1 (3).jpg3pics-mono.jpg3pics.jpg4pics-color1.jpg4pics-mono.jpg5pics-color1.jpg6pics-color1.jpg

About Utena

Welcome to Utena, one of the oldest cities in Lithuania, which has counted 752 years. It seems not so many. During the passed centuries the face of Utena has been changed by historical events, people and their actions. We can be proud that Utena is famous for its culture, landscape, activity of communities, industry and the fact that it is the city of happy residents.

During the 20 years of independence none industrial company in Utena went bankrupt. The industry giants - companies Utenos mėsa, Utenos pienas, Utenos trikotažas, Utenos brewery have been successfully developing their activities so far. Their products are famous not only in Lithuania the foreigners are willingly tasting or wearing them.


• 66% of food production and processing;

• 34% of textile products, wood products, building materials and hardware products;

• 38% of production is exported.


Green city - a happy city


Utena is located in hollow surrounded by hilly uplands. The city has two lakes Dauniškis and Vyžuonaitis. They are hosting the most beautiful parks in the city: Dauniškis park – the place of recreation and entertainment, Vyžuonaitis park - a future port of peace and walks are developed. City garden, Krašuona river-walks in downtown, Vyžuona Park bring joy to the eyes and the hearts of Utena residents and guests. The bike enthusiasts are not forgotten: there are many bike paths, old streets are reconstructed and new built installing the bicycle lanes. When you start a walk along the shores of the river Krašuona admiring City garden and enjoying space of Vyžuona park, you can cross on foot or by bicycle the entire city from one side to the other. Utena stands out from other towns because in such manufacturing city the new green spaces are in perfect harmony with the industrial areas. This has been achieved successfully using European Union funds.


• Green area consists of 900 hectares (i.e. 30% of the city's territory);

• Landscaped areas cover 375 hectares;

• It is provided 140 hectares for parks.


Protected areas:

2 parks

9 reservations,

20 objects of natural heritage.


Cultural values ​​– source of happiness


In past Utena was a wooden city and burned some times. Lot of objects of cultural heritage didn’t remain. The latter ones are now highly protected. The Utena district municipality takes care of 403 cultural heritage objects - the former manor houses, archaeological and mythological heritage sites - mounds, churches, traditional cross carving wooden monuments (crosses, roofed pillars, shrines) in 2001 added by UNESCO to the human oral and intangible heritage list.


 403 values of cultural heritage:

- former manors,

- mounds

- churches

 traditional cross carving wooden monuments


Archaeological and mythological heritage sites - mounds are processed in promoting cultural tourism. Information boards, stairs, tables, benches are installed and environment is cleaned. The initiative to administer the mounds is shown by individual community members, organizations, schools. Ethno-cultural events are organized in the territory of mounds.

The most notable immovable heritage building having cultural cognitive function after renovation is the old post office of Utena town. The Art School is located in the building. The restoration preserved the historic floor spaces designed for today's school, for science, art and cultural activities. The ensemble of old building has an art gallery, where are organized the exhibitions of artists from Utena land, Lithuania and other countries, as well as educational activities, events and concerts of national heritage.

Another building of cultural heritage is Utena Kristaus žengimo į dangų Church with belfry. The church was built in 1882-1884 in Greek cross plan style. In a number of sacred treasures of art (paintings, chandelier, altar, pulpit, sculpture) the religious festivals and feast are attracting many pilgrims.

Just in different style, modern and contemporary is built Utena Dievo apvaizdos Church. In 2005 it is constructed of red clinker brick. When you enter the church it astounds with greatness, it seems that its height passes through the skylight of the presbytery to the cross on the roof of the church tower.

Both parish communities are especially active. They bring together parishioners to do good works, prepare a variety of charitable campaigns, organize events, especially for children and take care of the sick and the lonely citizens. The communities maintain close ties with collectives of schools and kindergartens, associations of disabled, blind and low vision people.


