True Lithuania

Šiauliai Outer Districts

Gubernija district to the north is Šiauliai oldest addition. Its namesake brewery is the oldest industrial one in Lithuania (est. 1665) but its territory is closed to visitors (Gubernija beer may be tasted anywhere in Šiauliai or indeed Lithuania however).

Entire northern Šiauliai is low-rise and includes both older homes and the "modern palaces" of 1990s nouveau-riche. Architecturally unappealing (built with only the size in mind), these buildings nevertheless represent an era.

Tilžė, another one of the great malls of Šiauliai, is in Tilžės street that traverses Gubernija north to south.

Žaliūkiai is a similar district south of the railroad that limits Downtown. Žaliūkiai windmill is a reconstructed mill there which now serves as a museum representing the life of a mill-owner (it lacks any descriptions though).

Žaliūkiai windmill, a calm spot inside a city. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Soviets expanded Šiauliai southwards. The areas immediate south of the railroad, as well as Žaliūkės, were left for industrial development. Some factories have since folded and one of them was redeveloped into Bruklinas outlet mall (~35 000 sq. m).

The bulk of city dwellers (~65 000) now lives at compact yet dense concrete slab boroughs of Lieporiai and Dainiai 5 km southwest of downtown. The residentials were completed in 1970s-1980s but main public buildings were constructed only after independence. Expressionistic Immaculate Conception church (2009) now serves the local parish, its form aimed to symbolize hands in prayer pose. Two large malls next to each other (Akropolis and Arena) are the neighborhoods' commercial heart. Akropolis (40 000 sq. m) is by far the bigger one and has a casino, ice rink, and a cinema. Šiauliai arena (5500 seats) is home to the local major league basketball team and attracts people from all over the region to the concerts it hosts.

Modern Immaculate conception church brought spirituality to the Soviet districts that were meant to lack one. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

East of downtown on the eastern bank of Lake Talkša there is an extensive Salduvė park and beyond it the Salduvė hillfort with its fortifications no longer existent.

Zokniai airport southeast of the center is a major NATO airbase that safeguards entire Baltic States airspace from intrusions (most serious airspace breaches are typically done by the Russian air force). It has two runways and its 3500 m runway is the longest in the Baltics.

Lake Rėkyva south of Šiauliai is the largest wetland lake in Lithuania and it has no natural rivers feeding nor draining it.

Map of Šiauliai outer districts (Gubernija, Žaliūkiai, Lieporiai, Dainiai). ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

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