The old town of Ukmerge

Along with the old towns of the most famous major Lithuanian cities, Ukmerge is the unreasonably forgotten old town that is worth mentioning. It is a well-preserved 19th-20th century an urban monument with characteristic buildings of the time. Although it is believed that the history of the town of Ukmergė dates to the 13th century, the official date of its founding is 1333, when its name was mentioned in H. Vartberges chronicle, mentioning the wooden castle standing on the mound. Fragments of the old city have not survived due to long-running fighting, fires, and other disasters.


The beginnings of the current layout of the Old Town can be traced back to the 15th century, when, with the development of trade, the settlement moved to the right bank of the Vilkmergėlė stream. A new shopping square was formed, which became the beginning of the current Kęstutis Square. A new castle was built on a nearby hill (the current city park), which was destroyed in the 18th century, when the city itself was badly damaged during wars and fires.


The historical part of the city of Ukmergė in the Lithuanian context is distinguished by the fact that natural elements were of decisive importance for the development of the city – the town “split” between the mound, the castle hill, the Šventoji river and the Vilkmergė stream.

The next significant stage of the city’s development dates back to the 19th century, when roads to the largest Lithuanian cities and the old Warsaw-St. Petersburg road were built through the center of Ukmergė. It is this intersection of roads and the environment formed around it that today is considered to be a monument of archaeology and urbanism.

19th century at the end of the 19th century, heavily influenced by the wave of historicism coming from tsarist Russia, the city center was already built with brick buildings in the Neo-Gothic, Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Baroque and Neoclassical styles. The most common here are houses with rear facades facing the street, one storey with mezzanines. Appearance of buildings from the 20th century remained unchanged from the beginning to the present.

Due to the dense construction of the old town and various land movement works, the cultural layer in many places is either destroyed or mixed. However, some cultural layers or historical findings of the XV – XVIII centuries can be discovered from that period. 2002 Ukmergė Old Town was entered in the Register of Immovable Cultural Property.