Utena district is rich in the traditional holidays of family, work, calendar, that are an intangible cultural heritage. Celebrations uphold the traditions of land and pass them to the younger generation. The most popular – in September celebrated city's birthday, which attracts a plenty of foreign visitors and Lithuanians. The year 2013 Lithuania declared as a year of dialects. The dialect of Utena residents - the value of the land, picturesque and melodious, not one literary work is written in this dialect. It is promoted in cultural, educational events and holidays, the tradition of its usage is nurtured, its viability is maintained.

Immaterial cultural heritage is fostered by recently established centre of traditional crafts “Svirnas” (Grange), which carries trainings and dissemination of folk art and traditional crafts projects (restoration of national costume and activities of its promotion, creative workshops, publications, exhibitions), joins the folk artists of Utena district passing the traditions to the younger generation.

Youth Education and Training Centre is the Ceramics Museum of potter Vytautas Valiušis in Leliūnai, which accumulated nearly 1,000 exhibits. There are held the camps and pleners of artists, the young people learn to make pots, familiarize with ceramic manufacturing and decoration.


Clean environment - happy people


In the time of the growth of industry and consumption, it is important properly dispose of the waste. Implementing the EU-funded project in Utena district were closed 18 environmental non-compliant landfills and a modern regional waste dump was established. The new dump of 19.66 ha contains 2 million tons of waste. Closed landfills are recultivated in accordance with the environmental requirements and planted.

• the new dump replaced 18 old landfills;

• to produce the thermal energy is used biofuel, which 30% reduced emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere;

• the efficiency of treatment of wastewater network is 86%.


People of Utena can be proud of the quality of water, that is provided by UAB “Utenos vandenys”, one of the most modern water supply and wastewater management companies in Lithuania. The projects of water supply and sewage networks are successfully implemented in the town and currently are running in rural areas. Thanks to them the inhabitants are improving their living conditions, household is better and the environment is protected.

The renovation of blocks of apartment home gains momentum. Currently Utena has renovated 6 blocks of flats, till 2015 will be renovated more than 24 houses. Renovation was in educational institutions too: in Utena are renovated all gymnasiums, pro-gymnasiums, primary schools and kindergartens.


This autumn in Utena district the heating prices for building residents and the enterprises are the lowest in Lithuania. This is achieved by using the most environmentally friendly fuel - biofuel in Utena heating networks. The Utena district municipality successfully kept the heat sector and was awarded by one of the most important national prise of Lithuanian Association of Local Authorities – “Golden staff”.


Protecting the nature and the environment, where the community lives, encourages the on-going events. It's “Car Free Day”, “Christmas tree for warmth at home”, festival of decorating the tree, exhibition of Christmas bouquets and others. The contests of beautiful homesteads, educational institutions and residential areas are organised. The townspeople are actively contributing to the global voluntary action “Let's do it” in the spring, during which are cleaned the parks, suburbs, pine forests and popular visiting places.

Much attention is given to protected areas. The Utena district municipality has a number of protected areas. These are two parks, 9 reserves, 20 objects of natural heritage.


In Utena district are found the plants and animals listed in the Red Book of Lithuania - 53 species of plants, 40 species of birds, 6 of insects, 10 of amphibians and 7 of reptiles.


Plants and animals protected in Utena district:

53 species of plants,

40 species of birds,

6 species of insects,

10 species of amphibians,

7 species of reptiles.


In 2007 in Utena district municipality, the first in Lithuania, were established the Care home for homeless animals of Utena district. During six years were distributed 2,900 cats and 2,050 dogs for the urban inhabitants. Students and young people are frequent guests in Care home. They not only come to enjoy the four-legged, but also help workers taking care of pets, take dogs for a walk, repair their enclosures, clean and comb cats. Animal shelter also gives the other services: animal capture, collection, transportation, treatment and if it is needed - euthanasia, acceptance and care of wild birds and animals in need.


Happy community


Utena urban infrastructure, environmental and other projects have been implemented primarily in consultation with the community. In many cases, the community was the initiator, which led to the sort of green spaces in the city equipped with parks. An example - Vyžuona park, its trails, walkways, flower beds were not designed in the offices: the authorities of the city listened to what the people say, what they want and what park they see in the future. Now there is one of the finest and most popular parks in the city.

