Pearl of the Nemunas bends!
The small and cosy Birštonas resort located at the Nemunas River is exclusive notonly to the Kaunas region, but to all of Lithuania. It is the only resort located in the middle ofthe country and is only 40 km south of the city of Kaunas. One of the oldest balneology resortsin Lithuania today, Birštonas offers various treatment packages. The resort history dates backto the 19th century, when they began using local mineral water and moor mud of Birštonasfor the treatment of various illnesses and conditions.Birštonas is famous for the oldest mineral water bottling company in Lithuania, whichbegan operating in 1924 when the drinking of Vytautas and Birutė mineral water was extremelypopular. The first mineral water was bottled in Kaunas, and in the seventh decade, thisindustry was moved to a small plant in Birštonas. However, you can still try a real Vytautas mineralwater at the resort, in the convalescent homes of Tulpė and Versmė.T he importance of mineral springs has been reflected in the coat of arms of the resort,which features a mythological whale with water spraying from his back.Birštonas is also famous as one of the cleanest Lithuanian cities. It does not have any bigindustries or transportation jams. The Nemunas River, encircling the town, has turned it intoa recreation area excellent for the mind and for the relaxation of the soul. In 2006, Birštonas’municipality was awarded a medal of “Auksinės krivūlės laureatas” in the nomination of thecleanest city for successfully dealing with waste disposal, water treatment and other environmentalproblems.
The history of Birštonas, one of the oldest balneology resorts inLithuania, dates back to medieval times. Prussian chronicler VygandasMarburgietis mentions in his New Chronicle of Prussia thatthe marshal Kuhn von Hottenstein in 1382, during his campaignto Lithuania, divided his army into three parts: one for assaultingPunia, one for assaulting Alytus and one for assaulting Birštonas. Inthe beginning of the 19th century, the historical researcher TeodorasNarbutas found in Königsberg archives about 20 descriptionsof crusader intelligence reports in Lithuania during the years 1384-1402, where a farmstead near salty water is called Birsten, Birstan;they also described a well-fortified wooden castle still on a steepshore of the Nemunas River.After the Žalgiris battle (Battle of Grunwald), when the crusaders’incursions ceased, Birštonas is mentioned as a hunting estate ofthe Lithuanian Grand Dukes, highly favoured by Vytautas the Great,Kazimieras Jogailaitis and sons, and Duchess Elena.The beginning of the establishment of the Birštonas resort coincidedwith the year 1846 when the doctor of the Stakliškės resort,Benediktas Balinskis, became interested in the Birštonas springswhen he sent a patient (who hadn’t been healed by the Stakliškėshealing springs) there. The patient was healed at Birštonas. Afterlengthy investigations and bureaucracy procedures, at the end of1854, the Russian Minister of the Interior gave permission for theBirštonas resort to be established. The first treatment facility wasbuilt already the next year, and in the sixth decade of the 19thcentury, Birštonas, as a balneology resort, was already well-knownthroughout the entire Russian empire.During the First World War, Birštonas was significantly destroyed andthe remaining buildings were sold out. The only resort of independentLithuania (Druskininkai was occupied by Poland at that time)faced the threat of complete deterioration, but the Lithuanian RedCross took an interest in it and in 1924, signed an agreement with theHealth Department and undertook the modernisation of the resortfollowed by the establishment of the mud baths, water supply, sewage,and electricity. The most significant event in the history of resortswas the beginning of mud treatments in Birštonas. Peat for thetreatment was supplied from the Druskupis rivulet, and later from theVelniabliūdis peat field. Mud treatment facilities were decorated withthe Red Cross emblem, were built in 1927 and are still functioning.With efforts from the Board of the Red Cross, they cleaned the parkand equipped the fountain and reservoirs with fresh and mineralwater on Vytautas hill. All of the hotels in the resort were equippedwith a water supply, sewerage and electricity. They organised shuttlebuses from Kaunas and Alytus. Villas and convalescent homeswere being built in Birštonas and the town was becoming increasinglybeautiful. They equipped the central city square, where in1939 a monument to J. Basanavičius was unveiled. The memory ofthe patriarch was eternalised and funded from public donations.In the sixth decade, the construction of new sanatorium complexesbegan. Sanatoriums “Tulpė”, “Spalis” and “Versmė” welcomedtheir visitors.
The Great Nemunas Loops regional park, Škėvonys exposure, Konglomeratasrock “Ožkų Pečius”, Birštonas mound, also called the VytautasHill, pump rooms, mud treatment facilities, the Church of St.Anthony of Padua, the Church of St. Peter and Paul in Nemajūnai,Birštonas Museum, Sacral Museum, Museum of Culinary Heritage.
Natural treatment factors and theirmain composition
Mineral water in Birštonas is used both for drinking and at treatmentbaths. They use Versmė mineral water of average mineralizationcontaining chloride, sodium, potassium, calcium, and Vaidilutėhigh mineralization mineral water containing bromides, chlorideswith mineralization varying from 5 to 35 g/l. Mineral water from theVaidilutė spring is specific of a significant amount of bromide. Patientswith digestive tract disorders can use Vytautas mineral waterwith 6.5-8 g/l mineralization.Curative peat of the resort is valuable as well. Applications of thispeat are used for the treatment of various inflammatory and degenerativediseases. Applications have a positive effect on peripheralblood circulation and the nutrition of tissues, facilitate thetreatment of chronic inflammatory illnesses, and desensitise theorganism; therefore applications of curative peat are widely usedin the treatment of joint pain, gynaecological problems, peripheralnervous system ailments, and other illnesses.
Endocrinological, neurological, traumatological-orthopaedic, gastrological,gastro-enterological, nephrological, blood circulation,respiratory, digestive, joint, gynaecological, psychosomatic, renal illnesses;nervous stress, muscoskeletal system, oncological disorders;intellectual, emotional and physical fatigue, illness resulting fromionising radiation effects.Types of procedures and SPAsPhysiotherapy, kinesitherapy, psychotherapy, mechanotherapy,reflexotherapy, halotherapy, treatment massage, treatment bathsand showers, moor mud and other procedures.Procedures for body, face, hands and legs, wrappings, massageswith fragrant oils, bathhouses, pools with according procedures.
Active leisure services and otherentertainment
flight on air balloons, gliders and planes, parachuting;Aviation Sports Club of Kaunas district.Mototourism: 37 km route Birštonas-Puzonys-Matiešionys-Nemajūnai-Birštonas.
15 km Žvėrinčius forest path; bicycle rental.Pedestrian paths: 1.6 km Škėvonys cognitive track of nature; 1.5km Velniabliūdis cognitive track of nature.Water tourism: trips along the Nemunas river in Vandenis yacht,Viking ships, sail and row boats, kayaks, canoeing, Vytenis entertainmentship, Versmė ferry, Luxuria RA entertainment ship catamaran,Bayliner high-speed ship, canoeing routes along the Verknė river;canoe rentals.
Mountain skiing routes at the Vytautas mound. There aretwo routes with elevators and artificial snow cover: “the red,” 160 mlength, and “the blue” of 300 m length. The height of the routes is40 m. There is a sledge hill for children. The routes are illuminatedduring the dark time of the day.