Šiauliai, Lithuania

Our Baltic Sister City.

Šiauliai is located in northern Lithuania – near the geographic center of Europe.  The city is Omaha’s third Sister City as of May 17th, 1996.

Population

Šiauliai’s population is approximately 130,000.

Area

The city covers 81.1 square kilometers. Lithuania is bordered by Latvia to the North, Belarus to the East and South, Poland to the South, and the Baltic Sea and Russia (the Kaliningrad Oblast) to the West.

Location

Šiauliai is an important transit and commercial hub. The city is located on the Berlin-Kaliningrad-St. Petersburg highway (Via Baltica).  Šiauliai is also connected by direct rail to the sea with five ice-free Baltic sea ports (Kaliningrad, Klaipėda, Liepaja, Ventspils, and Riga) nearby. The largest former military airbase in Eastern Europe is also located in Šiauliai; this airport is large enough for a space shuttle to land there. Šiauliai is some 117 miles (188 kilometers) from Vilnius – the Lithuanian capital, and 76 miles (123 kilometers) from Riga – the Latvian capital

For more information about Lithuania, watch this video.

History

Šiauliai is Lithuania’s fourth largest city, both in area and inhabitants, and is informally referred to as the capital of northern Lithuania. Despite its contemporary appearance, Šiauliai is also one of Lithuania’s oldest cities, first mentioned in historical documents in 1524. An important milestone in its history is ‘Saulės Mūšis’  (the Battle of the Sun) in 1236, in which Lithuanian forces decisively defeated an invasion by the Livonian Order from Latvian territory. The city’s fate has been much influenced by its geographic situation and location. On one hand its situation makes it a natural transportation hub. For example, the Zokniai airfield on the outskirts of Šiauliai, which became the largest military airbase in the former Soviet Union, now serves as a Lithuanian military and NATO airbase, as well as a major air cargo hub. Conversely, ideal central location has placed Šiauliai at crossroads of military campaigns throughout its history. Indeed, most of the old city’s architectural treasures were destroyed during World War II air bombing campaigns.

Exchanges

Since 1996 on-going exchanges have been initiated between Šiauliai University students and both the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Creighton University. These exchanges involve both students and faculty, as well as musical, choral and folk dance ensembles.

Top Businesses

D. Beconio IĮ
Construction firm produces wide range of timber products
AB “Neaustinių medžiagų fabrikas”
Mattresses, upholstered furniture, plastic injection moulded products, home
UAB SALDA
European leader in production of ventilation equipment, heat pumps, heaters and coolers, controllers
BIGSO, UAB
Swedish capital company producing products of paper laminate, laminated canvas, recycled
ROL/STATGA and ERGO
Leader of Baltic metal pipe processing services and special-purpose furniture
UAB “Putokšnis”
Leading manufacturer of PET pre-forms and PET bottles
Rūta, UAB
Product with fillings including: nuts, caramels, truffles, dragée, creams, fruits, jellies
AB GUBERNIJA
Brewery/beer
Baltik Vairas Lithuania
Largest bicycle & e-bikes manufacturer in Northern Europe
JSC “Kalvis”
Metal processing, custom industrial equipment, metal products processing

Did you know?

Šiauliai was mentioned in 1236 in historical chronicles for the first time. The City of Sun is situated in Lithuania at the junction of two roads used by hunters, warriors and merchants in times much older than the city itself and near the geographic center of Europe. These roads now connect Talinn and Warsaw, and run west to the seaport of Klaipeda and east to Russia through Latvia. The fourth largest city in Lithuania, it is considered one of the main cities of modern development. Šiauliai has a modern sports arena, an airport, usually used for military purposes, and is planning to have a well-developed industry park.

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