of Třeboň (Czech Republic), Chełm (Poland), Pontinia (Italy), Kovel (Ukraine), Beit Sahour (Palestine).  

trebon-97x114A cooperation agreement between Utena and Třeboň was signed on 10 October 1997 and approved by the Utena municipal council on 26 November 1997. The cities agreed to cooperate in the areas of culture, education, tourism, and sport. A cooperation agreement between Utena and Lidköping was agreed on 12 June 1997 and approved by the Utena municipal council on 7 July 1997. The municipalities agreed to exchange knowledge and experience in the following areas: care of the elderly, development of local democracy and business, district heating, waste management, and wastewater treatment.


Lidkoping-96x116On 18 April 2008, a cooperation agreement between Lidköping and Utena was signed, extending cooperation for another five years. The agreement provides for cooperation in the following areas: care for the elderly and for people with disabilities, education, social protection, culture, sport, environmental protection, tourism, small business and trade, and EU-financed projects.




preili-96x113A cooperation agreement between Utena and Preiļi District Municipality was agreed on 10 December 1997 and approved by the Utena municipal council on 23 December 1997. The municipalities agreed to exchange knowledge and experience in the areas of health care and social welfare, development of democracy, business, industry, trade, agriculture, transportation, and planning, culture, science, environmental protection, tourism and sport, district heating, and improvement of waste collection and wastewater treatment, etc.


Pontinia-96x132A cooperation agreement between Utena and Pontinia was agreed on 10 February 1998 and approved by the Utena municipal council on 10 March 1998. The partner cities agreed to exchange knowledge and experience in the following areas: development of local democracy, business, and health care. It was also agreed to establish contacts between the residents of Pontinia and Utena, and to provide opportunities for residents of the cities to exchange knowledge and experience in different areas.




chelm-99x158A cooperation agreement between Utena and the city of Chełm was agreed on 2 April 1998 and approved by the Utena municipal council on 6 May 1998. The cities agreed to exchange experience and seek common solutions in the following areas: environmental protection, health care and social protection, education, culture, sport, and tourism. In order to implement agreements in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Poland, the cities agreed to support various forms of cooperation between groups of companies, associations, funds, and institutions. It was also decided to exchange delegations from local municipal institutions, companies, educational, cultural, and sport institutions, and, during school holidays, youth and pupil groups. It was also decided to encourage cultural exchanges by means of appearances by artistic groups and professional performers, visits by tourist groups, and the organisation of exhibitions, museum exhibitions, fairs, etc.


kovel city On 30 September 2004, the Utena municipal council (by means of council decision Nr. T-257) approved the signing of a cooperation agreement between Utena and the city of Kovel. This agreement was signed in Kovel on 20 May 2005. It was decided to cooperate in the areas of economic activity, trade, business, ecology, public services, transportation, education, culture, sport, tourism, health care, and in other areas as well.



Beit SahourA cooperation agreement between Utena District Municipality  and Municipality of Beit Sahour (Palestine) was agreed On 5th of September 2015. Cooperation is based on the mutual interest of sharing experiences on local government matters knowing that a special interest will be shown to the following fields: education and youth cooperation; culture, historical and religion heritage, sports, social care, environment, tourism, economic cooperation, trade, small business and hand-crafts, institutional networking.

Charter of Residents of the Utena District Municipality

Charter of Residents of the Utena District MunicipalityThe administration of the Utena District Municipality, in order to meet the requirements for a management system and to constantly improve its effectiveness, announces this Charter of Residents, and takes responsibility for upholding it. The Charter of Residents consists of a mission statement, a statement of work values, and commitments.
We improve the quality of life of residents of the Utena district and we improve the conditions for activity of local organisations.
Work Values
Qualification – every employee of the administration is competent to well perform his or her work. Constant improvement of qualifications according to ever-changing work conditions and the work environment is encouraged .
Effectiveness – the entire activity of the organisation is devoted to attaining measurable results. A work culture of industriousness and thoroughness is encouraged.
Communicability – the basis of open teamwork. The smooth sharing of information in pursuit of overall results for the good of the Utena district is encouraged. We aim to be attentive to every resident who seeks our help, and to be oopen to suggestions for improving our work.
We commit ourselves to satisfy the needs of local residents.
To periodically organise meetings with local residents and representatives of local organisations.
To attempt to influence owners of neglected private property, so that they would better maintain such property and together we would live in a more attractive city.
To pay greater attention to publicising the boundaries of private property, and to encourage the principles of firm and stable neighbourliness.
In planning changes affecting city infrastructure, we will consult with local residents and representatives of local organisations, and as individually as possible invite them to share information about their interests.
We commit ourselves to satisfying the needs of local organisations.
To encourage cooperation between business, non-governmental organisations, and the municipality, by establishing positions for volunteer civic advisers.
To seek constant direct dialogue with business organisations that work toward the growth and development of the Utena district.
To work together with partner cities to maintain and organise business connections that could later become successful business organisations.
To seek to adapt the programmes of local learning institutions to the needs of local business.

Utena district council members


Raimundas Čepukas - Lithuanian Social Democratic Party, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rimantas Dijokas - Homeland Union - Lithuanian Cristian Democrats, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Albinas Grincevičius - Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gediminas Valdas Griškevičius - Liberals movement of the Republic of Lithuania, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vilius Jasiūnas - Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alvydas Katinas - Mayor, Lithuanian Social Democratic Party, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Marijus Kaukėnas  - Liberals movement of the Republic of Lithuania, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Virginijus Keraminas - Lithuanian Social Democratic Party, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vytautas Kazela - Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union, e-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gražina Kuliešienė - Homeland Union - Lithuanian Cristian Democrats, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Raimundas Kelevišius - Homeland Union - Lithuanian Cristian Democrats, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vaidas Lankauskas - Lithuanian Social Democratic Party e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Roberta Macelienė - Lithuanian Social Democratic Party e-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Robertas Miliauskas - Liberals movement of the Republic of Lithuania, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Darius Pakajavas - Liberals movement of the Republic of Lithuania, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Egidijus Puodžiukas Homeland Union - Lithuanian Cristian Democrats  e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Liuonius Purvinis - Lithuanian Freedom Union (Liberal) e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jonas Spietinis - Lithuanian Social Democratic Party e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nerijus Stasiulionis - Lithuanian Social Democratic Party e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Darius Šinkūnas - Lithuanian Social Democratic Party e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Petras Tranauskas - Lithuanian Social Democratic Party e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kęstutis Udras Homeland Union - Lithuanian Cristian Democrats e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Žydrūnas Urbonas - Lithuanian Social Democratic Party e.mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vidmantas Valinčius Lithuanian Freedom Union (Liberal) e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Algirdas Žukas - Lithuanian Social Democratic Party e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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