As you move deeper into the territory of the district, behind Paštuva Botanical Reserve the regional road, that meandered nearby within a respectful distance from the river Nemunas, dives down steeply. Blue waters of the river show up on the left side, and on the right side larger and smaller houses are climbing to a humpy high hill.
This is Vilkija. The old settlement of our ancestors. And the name Vilkija, that derives from wolves that once raged in the areas near the river Nemunas, is very old. The undistorted name was for the first time mentioned in 1426 in the letters of Vytautas the Great to the Master of the Teutonic Order. At the time, there was the manor of the Grand Duke was in Vilkija neighbourhoods.
Like in case of many other settlements of that time, that were located by the river Nemunas, the defensive castle gave start to Vilkija. It is believed to have been in the present Jaučakiai Mound. Like Kaunas, Paštuva and Veliuona it had to withstand many attacks of the Teutonic Order.
The manor and customs are two incentives for rapid growth of Vilkija in the 15th century. The manor promoted the public life, and the customs, that is mentioned in 1450, promoted economic breakthrough. “It was the only and the most important trade route between the Prussians and Lithuania”, - wrote Z. Ivinskis.
Vilkija flourished even more in the 16th century. It already has the tile of city with its own Coat of Arms and Magdeburg rights.
28 March 1863 gained a forever place in the dramatic history of Vilkija. On that early spring day, the rebels attacked and defeated the first company of the Tsar's Guard Battalion. But disasters of that time - wars and plague, fires and epidemics - have significantly decimated Vilkija.
Today Vilkija is a town with a unique urban structure. Even though Vilkija is the old city, it has no buildings of exceptional architecture.
Specialists believe that the entirety of all structures in the town, which is very well incorporated into the interesting terrain of the area, is valuable.
The left bank of the river Nemunas overlooks the unparalleled cityscape. And the meanders of the quiet river Nemunas can be admired from the churchyard.
Currently, Vilkija has the population of more than 2,200 people. The establishments that operate in Vilkija: Gymnasium, Agriculture School, nursery, library, post office, police station, fire station, hospice.
The ethnographic museum of the legendary personalities - Antanas Juška and Jonas Juška - invites the visitors and opens the pages of history.