Sinkhole park. After getting to know the history, it’s time to check out the nature. The Sinkhole Park is a unique place in Pasvalys, which has no equivalents not only in Lithuania, but also in the whole world. Geologists calculated that as many as 56 sinkholes had opened here 80 years ago. The field the looked like the cratered surface of the Moon from a bird’s eye view. In the past, this place was called Avižonis pits because the land belonged to farmers Avižoniai. Homes have never been built here nor economic activities have been developed. Today, in the 8-hectare area of the Sinkhole Park, there are more than ten karst collapses of various ages and sizes. The deepest sinkhole is about 6 meters deep. This is the highest concentration of sinkholes in one place, such a phenomenon is only present in the Pasvalys region. Various cultural events are held at the bottom of one of the largest sinkholes with no water, by erecting an amphitheater there. Local residents have long been accustomed phenomenon – sinkholes that are natural to the residents. City guests, especially foreigners, are more afraid of them. Travellers preparing to come to Pasvalys often ask if it is not dangerous here, is it safe to walk around the territory of the park, if it is not fenced and locked. Guests of the sinkhole park often ask if the ground will eat them when they’ll enter it…
Hundreds of exhibits are gathered in the open-air collection: An exposition of 214 millstones, 64 bowl stones, 7 “footed” stones, 2 boundary stones, and mill gears. They were collected by local researcher Antanas Stapulionis over many years. Large and small millstones bring to mind the ancient craft of grinding grain, both in mills and at home. And the bowl-shaped stones are a legacy of the old Balt religion. Balts used them during ceremonies, worshiping their deities. In later centuries, the stones of the pagan period were adapted for farm purposes: rubbing, pressing, house thresholds, foundations, etc. However, their true purpose and use is not forgotten even in our days.
A wooden Orthodox church was built in Pasvalys with treasury funds in 1903. Services were held here intermittently until 1948, when the liturgical items were removed and grain was poured into the building. The status of the prayer house was revoked in 1958. The dilapidated church sadly stood until 1978. Then the Pasvalys brass band club “Dūdorius” set up its premises there. German soldiers were buried in the churchyard during the First World War, but their graves were destroyed during the Soviet era. Later, ethnographic valuables collected from disappearing villages were brought to the church. Some of the roofed poles and wayside shrines are still preserved here today.
It is said that in the late 15th century the Bishop of Vilnius received complaints from the residents of Pasvalys that they were missing out on many graces because they were forced to travel to church far and rarely. Therefore, on 06 December 1497 the Grand Duke Aleksandras of Lithuania issued a privilege allowing the construction of a church in Pasvalys at the confluence of Lėvuo and Svalia rivers. This was the beginning of the history of the city. The current shrine in this place is already the third, built in 1787, and acquired its present appearance in 1887 after two towers and side naves were added.The church was consecrated by Motiejus Valančius, the Bishop of Lowlands, in 1851. The church has features of baroque and historicism. After leaving the church through its gate, you will be greeted by seven sculptures – angels: of Hope, of Life, of Fishermen, of Sorrow, of Humility, for Everyone, and of Speech.
The park was started in 1923 and now covers an area of 70 hectares. Folk artists of our region decorated the park spaces with oak sculptures based on folklore and mythology motifs in 1986-1988. Šilas lake located in the park is interesting because it is of karst origin – merged from several sinkholes and formed by human hands. By the way, it took a lot of effort before it was possible to find and plug the hole through which the water drained somewhere into the dungeons. Various cultural events are held in the park during the summer, sports competitions are held in the stadium. Campsite with cosy cabins awaits tourists.
For almost a hundred years, Pasvalys was a railway town. Passenger and freight wagons rolled along the narrow tracks. In the 1940s, the deportation of the people of the Pasvalys region into exile to Siberia began here. They were taken away in cattle wagons. The tragedy is commemorated by a memorial square. The composition was created by the sculptor Valius Remeika.
Six Lithuanian soldiers who died in the struggle for independence in 1919-1920 are buried in the grave. In honor of the fallen Pasvalys Riflemen built a tombstone – cross of pink granite in 1937. After the beginning of the Revival, in 1988 and later, this place was an emotional hotbed of patriotism. Processions from the church travelled to the cemetery, national holidays were celebrated at the grave, and volunteers gave an oath to the restored state of Lithuania. You will find the soldiers’ grave after a short walk along the main path, on the left side, it is surrounded by a high metal fence. The city of Pasvalys and its surroundings were defended from the Bolsheviks in 1919 by the legendary “death battalion” of the Joniškėlis partisans, which later grew into the 9th infantry regiment of the Lithuanian army. It is the soldiers of this regiment who rest in the cemetery.
