SIAULIAI

Šiauliai is the fourth largest city in Lithuania, with a population of 133,900. It is the capital of Šiauliai County. Unofficially, the city is the capital of Northern Lithuania.

The city was first mentioned in written sources as Soule in Livonian Order chronicles describing the battle of Saule. Thus the city's founding date is now considered to be September 22, 1236, the same date when the battle took place, not far from Šiauliai. At first it developed as a defense post against the raids by the Teutonic and Livonian Orders. After the battle of Grunwald in 1410, the raids stopped and Šiauliai started to develop as an agricultural settlement. In 1445, a wooden church was built. It was replaced in 1634 with the brick church which can be seen in the city center today.

Šiauliai was granted Magdeburg city rights in 1589. In the 16th century it became an administrative center of the area. However, in the 17th and 18th centuries the city was devastated by The Deluge and epidemics of the Bubonic plague.

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