Kražiai is a small town in the territory of Kelmė municipality area, along the road Kelmė-Varniai – 16 kilometres to the west of Kelmė. Kražiai was first mentioned in Mindaugas’ document in 1253 as Crase. Kražiai town is situated on both sides of the Kražantė river, and the old part of the town is preserved as the heritage of urban culture. From the earliest times Kražiai monasteries and churches had a special significance not only for Samogitia, but also for the whole Lithuania’s cultural and spiritual life.
The history of Kražiai in the 21st century is formed by traditional Kražiai festival, camps, artists residences and plein-airs. In the summer, various singers, composers, photographers, painters, art lovers and other interesting people come here. Kražiai attracts creative and famous personalities and all those who want to come back to their roots.
Kražiai is one of Lithuania’s small towns, which have a lot of to cherish, enjoy and be proud of. The town boasts a rich history, active cultural life and cultural heritage sites.
THE CULTURAL CENTER OF MOTIEJUS KAZIMIERAS SARBIEVIJUS
The cultural center of Motiejus Kazimieras Sarbievijus in Kražiai is the multi-cultural center, bringing together the cultural center, library, museum, the hall of exhibitions and conferences, tourism information center and the housing sector into a single structure which is located in the restorated former college of Jesuit.
… In 1608, Jesuits came to Kražiai. In 1614, Jonas Karolis Chodkevičius donated 7 villages for the future Kražiai College. In 1615, the owner of Kražiai, Mikalojus Kristupas Radvila Našlaitėlis donated to the Jesuits a residential castle and some land in the town. 22 buildings of various purposes were built in around 4 hectares: monastery-college building (3 corps), church, school, farm buildings, a brick mill, brewery, etc.
Only the south section of the former College ensemble has remained until today. The Jesuit College, founded in 1616, was the most important center of educational and religious life of Samogitia in the 17th-18th centuries. The Jesuit church, which foundations stones remain here until today, was built in 1621-1689, and it was the most ornate church in the whole Samogitia.
After the elimination of the Jesuit order in 1773, the buildings were desolated, as they had many owners. In 2008, the cultural center of Motiejus Kazimieras Sarbievijus was established here.
Cultural center: Monday – Fiday, 8.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Museum: Monday – Friday, 8.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. (September 1 – May 31),
Tuesday – Saturday, 8.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. (June 1 – August 31)