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Skyline of Varniai
Coat of arms of Varniai
Coat of arms
Varniai is located in Lithuania
Location of Varniai
Coordinates: 55°44′0″N 22°22′0″E / 55.73333°N 22.36667°E / 55.73333; 22.36667
Country  Lithuania
Ethnographic region Samogitia
County Telšiai County
Municipality Telšiai district municipality
Eldership Varniai eldership
Capital of Varniai eldership
First mentioned 1314
Granted city rights 1950
Population (2005)
 • Total 1,310
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+3 (EEST)

Varniai (About this sound pronunciation , Samogitian: Varnē, Polish: Wornie, German: Medeniken), is a city in the Telšiai County, western Lithuania. In the Middle Ages the city was known as Medininkai.

It was established in the 14th century, on the bank of the Varnelė River, near an important Samogitian castle. It was the center of Samogitian Catholic church: after the baptism of Samogitia, the Samogitian Bishop resided in the town. Around 1414–1416 the first church was built, and c. 1464 the first cathedral.

Varniai was the center of Samogitian episcopate until the middle of the 19th century, when authorities of the Russian Empire moved it to Kaunas.

With support of Merkelis Giedraitis, Mikalojus Daukša translated and made ready for publication Katechizmas, the first Lithuanian language book printed in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, then part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

It was also residence of Motiejus Valančius.


Notable residents

External links