Monument to Kristijonas Donelaitis (1714-1780)

Kristijonas Donelaitis was an evangelical Lutheran priest and pioneer of Lithuanian fiction. To commemorate the 300th anniversary of the poet's birth, UNESCO added this anniversary to the list of 100 dates important to world culture, education, science and historical memory, and the poem “Metai" was recognized as a masterpiece of European literary heritage. The monument to K. Donelaitis at the Evangelical Lutheran Church was unveiled in 2013 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the literary classic.

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Monument to linguist Jonas Jablonskis

The gymnasium yard has a sculpture for Jonas Jablonskis. It is the same man who had a huge influence on this this school, that is the reason why the school was named after him. The sculpture was opened in 1992, the author of this work is – Petras Aleksnadravicius. Rygiskiu Jonas – one of the most popular nicknames, which reflects his native village Rygiskės, in the district of Šakiai.

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Monument to Vytautas the Great

In 2003, the Vytautai club of Marijampolė proposed an idea to build a monument for Vytautas the Great and began collecting funds to implement the idea. On 22 May 2010 the idea was realised – a monument for Vytautas the Great created by sculptor Julius Narušis was introduced in the reconstructed park. A granite monument of 9 metres in height comprise a pedestal and Grand Duke Vytautas riding a horse.

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The Tribute to the Nation and Language monument

On 6 September 2009 at J. Basanavičius square a monument called Tribute to the Nation and Language was unveiled to commemorate the millennium of the name of Lithuania (1009– 2009). In the Interwar period an idea emerged to build a statue of Freedom in the central square of Marijampolė, but the idea failed to materialise. However, it was remembered as the millennium anniversary of the name of Lithuania drew closer. Sculptor Kęstutis Balčiūnas created a monument of pink granite and stainless steel, almost 20 metres in height and weighing 300 tonnes. The rectangle foundation of the monument is decorated with bas-reliefs: the first one is an inscription of the words ‘For the nation, for the language, for commemoration of the millennium of the name of Lithuania 1009–2009’; the second depicts a Krivis (priest) standing at an altar, an oak tree and a stone with runes; the third one is dedicated to Martynas Mažvydas and the first Lithuanian book; the fourth one shows father of our language Jonas Jablonskis and the words from the Postilla of Mikalojus Daukša. The four corners of the base symbolise the four regions of Lithuania. A rising spiral column signifies the hard road to the survival of the Lithuanian nation. At the top of the column is a shining silver rider on a horse. The horse is a symbol of the nation’s drive and its unstoppable movement forward. The rider is a free nation and the spear he is holding is a symbol of the nation’s word and endurance.

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A bench of Violeta Urmanavičiūtė-Urmana

Also known as the Nightingale bench. On 8 September 2012, after the concert of world-famous singer Violeta Urmanavičiūtė-Urmana, her hometown unveiled a bench named after her. Sculptor Kęstutis Lanauskas. Violeta Urmanavičiūtė was born in 1961. She studied in the 2nd High School (currently Marijampolė R. Stankevičius Primary School). Later she attended piano classes of Professor Vlada Mikštaitė in Vilnius Conservatoire, then continued her education in a solo singing class. In 1991–1993 she studied in the Astrid Varnay master class of the Munich Higher School of Music, at the same time attending the Opera Study under the National Opera of Munich. As of 1993, she began her career as an opera soloist in Germany, Switzerland, France. She won several international awards, was invited for a debut in the Bayreuth Festival. The soloist sang on the stages of the best-known theatres in the world – in New York, Milan, Munich and elsewhere. Urmanavičiūtė sang under the direction of the most famous conductors of Lithuania and the world. Violeta Urmanavičiūtė-Urmana was awarded the Lithuanian National Prise for Culture and Arts. The singer was named a honorary citizen of the city of Marijampolė.

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P. Butlerienė’s (cat’s) yard

The predecessor of our city was Starapolė. It was founded by counts Markas Antonijus Butleris and Pranciška Butlerienė in 1739, and Marijampolė was founded nearby in 1750. Legend has it that countess Pranciška was very fond of cats, therefore, during the reconstruction of a small yard between the Kęstučio and P. Butlerienės streets, sculptor Kęstutis Balčiūnas erected there three cats playing in a water stream. Later the number of cats increased. After a while, visitors of Marijampolė noticed that, if you make a wish and pet the three cats, they grant your wish. But the cats are said to be as frugal as the people of this region so they do not grant financial wishes. Who knows, still worth a try.

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Home of priest, Siberian Lithuanian soul-builder Kristupas Švirmickas

This priest was exiled to Siberia for distributing forbidden literature, where he became a shepherd of the largest parish in the world. When he was allowed to return to his Homeland after amnesty, the priest remained a priest of exiles of his own volition, and in 1855 he was appointed a permanent cleric of Irkutsk and a military chaplain of Siberian troops. When priest K. Švirmickas celebrated his 50th anniversary of the priesthood in 1887, he received a special gift from Siberian priests – a cup crowned with thorns. Pope Leon XIII sent him a gold cup. In a letter sent together, he called it "the pride of Catholic missionaries, the decoration of the marion and the joy of the Pope's heart." On October 30, 2014, a chapel-monument to the book-spreader was created by sculptor Algimantas Sakalauskas and unveiled in Varnupiai village near Daukšiai. The monument arose in the place where the Švirmickai homestead-manor once stood.

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Homestead of the national movement character Vincas Šlekys (1870–1946)

Vincas Šlekys-Stagaras was a Lithuanian book-spreader, journalist, editor and ethno-artist. He was born into a family of a wealthy farmer. His father taught him to read and write Lithuanian. In 1879–1882, he attended a Russian elementary school in Marijampolė. He continued to study at Marijampolė Gymnasium, participated in a secret Lithuanian circle and distributed the prohibited press. The parents' offer to join the Seminary of Seinai priests was refused. In 1894, he started collaborating in the newspapers “Vienybė lietuvninkų ", “Varpas", “Ūkininkas", etc. In 1894, he set up a secret society "Sietynas" to distribute Lithuanian press. He prepared the articles of the association, and since 26 March 1894 he was its chairman. After retiring, he returned to his native Mokolai village, collected old valuables, and organized an exhibition of kapsai folk art in Kaunas. This became the basis for the establishment of Marijampolė Museum of Regional Studies. V. Šlekys was considered its founder. On November 16, 1945, the Soviet occupiers arrested him and exiled him to Siberia.

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