|Height :||151 m|
|Area (place) :||81.13 km²|
|Inhabitants (place) :||126,215 (2009)|
|Population density :||1,556 inhabitants per km²|
|Time zone :||EET (UTC + 2)|
|Telephone code :||(+370) 41|
|Postal code :||76001-80244|
|License plate :||S.|
Šiauliai [ ʃɛʊ̯ˈlʲɛɪ̯ ], ( German Schaulen ) is a large city in northern Lithuania . It is the seat of the surrounding district of Šiauliai and has been the capital of the Šiauliai district since 1994 . It has the status of a township , so it has an elected mayor and city council. Šiauliai is an important business location, transport hub, seat of a university and a Catholic diocese .
Geography and climate
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Šiauliai
13th to 19th centuries
In Chronicles of the Sword Order of Knights Šiauliai is already in the 13th century as Soule , Saulia and pillars mentioned. The founding date of the city is September 22nd, 1236, the day of the so-called Sun Battle or Battle of Schaulen (Lithuanian Saulės mūšis ), on which Lithuanian-Samaitic associations inflicted a devastating defeat on an army led by the Livonian Brotherhood of the Sword near today's city. In the two following centuries, Šiauliai was considered the capital of the "Sun Country", as the area was called at that time.
The year 1445 has been passed down as the year the first wooden church was built in the city center, which was replaced by today's brick building in 1625. In 1589, Šiauliai was granted Magdeburg town charter and served as the administrative center of an area (Lithuanian Didieji Šiauliai ) that included a royal estate with 6000 farms and neighboring settlements such as Joniškis, Radviliškis and Meškuičiai.
Between the 16th and 18th centuries, Šiauliai was devastated several times by major fires. Looting by Swedish troops, the outbreak of a plague epidemic and another looting by soldiers of the Napoleonic army during the Russian campaign in 1812 also had a negative impact on the city's development. Towards the end of the 18th century, the city played an important political role as the administrative center for thirteen districts in the area.
With the settlement of Silesian weavers in the late 18th century, Šiauliai became a center of the textile industry. The construction of a road connection between Saint Petersburg and Königsberg in 1839 and the railway line between Liepāja (Libau) and Kaišiadorys , each running through the city, promoted the development of further branches of industry and the rise of Šiauliai to an important trading town and the economic center of northern Lithuania. The Choral Synagogue , built in 1871, was destroyed in World War II.
The last major fire disaster in 1872 marked the end of the wooden architecture that had prevailed in Šiauliai until then. The rapid reconstruction was followed by the establishment of further industrial companies in the silk, wool, leather, cigarette and chocolate industries. Beer breweries also emerged. In 1897, Šiauliai was the second largest city in Lithuania after Kaunas with more than 16,000 inhabitants.
A Jewish community had existed in the city since the 17th century . With a Jewish population of 56% in 1909, Šiauliai was considered an important Jewish center.
The early 20th century
During the First World War , Šiauliai and its surroundings were the scene of the Battle of Schaulen between April and June 1915 . On April 17th, the historic city center and around 85% of all buildings in the city area were devastated by the war. As a result, German troops occupied Šiauliai.
The period after the war and Lithuania's declaration of independence was a period of reconstruction and economic expansion. In addition to five new leather and shoe factories, wool processing and weaving operations, a furniture factory and the Gubernija brewery were established. In 1938, Šiauliai accounted for 85% of Lithuanian leather production , 60% of shoe production, 75% of linen production and 35% of chocolate production . Šiauliai remained the second largest city in Lithuania between the two world wars.
