Rokiškis is a city in north-eastern Lithuania with population of about 16,000. Rokiskis town was first mentioned in 1499. At first it was nobleman Kroszinski’s residence, later counts Tyzenhaus build a beautiful neo-gothic church of St. Matthew and a manor estate which is well preserved today and Rokiškis Regional Museum is settled there. The town was planned in a classicism manner.
There are more than 300 immovable cultural values in the region. The landscape is decorated by 27 mounds and barrows, 19 church ensembles, 17 former manor homesteads.
The legend of founding Rokiškis tells about a hunter called Rokas who had been hunting hares (in Lthuanian called “kiškis”). However, cities ending in “-kiškis” are quite popular in the region.
The town started growing rapidly in 1873, after a railway line had been constructed. In 1916–1950, it was a county, from 1950 – a district centre. Situated in Daugavpils-Liepaja railroad, during the 19th Century Rokiškis served as a commercial centre for a large rural area and a point for the export of wood, grain, and flax.
Rokiškis is well-known for its cheese. “Rokiškio sūris” is one of the largest cheese manufacturing companies in Lithuania. It grew from a small local dairy established in 1925. In 1964 Soviets built a specialized factory. At present after reconstructions and foreign capital investments, its sales reach about 155 million USD. 60% of the production is sold in foreign markets. The company is one of the biggest companies in the region. It is also an important supporter of community initiatives.
Rokiskis region is adorned with small hills and lakes. There are 99 lakes, 62 ponds, 42 rivers flow through the region.
Special attention of the many tourists is paid to one of the biggest and the richest museums in the country – Rokiškis regional museum, located in the former Rokiskis manor estate, Rokiskis St. Matthew’s church – the most beautiful neo-gothic ensemble in Lithuania, and Rokiškis Independence square which is between the church and museum.
The rich cultural heritage involves the cultural workers of the region to carry out active work. Quite many regional, republican and international festivals, plain-airs, exhibitions-competitions, take place in Rokiskis. The festival of professional Lithuanian theatres continues for the third decade, and there are no analogous events in Lithuania.
Those who are fans of adrenaline are welcome to international rally called “Samsonas rally Rokiskis”. Professional competitors from 13 countries promise unforgettable moments and good mood!
See a 360º image of Rokiškis by clicking here.