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City municipality
Cathedral of ?iauliai
Flag of ?iauliai
Coat of arms of ?iauliai
Saul?s miestas (The City of the Sun)
?iauliai is located in Lithuania
Location of ?iauliai in Lithuania
?iauliai is located in Europe
?iauliai (Europe)
Coordinates: 55°56?N 23°19?E / 55.933°N 23.317°E / 55.933; 23.317Coordinates: 55°56?N 23°19?E / 55.933°N 23.317°E / 55.933; 23.317
Ethnographic regionSamogitia
County?iauliai County
Municipality?iauliai city municipality
Capital of?iauliai County
?iauliai city municipality
?iauliai district municipality
First mentioned1236
Granted city rights1589
EldershipsMedelynas eldership, R?kyva eldership
 o City municipality81.13 km2 (31.32 sq mi)
151 m (495 ft)
 o City municipality101,511
 o Density1,300/km2 (3,200/sq mi)
 o Metro
141,784including ?iauliai district municipality
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
Postal code
Area code(s)(+370) 41

?iauliai (pronounced [?'l] ; Samogitian: ?iaul?; German: Schaulen, pronounced ['?al?n] ) is the fourth largest city in Lithuania, with a population of 107,086. From 1994 to 2010 it was the capital of ?iauliai County.


?iauliai is referred to by various names in different languages: Samogitian ?iaul?, Latvian Saule (historic) and ?au?i (modern), German (outdated) Schaulen, Polish Szawle, Russian (Shavli - historic) and ? (Shyaulyai - modern), Yiddish (Shavel).


?iauliai church, 19th century
Pedestrian boulevard at night
Venclauskai Palace

The city was first mentioned in written sources as Soule in Livonian Order chronicles describing the Battle of Saule. Thus the city's founding date is now considered to be 22 September 1236, the same date when the battle took place, not far from ?iauliai. At first, it developed as a defence post against the raids by the Teutonic and Livonian Orders. After the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, the raids stopped and ?iauliai started to develop as an agricultural settlement. In 1445, a wooden church was built. It was replaced in 1625 with the brick church which can be seen in the city center today.[1]

?iauliai was granted Magdeburg city rights in the 16th century when it also became an administrative centre of the area. However, in the 16th to 18th centuries the city was devastated by The Deluge and epidemics of the Bubonic plague.[1]

Former ?iauliai Jewish school

The credit for the city's rebirth goes to Antoni Tyzenhaus (1733-1785) who after a violent revolt of peasants of the Crown properties in Northern Lithuania (so-called in Polish: Powstanie Szawelskie, 1769), started the radical economic and urban reforms.[2][3] He decided to rebuild the city according to the Classicism ideas: at first houses were built randomly in a radial shape, but Tyzenhaus decided to build the city in an orderly rectangular grid. ?iauliai grew to become a well-developed city, with several prominent brick buildings.[] In 1791 Stanis?aw August Poniatowski, king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, confirmed once again that ?iauliai's city rights and granted it a coat of arms which depicted a bear, the symbol of Samogitia, the Eye of Providence, and a red bull, the symbol of the Poniatowski family. The modern coat of arms has been modelled after this version.

After the Partitions of Poland, ?iauliai received a new coat of arms. The city grew and became an important educational and cultural centre. Also, infrastructure was rapidly developing: in 1836-1858 a road connecting Riga and Tilsit was built, in 1871 a railroad connecting Liep?ja with Romny was built.[4] ?iauliai, being in a crossroad of important merchant routes, started to develop as an industrial town. Already in 1897, it was the third-largest city in Lithuania with a population of about 16,000. The demographics changed also: 56.4% of the inhabitants were Jewish in 1909. ?iauliai was known for its leather industry. Chaim Frenkel owned the biggest leather factory in the Russian Empire.

World War I and independent Lithuania

?iauliai after the First World War

During World War I, about 85% of the buildings were burned down and the city centre was destroyed.[1] After the war and re-establishment of Lithuania, the importance of ?iauliai grew. Before Klaip?da was attached to Lithuania, the city was second after Kaunas by population size. By 1929 the city centre was rebuilt. Modern utilities were also included: streets were lighted, they had public transportation, telephone and telegraph lines, water supply network and sewer.

The first years of independence were difficult because the industrial city lost its markets in Russia. It needed to find new clients in Western Europe. In 1932 a railroad to Klaip?da was built and it connected the city to the Western markets. In 1938, the city produced about 85% of Lithuania's leather, 60% of footwear, 75% of flax fibre, 35% of candies. Culture also flourished as many new periodicals were printed, new schools and universities opened, a library, theatre, museum, and normal school were opened.