In consultation with the community were a lot of different meetings. Some were held in the premises of the municipal administration, the other in the streets and in the yards of townspeople. Such meetings, project considerations helped not only make the most appropriate solutions, but also mobilize and unite the community.

Preparing to mention the 750 -year anniversary of the city emerged the idea properly commemorate ​​this date. Three options were offered to the community: to install the shining musical fountain in Dauniškis lake, to build a memorial stone or indicator about partner cities. After much deliberation, discussion in the press and meetings the community voted for the fountain. Now in the Dauniškis lake from May to mid-October, the citizens and guests enjoy the playing full-coloured fountain, its water jet rises into the sky up to 15 meters.

In renewed Utenio Square in 2012 sprayed out another fountain with dancing and sparkling colours, in hot summer it has become irreplaceable and one of the most pleasant places of refreshment for the little and big Utena residents.


The local communities are very active. Utena has more than 70 communities. Some are less numerous and still growing, other - more numerous that have emerged ten years ago and have a great experience. The activity of communities are the most diverse related to health, safety, personal development, recreational organisation, environment protection and other relevant issues about quality of life in local community. Community members successfully find and use the money allowed by the Utena district municipality, various international organizations and foundations for implementing the projects.

The unity of community especially reveals in various charity campaigns. Besides the spring action campaign “Let's do it” the members of the community, especially young people actively involved in the initiative “Food Bank”, “Help the sick”, “I was hungry, you fed me”, “ Health to the house”. The community of Utena especially benevolently involve and voluntary aid others and learn together to condole, understand and help.


The various charity events include youth volunteers and coordinate youth activities in several organizations. This is the union of Utena Public Youth Organizations “Round Table” and Utena Youth Council, the president – the mayor of Utena district municipality Alvydas Katinas. “Round Table” is an independent non-governmental voluntary union of youth organizations uniting 19 active organizations of Utena youth and representatives of youth informal groups. The Utena District Municipality Council has funded the implementing of youth activities. In 2013 from the municipal budget were funded 17 youth projects. The educational institutions and youth organizations of Utena district are currently engaged in over 36 projects with the means of EU and the municipal budget. The Utena District Municipality annually is giving ……. for the development of youth projects.


The young people of Utena thinking about their future and willing to try themselves in the business has a helper - Business Information Centre, which activities are related to the development of business spirit among young people, help the recently established companies and communication with foreign businessmen. In this Centre the members of community, who create business, are consulted, trained and given the diverse theoretical and practical help.

Another attraction of youth and aged Utena residents - the new library. After the reconstruction the library was acknowledged as the best of the eight competing teams of architects to implement the projects and aspired to get the award of the Ministry of Environment for the engagement of the community in order to become a modern information centre, library was recognized as representative of Eastern and Central European countries. It has become an integral part of community life in Utena. The eloquent example of this - the young people of Utena declared the library as the best partner of youth organizations in 2012.


One of the models of community engagement in local governance - the establishment of the Institute of elders. In 2012 the local communities of Utena elected their new representatives. The elders working on a voluntary basis are representing the interests of the people – present to the local authorities the views of the eldership residents on some issues, suggestions and proposals about the promotion of living environment in the community. The elder is familiar with the current issues of local population, helps to take care about the objects of local infrastructure and their maintenance, organizes cultural and sporting life of the community and promotes community’s civic engagement, initiative and good neighbourliness.

The free informative publication “Self-government and the community” about the various activities, initiatives and plans for future development of Utena District Municipality is appearing once a month and is publishing in some thousands of copies.


A healthy community - a happy city


The community of Utena goes in for sports. For the purpose that people of Utena would live healthily and move more, the excellent conditions are allowed: the multi- sports centre was built, the city pool opened the door after reconstruction, this year Utenio stadium was opened conforming to international standards, the Rašės hippodrome was completely reconstructed, in the city parks the trails were built not only for walks, but for skateboarders and cyclists during the winter they become ski trails.


