The Šiauliai District is situated in the northern part of Lithuania. Its total area is 1807 sq. kilometres and number of population is approximately 51 thousand. The administrative centre is Šiauliai City. The district is divided into 11 district heads (administrative units), 7 towns are in it.
The main and the biggest town of the district is Kuršėnai with the population of 14,9 thousand. It is 25 km far from Šiauliai City and situated on the both sides of the Venta river. There are important railway branch lines forwarding to Vilnius, Klaipėda and Mažeikiai in the town. Its territory is 1192 ha. There are 2 secondary schools, 1 primary school, 1 gymnasium, sport and art schools, 1 polytechnic school and health care centre and hospital in Kuršenai. Kuršėnai is famous for its craftsmen especially in ceramics: J. Paulauskas, V. Damkus, J. Vertelis, B.Radeckas. In 2001 Folk Art Crafts Centre was founded in the former estate building. Ceramic works and items from clay produced by local craftsmen added to the popularity of Kuršėnai. The file factory was opened in 1898, a brick factory a year later. A workshop producing dishware from clay functioned during the year of Independence, a workshop of the ,,Jiesia” ceramics factory was opened in 1964. Clay jugs became the most popular items produced in the city.
The rivers Venta (length of 346 km.), Dubysa (146 km.) and less ones float along the territory of the district. There are 16 lakes, 26 pools here. The fishery farm breeding carps is in Kurtuvėnai. The coasts of lakes and pools are adopted for recreation. Forests occupy almost 32 % of the territory. Besides, there are a lot of forests available for hunting. There is a part of Kurtuvėnai regional park with the administration in the territory of the district. The park is valuable from the scientific and cognitive point of view. Country and ecological tourism is begin developed; here is a stud farm and a riding school in Kurtuvėnai.
The district is crossed by Ryga-Kaliningrad (known as Via-Hansa) and Panevežys-Palanga highways and railroads of Radviliškis-Klaipėda, Radviliškis-Mažeikiai and Ryga-Šiauliai. The roads are in good condition. The main gas line Panevėžys-Klaipėda goes across the territory of the district. The distance from Šiauliai District till the nearest international airport is 130 km in Riga and 220 km in Vilnius. Klaipėda seaport is 150 km from Šiauliai District.
Some industrial enterprises stopped their activities under conditions of market economy. So a possibility to use vacant industrial premises with good infrastructure appeared. One can make a long-termed lease of the land and adopt them to his industrial activity or warehouse.
There are about 1071 operating enterprises in the Šiauliai District. The mostly developed branches of industry and commerce are: wood preparation, wood procession, procession of timber articles, agricultural production, procession of agricultural production, trade of food stuffs and manufactured goods. New farmers start growing of not traditional cultures as berries, rape and mushrooms.
The main parts of district’s enterprises are small and medium ones. There are 14 cooperative enterprises, 27 meat processing enterprises and 88 timber processing enterprises here. The businessmen of the district are united in Association of Businessmen of Šiauliai District.
The Šiauliai District Municipality advantages the expansion of tourism, entertaining, sports and excursions’ services. It is forecasted to stimulate expansion of agricultural products processing industry and local sources of raw materials (clay, sand, peat) using enterprises.
There are more than 470 state protective memorials of culture in the district. The most unique of them is Jurgaičiai (Domantai) mound, known as Hill of Crosses. It is situated on the bank of the river Kulpė, 12 km from Šiauliai City, close to the Šiauliai-Riga road. Pope Jonas-Paulius II visited it on 7th of September, 1993 and blessed Lithuanian people and Christians of Europe. Another very interesting place is Dargaičiai village. More detail description You will find here below.
The rural tourism is developed in Šiauliai District. The farmsteads of A.Jocas, O.Gutkauskienė, N.Kasčiuškienė, J.Gedminienė offer you to have a good time, rent a boat, ride a horse, picnics in the countryside, excursions around environs, ride a bicycles, saunas and etc. Besides mentioned services commercial hunting is offered by Šiauliai State forestry. Accommodation services are in guesthouses of “Meškių guesthouse”, Kurtuvėnai Regional Park and “Brolių svetainė”.
The municipality of the district cooperates with the municipality of Teterow Germany and with the company of the city of Bersenbruck which supplies water. Economical and cultural relations are being developed with French city of Port-sur-Saone. A long-lasting cooperation agreement is signed between Kuršėnai and Almhult municipality of the Swedish Kingdom.
More detailed information about Šiauliai District places to visit, entertainments and services is offered in Šiauliai District Municipality (http:/www.siauliuraj.lt) and Šiauliai Tourism Information Center (phones: 8 41 523110, 521105).