World War II

In 1939, one-fifth of the city's population was Jewish.[5] German soldiers entered ?iauliai on June 26, 1941. The first mass murder of ?iauliai Jews was perpetrated in the Ku?iai forest, about 12 kilometres outside ?iauliai, on June 29, 1941. According to one of the Jewish survivors of ?iauliai, Nesse Godin, some 700 people were shot in nearby woods during the first weeks of occupation after having been forced to dig their own graves. Beginning on July 29, 1941, and continuing throughout the summer, the Germans murdered about 8,000 Jews from ?iauliai and the ?iauliai region in the Ku?iai forest. One hundred twenty-five Jews from Linkuva were also murdered there, along with ethnic Lithuanian and Russian members of the Communist Party and the Communist Youth.[6]

The ?iauliai Ghetto was established in July 1941. There were two Jewish ghetto areas in ?iauliai, one in the Kaukas suburb, and one in Trak?. During World War II, the Jewish population was reduced from 8,000 to 500. Approximately 80% of the buildings were destroyed.[7][8]

Soviet era

?iauliai on January 13, 1991, after the Soviet Army killed peaceful Lithuanians following Lithuania's declaration of independence (March 11, 1990)

The city was largely rebuilt anew in a typical Soviet fashion during the years of subsequent Soviet occupation.


  • 1990-1991 - Kazimieras ?avinis
  • 1991-1995 - Arvydas Salda
  • 1995-2000 - Alfredas Lankauskas
  • 2000-2002 Vida Stasi?nait?
  • 2002-2003 - Vaclovas Volkovas
  • 2003-2007 - Vytautas Ju?kus
  • 2007-2011 - Genadijus Mik?ys
  • 2011-2015 - Justinas Sartauskas
  • 2015-present - Art?ras Visockas


?iauliai located in eastern part of the northern plateau, Ma, Dubysa and Venta River divide. Distance of 210 kilometres (130 miles) to Vilnius, Kaunas - 142 km (88 mi), Klaip?da - 161 km (100 mi), Riga - 128 km (80 mi), Kaliningrad - 250 km (155 mi). The total city area 81.13 square kilometres (31.32 sq mi), from the green areas 18.87 square kilometres (7.29 sq mi), water - 12.78 square kilometres (4.93 sq mi). Urban land outside perimeter of the administrative 70,317 kilometres (43,693 miles).

Altitude: R?kyvos the lake water level - 129.8 m (425.85 ft) above sea level, Talsos lake level - 103.0 m (337.93 ft) in the city center - 128.4 m (421.26 ft), Salduv?s Hill - 149.7 m (491.14 ft) above sea level.


The total water area - 1,280 ha, 15.7% in urban areas.

  • ?iauliai Lakes
    • R?kyva Lake, 1,179 ha
    • Talk?a Lake, 56.2 ha
    • Gink?nai Lake, 16.6 ha
  • Rivers
    • Kulp?
    • R?d?
    • Vijol?
    • ?ved?
    • ?im?a
    • Til
    • ?ventupis


The average temperature in January; -3 °C (27 °F) in July; +18 °C (64 °F). The amount of precipitation in a year - 620 mm (24.4 in).

In 1942, the city recorded the lowest Lithuania year mean temperature (+3.6 °C).

Climate data for ?iauliai (1981-2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 10.5
Average high °C (°F) -0.7
Daily mean °C (°F) -3.0
Average low °C (°F) -7.9
Record low °C (°F) -36.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 41.7
Average precipitation days 11.4 8.9 9.2 7.3 8.7 10.7 10.0 10.2 9.6 10.8 11.1 11.9 119.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 37 65 125 176 263 277 261 243 166 100 42 29 1,784
Source 1: Météo Climat[9]
Source 2: NOAA (extremes and sun)[10]


In 1795, there were 3,700 people living in ?iauliai, rising to 16,128 by 1897, when it was the third-most populous city in Lithuania after Kaunas.[1] The Jewish population of ?iauliai rose steadily through the second half of the nineteenth century, from 2,565 in 1847 to around 7,000 at century's end.[11] By the outbreak of World War I, 12,000 of the town's inhabitants were Jews, making ?iauliai majority Jewish.[11] A particular Jew called Shauli Bar-On had encouraged the Jews of Europe to come to Lithuania because he saw enormous potential for success.[] A battlefield during the Great War, ?iauliai saw thousands of its denizens flee, never to return.[11]

In 1923, ?iauliai population's was third to that of Kaunas and Klaip?da.