The Green Spring is the deepest cave in Lithuania, included in “Factum”, the Lithuanian book of records. Its current depth is about 20 meters, diameter – 5 meters. Deep underground, the cave branches off into two large underground halls called “Sunny” and “Enigma”. The spring is on the left bank of the Lėvuo river. The spring coming out of the cave flows into the river. The green spring erupted around 1960 when a sinkhole opened in the area. The bottom of the spring is green, thus the water looks green as well. Due to its unique chemical composition, the water never freezes, its temperature does not rise above 8 °C at any time of the year. It is said that when the spring was opening, there was a barn in that place, into which water suddenly started flowing one night. People piled stones into the hole to stop it, but they couldn’t close it.
His real name is Albinas Vaitkus. He worked as the head of Pasvalys library in 1941, he made a significant contribution to the creation of the city’s cultural life. A modern exposition is dedicated to his memory in the library. It seems that it reflects the writer’s complicated life path, from his childhood in Gruzdžiai Village, wanderings around Pasvalys during the war years to his activities in exile. The exhibition includes the writer’s authentic books, a desk, a typewriter, a collection of pipes and many other items he used. The exhibition is interactive, games, puzzles, and quizzes are installed in the terminal. Educational sessions are available.
In this place, the paths of book smugglers met, and in a nearby wooden house, authentic book hiding places, made in the walls, are still preserved. The region of Pasvalys was famous for its book smugglers, Jurgis Bielinis, known as the king of book smugglers, visited here many times. As many as eight book smugglers from the Pasvalys region are recorded in the Wall of Book smugglers in the garden of the Vytautas the Great War Museum in Kaunas. The author of the roofed pole is sculptor Arūnas Grušas.
The ophthalmologist began his career in the early 20th century as a military doctor in the Russo-Japanese and WWI wars. He did a lot to make his field in the independent Lithuania a priority. Researched the diagnositics, treatment, and prevention of eye diseases. Under the care of P. Avižonis Eye clinic was opened in Kaunas in 1930. Communicated with well-known Lithuanian public figures of that time. The monument stands on the street named after the professor, next to the Pasvalys Regional Museum. Author – sculptor Algirdas Bosas, funder – Birutė Blaževičienė, daughter of P. Avižonis.
The expatriate poet has finally returned to his hometown after long wanderings and welcomes visitors in the very heart of Pasvalys – at the confluence of rivers Svalia and Lėvuo! B. Brazdžionis is a historical figure who symbolizes the resilience and resistance of Lithuanian culture during the years of occupation by the Soviet Union. It is not for nothing that B. Brazdžionis is called the herald of freedom of the Lithuanian nation. The granite pedestal is like an iron curtain splitting with the sound of the famous “Šaukiu aš tautą!”. It is a gift to the city and culture, which was presented to the citizens of Pasvaly by the native, patron of various cultural and historical projects, Pranas Kiznis PhD. Authors of the monument: Rimantas Dichavičius and Ukrainians Boris Krylov and Oles Sydoruk.
Petras Vileišis – fighter for the freedom of the Lithuanian press, educator, entrepreneur, reviver of Lithuanian spirit, supporter of culture and art, statesman… His birthplace is in the village of Mediniai near Pasvalys. P. Vileišis devoted most of his life to engineering activities – building bridges throughout the Russian Empire. The citizens of Pasvalys paid their respects to their famous countryman. The city gymnasium, which has just moved to the new building, was named after him in 1935. At the same time, a monument was erected nearby, symbolizing P. Vileišis not as an engineer, but as a tireless reviver of Lithuanian spirit. The monument was created by the sculptor Vincas Grybas.
Žygimantas Augustas signed three important historical agreements with the Livonian Order in Pasvalys in 1557, thus making the town on the outskirts of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania famous. The 5-meter-high granite pedestal with a bronze bust of Žygimantas August standing in the center of Pasvalys is the only monument to this ruler in Lithuania. Its construction was initiated and financed by the honorary citizen of the Pasvalys region, businessman. Pranas Kiznis PhD. The monument was created by Ukrainian sculptors Boris Krylov and Olessy Sydoruk, with the assistance of artist Rimantas Dichavičius.
An interactive sculpture of the legendary musician Antanelis stands on the observation deck of the old Lėvuo bridge. Sculpture is not only form, but content as well. When you touch the right hand, Antanėlis (in the voice of Jonas Nainys) tells about the most beautiful places in Pasvalys, when you touch the left hand, Antanėlis, in the voice of actress Olita Dautartaitė, retells his legend. And when you put your palm on the button of the clothes of Antanėlis, you hear a poem by the poet Vladas Braziūnas – read in the Pasvalys dialect about the old bridge of Lėvuo. The sculpture of Antanelis was donated to the city by the team of the Pasvalis Regional Museum.