Utena District Public Health Office takes care about wellness and health of Utena residents and promotes it. The society of Utena continuously gets new projects, competitions, events, actions. People of Utena with office specialists go sporting, hiking, take part in exercising and learn to live a healthy lifestyle. The care of children and youth health has a priority in the activities of Bureau. For children and young people are often organized the lessons, promotions, contests, quizzes, discussions, debates about health, healthy living, bad habits, etc. These events are involving not only students but also school staff, parents and representatives from other institutions.


Of course the life in Utena does not go on without the troubles and problems. One of the most painful - people consume alcoholic beverages too much and too often and violate the public order, also the young people smoke too much. Dealing with the last sore the the Utena District Council in 2012 decided on no-smoking zones. Since 2013 February 1st in Utenio Square and the Dauniškis park smoking was banned. Utenio Square and the Dauniškis park were declared smoke-free zones.

Meeting the problem of alcohol consumption the Utena district municipality cooperates with the Crisis Centre “Meadow of Angels”, which patronages, takes care and supervises the residents of Utena, who are addicted to alcohol and drugs. The premises are given to Crisis Centre, where are founded the charity dining and Help Centre for needy people. The Crisis Centre in Utena district operates on the principle of volunteering.

The last autumn was opened another social institution - the day centre. Here are educated the families of Utena town that are at social risk, are enhanced their social skills. The social workers, educators, psychologists and doctors are working with them.


By the means of EU Cohesion Promotion Action Programme this autumn in Utena was opened the Utena psychiatric day hospital, in which each individual has the chosen treatment program, psychotherapy sessions, relaxation sessions, movement therapy, developing of social skills, patients have access to computers, sports equipment, listen to music, watching video films.


Following the ideas of lifelong education program in Utena was founded The Third Millennium University TAU. Utena residents, who reached the retirement age, have the opportunity to learn there, to get knowledge about health, culture and art, local history and tourism, to spend leisure time, to maintain efficiency, physical activity and go for sports.

Future plans

The Utena district municipality implemented a strategic planning system, which includes:

  •   Strategic Development Plan (7-year horizon)
  •  strategic business plans (3 years)
  •  annual plans.

This system is based on the general plan of the district.

All of these plans are based on the vision of the city, created by the community and the legal formalization is the signing of the municipal population charter.

The municipal administration in purpose to make sure that the plans and their implementation are in line with the expectations of individuals and organizations frequently organizes meetings with the groups of various interests.

Recently started a new stage in the planning, when not the administration after consultation with the community develops and implements the projects, but the community prepares and implements them. The municipality supports the projects financially (LEADER program).

 Future plans include:

 * Arts Incubator was established;

* Street lighting system modernization with LED technology;

* Integrated arrangement of infrastructure of residential areas.


In Arts incubator the particular attention is paid on attracting the young artists and promotion their creative vitality and the entrepreneurship. In the incubator will be permanently located 17 representatives of the creative industries, which will be provided with premises on concessional terms. There will be established with the studies of arts, music, theatre and cinema - workshops, rehearsal rooms and creative spaces. The short-term residency space – gallery will be equipped, studies of photos, make-up art, modern technology, audio-visual arts, records and other studios.


The Utena district municipality won numerous awards in Lithuania and in the international arena.

In 2012 was received the National Award for the landscape. The parks of Utena have been recognized as the best example of landscape in Lithuania. It is also the Utena district municipality represented Lithuania in 2013-2014 the Competition of Landscape of the Council of Europe.


The Utena district municipality in 2005 got one of the most important awards of Association of Lithuanian Municipalities – “Golden stuff” for nurturing the culture. In 2009 Utena has been rewarded with “Golden stuff” as the best municipality in the EU using its support. This year “Golden stuff”, as mentioned above, was given for the best keeping of heating sector.


In 2013 the mayor of Utena district municipality Alvydas Katinas acknowledged as the best mayor in the country.


The efforts of Utena district municipality to create a city, where is good to live, are showing the results: this year in July and August the Social Project “Barometer of Happiness” found Utena as a happiest city in Lithuania. In September Utena was behind the luckiest city - Vilnius only 0.1 points. It can be argued that the activities selected by Utena municipality meet the expectations of Utena community.

Joomla templates by a4joomla