Shopping centre Saul?s miestas

Beginning in the 19th century, ?iauliai became an industrial centre. During the Russian Empire period, the city had the largest leather factory in the whole empire, owned by Chaim Frenkel. ?iauliai contributed to around 85% of all leather production in Lithuania, 60% of the footwear industry, 75% of the flax fibre industry, and 35% of the sweets industry.[]

During the Soviet years, the city produced electronics (Nuklonas), mechanical engineering, wood processing, construction industry. Most of the industrial enterprises were concentrated in urban areas.

According to 2005 data,[] the city has:

  • Manufacturing and service companies - 3195
  • Commercial enterprises - 781
  • Shopping centres - 30, including
    • Akropolis, opened March 2009
    • Saul?s Miestas, opened March 2007
    • Bruklinas, opened November 2007
    • Til, opened February 2008
    • Arena, opened November 2007

In 2020, construction of Europe's largest aircraft maintenance and repair centre will begin on the territory of ?iauliai International Airport. The related company will repair Airbus A320, Boeing 737 Classic, Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft and will also provide aircraft administration and parking services. It is planned that the centre will create 1000 new workplaces.[12]


Did?dvaris gymnasium
?iauliai State College
  • 1851 Boys' Gymnasium (now Julius Janonis Gymnasium) was opened
  • 1898 Girls' Gymnasium (now Did?dvaris Gymnasium) was opened
  • 1920 Jewish Gymnasium was opened
  • 1920 ?iauliai Teachers seminary was founded
  • 1928 Primary education became compulsory
  • 1930 Vincas Kudirka primary school was opened
  • 1939 The Institute of trade was moved from Klaip?da, it was the first Higher Education school in ?iauliai
  • 1948 ?iauliai Teachers Institute was founded, in 1954 it became Pedagogical Institute, and since 1996, when the ?iauliai faculty of Kaunas Polytechnic Institute was connected, it is ?iauliai University. In 2021 ?iauliai University was reorganised to Vilnius University ?iauliai Academy.

Students in the city (in 2006):

  • In ?iauliai University - 10,440
  • In ?iauliai College - 2,770
  • In Northern Lithuania College - 700
  • In ?iauliai region College of Management and Languages - 517
  • In ?iauliai Conservatory - 149
  • In ?iauliai Vocational Training Center - 2,663

There are 8 gymnasiums, 7 high schools, 16 secondary schools, 7 primary schools, 9 children's non-formal education schools, 29 kindergartens. 21,000 students studied in general education schools in 2006.


City municipality building

The city park to the creation of Anton Tyzenhaus essentially graduated Vladimir Zubov. The 19th-century park was of a rectangular shape and was similar to English-style freely designed parks. For a small fee, citizens were allowed to walk in the park. In 1931, the Park and Alley chestnut was officially donated to the ?iauliai city municipality.[]

?iauliai has 16 parks, covering an area of 1,177 hectares. Did?dvario province and R?kyvos parks add to the cultural values of the registry.


Trains in ?iauliai Train Station
Public transport buses of ?iauliai
U.S. Air Force F-15C in ?iauliai

?iauliai has always been a major intersection. The famous Saul?s battle took place near a trade route from Riga to Bubiai and Taurag?.In 1836-1858 Riga-Tilsit (Sovetsk) highway was built near it.[] About 1912, first cars appeared on city's streets.[]

Highways passing through ?iauliai :

  • A9 / E272 ?iauliai - Panevys (79 km)
  • A11 / E272 ?iauliai - Palanga (147 km)
  • A12 / E77 Riga - ?iauliai - Sovetsk (186 km).
  • City has is western bypass A18.

In 2006, ?iauliai had 297 km (185 mi) of roads, of which 32% had a gravel surface. The longest streets are Tils street - 9.72 km (6.04 mi) and Vilnius street - 5.67 km (3.52 mi) with 1.28 km (0.80 mi) of it being a pedestrian boulevard.

In 1871, the Liepaja-Romny railway was built. The Til-Riga and ?iauliai-Klaipeda railways were built in 1916 and 1931, respectively. The city has a railway station.

In 1930, an air strip was developed. It was expanded in 1961 during the Soviet period and developed into a large VVS base. It is now a military base for NATO, and home to the ?iauliai International Airport.

The first passenger transport company in ?iauliai was founded in 1940.[] It was Autotrestas, which had 29 buses. In 1944 a motor firm replaced Autotrestas. In 1947 the first taxi company, ?iauliai cars, appeared. Subsequently, to meet the needs of an increasing population, more busses and Taksomotor? Auto?kis were added in 1955. In 2006, a modern bus station with a trade centre was constructed. The city has 27 city routes, the maximum number is 29.


