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is a city in the Telšiai County
Telšiai County is one of ten counties in Lithuania. It is in the west of the country, and its capital is Telšiai...
, western Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...
. 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 Samogitia
Samogitia is one of the five ethnographic regions of Lithuania. It is located in northwestern Lithuania. Its largest city is Šiauliai/Šiaulē. The region has a long and distinct cultural history, reflected in the existence of the Samogitian dialect...
n 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 circa 1464 the first cathedral.
Varniai was the center of Samogitian episcopate until the middle of the 19th century, when authorities of the Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...
moved to it Kaunas
Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania and has historically been a leading centre of Lithuanian economic, academic, and cultural life. Kaunas was the biggest city and the center of a powiat in Trakai Voivodeship of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since 1413. During Russian Empire occupation...
With support of Merkelis Giedraitis
Merkelis Giedraitis was Bishop of Samogitia from 1576 to 1609. He actively combated Reformation implementing resolutions of Council of Trent in Samogitia....
, Mikalojus Daukša
Mikalojus Daukša was a Lithuanian and Latin religious writer, translator and a Catholic church official...
translated and made ready for publication Katechizmas
, the first Lithuanian language
Lithuanian is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 170,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they...
book printed in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...
It was also residence of Motiejus Valančius
Motiejus Valančius was a Catholic bishop of Samogitia, historian and one of the best known Lithuanian writers of the 19th century.-Biography:...
Varniai – A Resourceful Renaissance Center of 16th Century Cultural and National Ideology Park of Varniai and history of Varniai Museum of Samogitian episcopate Website of Varniai