The second World War
German occupation and persecution of the Jews
After the German attack on the Soviet Union and thus also on Lithuania, which it occupied, from June 22, 1941, around 1,000 Jews fled into the interior of the Soviet Union . On June 26, 1941, the city was occupied by Wehrmacht troops, the beginning of a reign of terror for the population. In the following two weeks, Germans and Lithuanians murdered 1,000 Jewish residents in anti-Jewish riots. Then a civil administration was set up under the Reich Ministry for the occupied eastern territories . An area commissioner - comparable to a German district administrator - was appointed to represent Schaulen, in this case Hans Gewecke . Under his aegis, the establishment of a ghetto began on July 25, 1941 in the districts of Kaukazas and Trakai. While 1,000 Jewish residents were deported to Žagarė , about the same number fled to the city's ghetto from the surrounding cities and towns, so that at the end of 1941 around 4,500 to 5,000 people were living in the ghetto. Until September 1943, the ghetto population had to do forced labor for the Germans , including building the Zokniai airport . From September 1943 the ghetto was converted into a concentration camp. On November 5, 1943, a "cleanup" took place in which 574 children and old and disabled ghetto residents were deported to an extermination camp.
On June 22, 1944, the Red Army began Operation Bagration and brought it to a successful conclusion by August 20, 1944. When she approached Šiauliai in July 1944, the remaining residents of the ghetto were taken to the Stutthof concentration camp , where most of them were murdered. About 500 Jewish residents of Šiauliai, less than 10% of the pre-war Jewish population, survived.
The time after the Second World War
After 1945 it was rebuilt as a modern city. Today Šiauliai is an important administrative center.
Politics and administration
Šiauliai has been a municipality since 1995 (lit. Šiaulių miesto savivaldybė ). The representative body is the municipality council, the executive power is exercised by the administration of the municipality Šiauliai ( Šiaulių miesto savivaldybės administracija ). Mayor has been Artūras Visockas (* 1986) since 2015 , who stood for Artūro Visocko nepartinis sąrašas (Artūras Visockas Independent Citizens' List). He was re-elected in 2019.
- 1990-1991: Kazimieras Šavinis
- 1991-1995: Arvydas Salda
- 1995–2000: Alfredas Lankauskas
- 2000: Vida Stasiūnaitė
- 2002, 2003: Vaclovas Volkovas
- 2003-2007: Vytautas Juškus
- 2007–2011: Genadijus Mikšys
- 2011–2015: Justinas Sartauskas
- since 2015: Artūras Visockas
- until 2015
- since 2015
The city is predominantly industrial. The old town was largely destroyed during the Second World War. The street where most of the sights and shops are located is the Vilniaus Gatve - mostly a pedestrian zone.
The town has the Šiauliai State Drama Theater (since 1931), the “Bildukas” children's and youth theater, the Šiauliai Chamber Orchestra , a cultural center of the Šiauliai Municipality , and a library since 1920. From 1928 there was a People's University of Jonas Basanavičius .
One of the largest local companies is Neaustinių medžiag größten fabrikas . A major employer is the local energy supply company Šiauli Ein energija . The meat processor Šiaulių maistas was dissolved in 2003, and the successor company finally ceased operations in 2009.
- Photography Museum
- Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul , Cathedral of the Šiauliai Diocese ( Šv. Apaštalų Petro ir Pauliaus katedra )
The University of Šiauliai emerged in 1997 from a pedagogical institute . The State College of Šiauliai is a state university. The grammar schools include the Julius Janonis grammar school Šiauliai and the Didždvario grammar school .
The FC Šiauliai was the greatest football club in the city. After relegation from the highest Lithuanian league, the club was dissolved in 2016.
To the south-east of the city is the Šiauliai airport , which is mainly used for military purposes. The NATO Air Policing Baltic mission is stationed here. As a civil airport, it is only used occasionally for refueling.