?iauliai of communication in 1897 could be used not only for mail or telegraph, and telephone. Telephone subscribers in 1923 was 170, while in 1937 - 700 rooms. 1936; the city to install a phone machine.[]

1957, a television tower, which are equipped with radio and antenna lines. In 1995 launched the construction of cable television lines, 1998 started to install the cable internet, since 2003 - Optical Internet line. In 2008 the city has 14 post offices (central LT-76001).


?iauliai arena

Since 1924 soccer was played in ?iauliai. By the year 1936 there were 14 soccer teams in the city. Later other sports also started to be played professionally: basketball, handball, rugby, hockey, athletics, cycling, boxing and other sports. On July 25, 2007, in preparation for the 37th European men basketball championship, a modern ?iauliai Arena was opened to the public.

Club Sport League Venue
BC ?iauliai Basketball Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL), Baltic Basketball League (BBL), Eurocup ?iauli? arena
FK ?iauliai Football The A League A Lyga ?iauli? stadionas
ABRO- Saul? Basketball ?iauli? sporto r?mai
RK Vairas Rugby union Lithuanian Rugby Championship Zokni? stadionas
RK Baltrex Rugby union Tal?os stadionas
RK ?iauliai Rugby union Tal?os stadionas
?iauliai central square

Twin towns - sister cities

Iron Fox
Chaim Frenkel Palace (villa)

?iauliai is twinned with:[13]

Notable people

View of ?iauliai
?iauliai Cockerel Love Clock is a popular meeting and dating place

According to the population census of 2001, ethnic Lithuanians comprise 93%, Russians - 5%, and the remaining 2% consist of Ukrainians, Belarusians, Jews, Roma, Latvians, Armenians and other ethnic groups. About 94% of the city's population consider Lithuanian their native language, 5% are Russian speakers and the remainder speak Ukrainian, Belarusian, Latvian, Roma, Armenian etc. About 80% of those older than 20 have a command of the Russian language, while only 17% can speak English and 7% - German.[14]

The list of notable people who were born in ?iauliai:

Significant depictions in popular culture

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "History of the city". ?iauliai. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ Petrauskas, R (2016). Galia ir tradicija. Lietuvos Did?iosios Kunigaik?tyst?s gimini? istorijos. Vilnius: Balt? lank? leidyba. pp. 206-208.
  3. ^ Merkys, Vytautas (1985-1988). "Tyzenhauzas, Antanas". In Jonas Zinkus; et al. (eds.). Taryb? Lietuvos enciklopedija. 4. Vilnius, Lithuania: Vyriausioji enciklopedij? redakcija. p. 324. LCC 86232954. (in Lithuanian)
  4. ^ Cohen-Mushlin, Aliza; Kravtsov, Sergey; Levin, Vladimir; Mick?nait?, Giedr?; ?iau?i?nait?-Verbickien?, Jurgita (2010). Synagogues in Lithuania N-?: A Catalogue. VDA leidykla. ISBN 9786094470042. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ Urieli, Assaf. "Shavl - - ?iauliai, Lithuania". Kehila Links. JewishGen. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ "Mass Murder of the ?iauliai Jews at Ku?iai Forest". Holocaust Atlas of Lithuania. Vilnius, Lithuania: Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum. 2010.
  7. ^ Levin, Dov (2008). "?iauliai". Encyclopaedia Judaica. The Gale Group.
  8. ^ Bubnys, A (2002). The Fate of Jews in ?iauliai and ?iauliai Region" - The ?iauliai Ghetto: Lists of Prisoners 1942. Vilnius.
  9. ^ "Météo Climat stats for Siauliai". Météo Climat. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ "Siauliai Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ a b c Stanislawski, Michael. "?iauliai". The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. YIVO. Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ "?iauliuose i?kils did?iausias Europoje orlaivi? technin?s prie?i?ros ir remonto centras". DELFI (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ "Tarptautiniai ry?iai". siauliai.lt (in Lithuanian). ?iauliai. Retrieved 2021.
  14. ^ "Population by Sex, Age, Nationality and Religion". Official Statistics Portal. Department of Statistics to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. Retrieved 2019.
  15. ^ , (2020). ? (? ?. .) [U?adzimir Ar?ou. The Names of Freedom (The Library of Freedom. century).] (PDF) (in Belarusian) (4-? ., . ed.). / ? - Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. pp. 204-205.
  16. ^ , (2020). ? (? ?. .) [U?adzimir Ar?ou. The Names of Freedom (The Library of Freedom. century).] (PDF) (in Belarusian) (4-? ., . ed.). / ? - Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. pp. 118-119.
  17. ^ "Lithuania (M2TW-K-TC faction)". wiki.totalwar.com. Retrieved 2019.

External links

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