Panevėžys is a city in Lithuania. It is the fifth-biggest city in Lithuania with population of 96,328, situated at the crossroad of several important roads and is unofficial capital of Aukštaitija region.
Panevėžys literally means "Along Nevėžis River". It is an important industrial city and cultural centre of Aukštaitija region.
It is supposed that Vytautas the Great, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, came across an old pagan temple here on his way back from Samogitia to Vilnius on 1414. It was "Along Nevėžis River", and it became an impact that led to the further development of the settlement. In written sources Panevėžys was first mentioned in 7 Sep 1503 by the Grand Duke of Lithuania Alexander Jagiellon, who is considered the founder of the city. Panevėžys maintained a status of a Royal town until the end of 18th century and almost became a proper city in 1792, however didn't manage to get the municipal privileges: Lithuania was swallowed by Russian Empire.
After numerous fights for independence that continued here until 1864, the first factories were established; industrialization, along with banking, commerce and improved educational system, intensified the city growth. By the beginning of 20th century it became the fourth most important city in Lithuania.
After WWII, under the soviet rule the natural process of the city's evolution was disrupted: it was transformed into a major industrial center, at the same time almost destroying the old town in accordance with "industrialization policy" conducted by Comunist Party. Citizens managed to stop the destruction and preserve the central district with its urban layout, however ignorant attempts to completely change the city look still can be seen.
Recently the city is trying to maintain the best that it has: its urban landscape with a beautifully restored historical, administrative and cultural centre, the cathedral and churches, small wooden houses interestingly compatible with the taller brick buildings, the main green square and cosy groves here and there, a popular shopping and entertainment complexes, banks, modern cafes and small suburban markets - everything is within reach, no crowds, no parking congestion. When strangers from abroad cross almost the entire town and ask, 'so when will we reach the city?', locals thank for the compliment.
Panevėžys has no commercial airport of it's own, but has three international airports within the 150 km radius - Vilnius International Airport (VNO) to the south-east, Kaunas International Airport (KUN) to the south and Riga International Airport (RIX) in Latvia to the north. Those airports serve number of destinations in Europe and beyond.
There is a regular 3rd class train running from Šiauliai to Panevėžys on workdays and up to Rokiškis through Panevežys on weekends.
Panevėžys is easily accesible by international road Via Baltica connecting Warsaw, to Riga and Tallinn that crosses Kaunas in Lithuania. There are about 130km from Kaunas and 153km from Riga (Latvian capital) to Panevėžys by Via Baltica. From capital Vilnius reachable by the A2 motorway, distance 137km.
Panevėžys is at one of the main intersections of Lithuanian roads, a lot of buses are going to and from it, as well as stopping enroute.
As the city name identifies it, it is a city on Nevėžis River, however the river is used only for recreational purposes and not for water transport.
In the district
The Panevėžys (both town and the district) phone code is 45 and the six digit local subscriber number.