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Siauliai(shēou`lyī), Ger. Schaulen, Rus. Shavli, city (1993 pop. 147,800), N Lithuania. It is a rail hub and has railroad repair shops. Siauliai is also a major tanning, shoe-manufacturing, and flax-processing center. First known in the 13th cent., Siauliai belonged from 1589 until 1772 to the Polish crown. It passed to Russia in 1795 and to newly independent Lithuania in 1920. Siauliai was the site of a Lithuanian victory over the Livonian Knights in 1236; the German free corps was defeated there in 1919. The city was severely damaged in both World Wars.
(until 1795, Saule; until 1917, Shavli), a city under republic jurisdiction and administrative center of Šiauliai Raion, Lithuanian SSR. A junction of railroad lines to Riga, Vilnius, and Liepāja. Population, 115,000 (Jan. 1, 1977).
Šiauliai has been known since the 15th century. It became a city in 1569. Beginning in 1795, it was part of Russia, and in 1843 it was made a district capital in Kovno Province. It was part of bourgeois Lithuania from 1919 to 1940, when it became part of the Lithuanian SSR and the administrative center of Šiauliai Raion.
In 1236, not far from Šiauliai, Lithuanian troops commanded by Prince Vykintas defeated an army of Teutonic knights at the source of the Dubysa River. During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), the area around the city was the scene of the Šiauliai offensive operation, in the course of which on July 27, 1944, Šiauliai was liberated from the fascist aggressors.
The principal enterprises are the Vairas motor bicycle plant, a machine-tool plant, an experimental electrical design plant, a television plant, a tire-repair plant, and plants for the production of reinforced-concrete structural elements, construction elements, and leather goods. The city also has meat, milk, bread and macaroni, beer-brewing, and home-building combines and factories for the production of leather clothing accessories and nonwoven fabrics. Located in the city are the Verpstas knitted goods factory, the Rüta confectionery production association, the Elnias leather footwear production association, and the Venta furniture production association. The Rekiva State Regional Electric Power Plant and a peat enterprise are located nearby. Heavily damaged during the Great Patriotic War, the city has been rebuilt according to the old grid plan of 1774–83.
Architectural monuments include the Renaissance Church of Sts. Peter and Paul (1595–1625). The city is being developed according to the 1963 general plan (architect K. Bučas). New residential developments have been built (the Druzhba development; architects A. Rätnikas, P. Marengolcas, E. Raupis, and B. Semashka; 1959), and new developments are under construction (Dainiai; architects A. Kuosa and V. Naujèkas; begun 1975). A pedestrian mall (architect V. Taujanskenė) was built in the center of the city in 1976. Notable public buildings include the Palace of Culture (architects A. Rätnikas and I. Cjuta; 1961–71), the Institute of Water Management Planning (architect A. Kuosa; 1966), the parking building (architect A. Rätnikas; 1966), and the building of the planning institute (architect A. Sprindis; 1974). There are several stone and bronze monuments, including the monument to V. I. Lenin (sculptors A. Toleikis and D. Lukoševičius; architect S. Staponkus; 1970), the Victory Monument (sculptor A. Penkov; architect E. Budreika; 1947), the Komsomol monument (sculptors A. Toleikis and D. Lukoševičius; architect S. Staponkus; 1968), and the monument to F. Žemaitis (sculptor D. Lukoševičius; architect V. Gabrjunas, 1976). Šiauliai has a pedagogical institute, an evening department of the Kaunas Polytechnical Institute, a secondary specialized polytechnic, and secondary music and medical schools. It also has a historical-ethnographic museum and a drama theater.
REFERENCESBiliavičius, P. P. Shiauliai. Vilnius, 1974.
Lastas, V. Šiaulių miesto isotrine-geografine apžvalga: LTSR Aukštuju Mokylu mokslo darbai: Istorija, IV. Vilnius, 1963.
Miškinis, A. Centro raidos bruožai, Šiaulių miesto transporto problemos. Vilnius, 1975.