With Tim away in Leeds this week, I decided to head back home to Šilutė and get some well needed rest, catch-up with some friends and of course spend some time with my parents. It’s been almost 2 months since I’ve been home (time flies right?) and being back is always special, for myself I love the tranquillity of Šilutė its uniqueness and of course the nature. Tim wrote about just how beautiful it is here the last time we were in Šilutė in the autumn, you can read about it here.
I figured it was about time I wrote something about my lovely homeland and after thinking about it for a couple days I thought I would dedicate this post to a gorgeous little place called Ventės ragas or in English Ventė Cape sometimes also called Ventė Horn. Call it what you want it’s well worth the visit, located roughly 25 kilometres from Šilutė, it forms a headland in Nemunas Delta and it is ridiculously picturesque.
Growing up so nearby I have some particularly warm memories about this place, and I have probably visited it at least a million times over the years. There is no doubt about it that Ventės ragas is one of the gems of my region and most people who come to visit my family Tim included, have all been quickly whisked away for little sightseeing and a walk around to see some of this place’s amazing landscape.
A few things that cross my mind about Ventės ragas:
- No doubly the amazing bird life and the gorgeous old looking lighthouse.
- One of the first and oldest bird ringing stations in Europe.
- Its Territory was once part of Memel and was part of Germany up until 1919.
- There once was a castle here, called Windenburg but sadly it no longer exists.
Ventės ragas all things birds:
Ventės ragas is a rest place for many species of birds during their migration as well as a bird ringing station. This ornithological station was established in 1929 by very famous and popular Lithuanian professor called Tadas Ivanauskas. The birds that have been ringed, some of which have been caught as far afield as South Africa! (That’s almost 9544 km) Tim and I often argue over whether the Stork is in fact from South Africa or Lithuania. :D (It’s obvious to everyone – that storks are in fact Lithuanian… just saying sorry Tim :D). Ventės ragas is also home to a fantastic and interesting museum which aims to educate and teach everyone about the history of the area and of course birds, bird species, migration and bird ringing. Well worth a visit for those who find that sort of stuff interesting.
Ventės ragas Light House:
The lighthouse in Ventės ragas is particularly beautiful and like I mentioned pretty old (And my favourite). A fun fact and one that I myself didn’t know is that there are a total of seven lighthouses in Lithuania and this one, the oldest of the lot! It was built in 1863 and it is 11 metres high. Although sadly it is no longer in use you can still climb to the top and enjoy a view of the surrounding area.
Some other facts about Ventės ragas:
To be honest with you after researching a little of the history of Ventės ragas and the surrounding area I’m a little embarrassed to say that I didn’t know it had such an interesting history, it starts with the building of Windenburg castle and a nearby church built around 1360 by the Teutonic order. However I’m sad to say that there are no remnants left as they were both destroyed by heavy storms. Castle somehow sank in to water and what was left of the church was moved to neighbouring district of Kintai and rebuilt as a new church. The new church still stands today and is an architectural monument, protected by the Lithuanian government.
I truly hope that one day you will not only visit Šilutė but pay a visit to Ventės ragas. If you do or if you’ve ever been please get in touch and let us know what you think or thought of it. Thank you so very much for reading! If you have any ideas or anything you would like to share in future podcasts or blog posts, don’t be shy and contact us :)