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The exeptional value

Gražutė Regional Park has an especially diverse and complex landscape, but probably the most remarkable feature of the park is the Antalieptė Reservoir of unbelievable beauty with its various bays, peninsulas and necks of land. The impressive Šventas clear water lake, which has no means of drainage, is the biggest natural barometer in Lithuania and is the only lake where alternate water-milfoil is found. Šavaša is reminiscent of a mountain river. There is a wide variety of fauna and flora in places almost untouched by human beings. Salakas may be proud of the country’s highest church (72m) made from natural Lithuanian field ashlars.

Landscape. Gražutė Regional Park is situated in a part of Lithuania covered with lakes. The landscape, dominated by large hills, makes the visitor stop for a moment and wonder whether the park is truly in Lithuania. The park is adorned by what is probably the most beautiful expanse of blue water in Lithuania – Antalieptė Reservoir. No other lake has so many bays, various necks, peninsulas and islands. This is not surprising, as the Reservoir was formed after damming the upper reaches of the Šventoji, which earlier had a great variety of lakes. Therefore all that was necessary was to recreate and highlight their features.
Inanimate nature. The Regional Park comprises more than 70 lakes: from the very small to the sixth biggest lake in Lithuania – Luodis. The upper reaches of the Šventoji are characterized by a beautiful group of lakes, but the most wonderful is Šventas – the largest Lithuanian lake with no means of drainage, unique in its long-term water-level fluctuations that form a natural barometer, and its sandy beaches. Its crystal clear water offers the opportunity to observe underwater life. The left tributary of the Šventoji – Šavaša River, which flows through high banks due to blockages of stones and natural debris from fallen trees, drops 8-11 metres for every kilometre, like a true mountain river. The hollowed-out Lūžai Stone marks the site in its deep valley where pagan Lithuanians held sacred rites in the 13th – 18th century.
Animate nature. There is a great variety of fauna and flora in places that remain almost untouched by human beings. The lake Šventas sandbank is the only place in Lithuania where the plant alternate water-milfoil is found. This region of lakes creates ideal living conditions for various species of dragonflies, thus it is not surprising that such rare species as the Lesser Emperor Dragonfly, Pygmy Damselfly, Lilypad Whiteface, etc. have been found in the park.
Cultural heritage. Only a few towns in Lithuania can be proud of a church as magnificent as Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Sorrows in Old Salakas. It is the country’s highest church (72m) built from natural Lithuanian field ashlars. Also Gražutė Regional Park has a centuries-old cultural heritage that can be classified into the following groups:
• Hillforts;
• Altar mounds;
• Mythological stones;
• Barrows;
• Old Cemetery;
• Graves;
• Memorial monuments and places;
• Cross-heritage;
• Architectural structures and their complexes;
• Technical heritage;
• Heritage of Sacred Art.
Exclusive phenomena, living traditions, historical facts, personalities. The Sea Museum, which is probably the furthest museum from the ocean, features a unique collection of sea animals, colourful corals, souvenirs and fossils, collected over almost 50 years by the schoolteacher V. Žilinskienė, and is open in the Regional Park Visitor Centre. In 2001, the monastery of the fraternity of catholic monks – Community of Tiberiade – was founded in Baltriškės.