Šiauliai has twinned cities with
- Frohnleiten ( Austria )
- Setúbal ( Portugal )
- Jastrzębie-Zdrój ( Poland )
- Landsberg am Lech ( Germany )
- Gioia del Colle ( Italy )
- Velká Bystřice (Czech Republic)
The following were born in Šiauliai:
- Weniamin Kagan (1869–1953), Russian mathematician
- Stanislava Jakševičiūtė-Venclauskienė (1874–1958), actress and director, Righteous Among the Nations
- Michael Nassatisin (1876–1931), Jewish wholesaler and philanthropist
- Andrej Andrejew (1887–1967), Russian film architect, draftsman and set designer
- Alexander Abramow-Mirow (1895–1937), Soviet Comintern and secret service functionary
- Fritz Scherwitz (1903–1962), perpetrator of the Holocaust
- Meyer Schapiro (1904–1996), American art historian of Lithuanian-Jewish origin
- Joseph Schalom Elyashiv (1910–2012), Israeli rabbi and Talmud scholar
- Aleksander Gabszewicz (1911–1983), Polish fighter pilot in World War II
- Dov Shilansky (1924–2010), Israeli politician, Speaker of the Knesset from 1988 to 1992
- Alma Adamkienė (* 1927), politician's wife and first lady
- Saulius Sondeckis (1928–2016), conductor, founder of the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
- Leopold Spaeth (1928-2006), German politician (CDU)
- Vytautas Laurušas (* 1930), music teacher and Soviet-Lithuanian politician
- Dainius Trinkūnas (1931–1996), pianist and politician
- Siegfried Akkermann (* 1935), German scientist, doctor and writer
- Virgilijus Noreika (1935–2018), tenor and professor
- Regimantas Adomaitis (born 1937), actor
- Rimvydas Raimondas Survila (* 1939), zoo technician and politician
- Veronika Vitaitė (* 1939), pianist, music teacher and university teacher
- Daiva Kšanienė (* 1943), musicologist
- Rolandas Pavilionis (1944–2006), linguist, philosopher and politician
- Vytautas Steponas Vaičiūnas (* 1944), Roman Catholic priest
- Kęstutis Čilinskas (1946–2011), lawyer and politician
- Neris Germanas (* 1946), diplomat and politician
- Vytautas Čepas (* 1948), psychologist and politician
- Irena Degutienė (* 1949), politician
- Kornelijus Platelis (* 1951), poet and politician
- Egidijus Žironas (* 1954), lawyer, judge
- Zigmas Vaišvila (* 1956), politician
- Roma Žakaitienė (* 1956), lawyer and politician
- Gema Umbrasienė (* 1958), politician
- Šarūnas Birutis (* 1961), politician and entrepreneur
- Laimontas Dinius (* 1962), composer, singer and politician
- Visvaldas Matkevičius (* 1963), politician
- Šarūnas Bartas (* 1964), film director
- Aidas Gedvilas (* 1966), politician and entrepreneur
- Valery Simulik (* 1966), politician
- Raimondas Šukys (* 1966), politician
- Renata Turauskienė (* 1969), chess player
- Evaldas Lementauskas (* 1970), politician
- Povilas Vanagas (* 1970), figure skater
- Haroldas Čyvas (* 1972), volleyball and beach volleyball player
- Arijandas Šliupas (* 1973), manager and politician
- Mindaugas Žukauskas (* 1975), basketball player
- Andrius Šedžius (* 1976), entrepreneur and politician
- Deividas Staponkus (* 1976), opera singer and politician
- Andrius Mazuronis (* 1979), politician and civil engineer
- Indrė Pociūtė-Levickienė (* 1979), lawyer and politician
- Robertas Javtokas (* 1980), basketball player
- Rasa Drazdauskaitė (* 1981), middle and long distance runner
- Severija Janušauskaitė (* 1981), actress, director, composer
- Viktorija Čmilytė (* 1983), chess player
- Olga Jegunova , (* 1984), pianist
- Eglė Balčiūnaitė (* 1988), middle-distance runner
- Deimantė Cornette (* 1989), chess player
- Dovilė Dzindzaletaitė (* 1993), athlete
- Günther Schäfer: Lithuania . Peter Rump, Bielefeld 2009, bl. 386.
- The history of the town of Šiauliai . siauliai.lt - At the beginning of the Second World War , over 5300 people of Jewish faith lived in the city.
- Erich Maschke (Hrsg.): On the history of the German prisoners of war of the Second World War . Ernst and Werner Gieseking, Bielefeld (1962–1977).
- City partnerships: Šiauliai - Lithuania - since 2010. In: plauen.de. Retrieved November 3, 2019 .