The Prienai region is located in the South of Lithuania. The natural environment is the greatest treasure in the region, which is why the greater part of the territory belongs to the Nemunas Bends Regional Park, the aim of which is to preserve scenic valleys, fascinating loops of the river and the surrounding forests.
The northern side of the region borders to the Kaunas and Kaišiadorys regions; in the east to the Trakai and Birštonas municipalities; the Alytus region is on the south and the western side borders to Marijampolė region.
The Prienai region covers 1141 square kilometers and has a population of 34522 inhabitants. The Prienai region is divided into 10 rural government units – Neighborhoods.
The town of Prienai (with population of 11072 inhabitants) covers both sides of the Nemunas River. The greater part of the town stretches along the left bank and the smaller one lies on the right bank. Prienai is at the juncture of very important routes connecting the two mayor towns of Lithuania: Vilnius (100 km.) and Kaunas (30km.)
Historical records do show Prienai and its surrounding land being mentioned as long ago as the Great Kingdom of Lithuania (the 14th century). Royal estates near Prienai, built along the banks of the Nemunas, guaranteed favorable conditions for trade while allowing a defensive position. This was important because Prienai’s centralized location saw many bands of intruders march through the area causing destructions to home and lives. Swedish army, French soldiers, Russian and German armies marched and fought in Prienai region through different centuries. In 1791 Prienai town was granted municipal rights, a coat of arms and a seal. There are numerous historical monuments in the region; mounds, burial sites, churches and artistic monuments.
Industry in Prienai started at the end of the 18th century after the paper factory was opened. The factory building still stands today. For a long time Prienai used to be famous for its beer, but during the World War II the brewery was destroyed.
The first Catholic Church in Prienai was built around 1609. The present wooden church built in 1850, expanded in 1875, adding to an already beautiful building.
In the 1918 priest F. Martišius founded „Žiburys“gymnasium, a school specializing in Lithuanian studies of humanities and science. The gymnasium closed during the beginning of W.W.II and reopened in 1995.
The year of independence saw the growth in the Prienai region establishing many factories, producing everything from tomb-stones, cooking oil and felt boots to the best brewed beer in Lithuania at the time. Public and private libraries were opened and banks began to operate.
At the beginning of the first Soviet occupation in Lithuania, Prienai resistance groups were very active. In memory of these people, who died during the fight for Lithuanian independence, monuments stand in Laisvės square, on the grounds of „Žiburys“ gymnasium and near the Prienai Pine forest.