Soleczniki – Lithuania

The act of Partnership was signed: 5.05.2006 r.

The first contacts were established in the field of education by Krystyna Semba and Henryk Witkowski, and then strengthened during the meeting between Waldy Dzikowski, who was a Commune Head back then, and the Head of the Department of Education in the City Office of Soleczniki – Antoni Jankowski. Then the cooperation began to expand and strengthen – for many years, children from our Commune went on holiday to Soleczniki. It was also a time of very strong material help for Polish schools in the Region – not only from our local authorities but also from entrepreneurs from our Commune, who donated building materials and cleaning supplies, books and school equipment.

The partnership agreement with the Region of Soleczniki was signed on May 5, 2006 by the Commune Head – Kazimierz Marchlewski and Mayor Leonard Talmont. However, it was the culture that has brought us together the most. The calendar of concerts and performances shows how close is this cooperation – it is sufficient to mention only the events from the recent years. The “Ejszyszczanie” and “Solczanie” bands performed during the communal celebrations of the Kaziuko fair. In October 2015, the Orchestra of the School of Fine Arts named after Stanisław Moniuszko in Soleczniki, took part in the 5th European Meeting of Orchestras in Tarnowo Podgórne. Our “Lusowiacy” band performed in Jaszuny during the communal harvest festival in 2013, while the delegation from Jaszuny in 2015 participated in the 7th Citizen’s of Jankowice Congress, giving this event an international character. Our audience was also visited by the listeners of the University of the Third Age in Soleczniki, participating in the athletic meeting for seniors of the Tarnowo Podgórne commune.

The joint exhibition of the Oratorio of Divine Mercy is considered to be one of the biggest cultural undertakings – during the cooperation, the project brought together, among others, members of the Singing Club named after F. Nowowiejski, students of our Local School of Music, “Il canto” Choir from Soleczniki, Choir of the Music School in Ejszyszki, instrumentalists of the School of Fine Arts named after Stanisław Moniuszko in Soleczniki. The premiere took place in August 2013 in the region of Soleczniki (in Ejszyszki), and it was later presented, among others, in our Commune (during Lusowskie Music Meetings).

Partnership cooperation also consists of a systematic help for those in need from the Region of Soleczniki, coordinated by Wojciech Janczewski, president of the “Dar Serc” Association (Gift of Hearts Association) and the vice-president of the commune council and Edward Sobański. Starting from the year 2000, during Easter and Christmas, and often during the year, transports are organized with gifts for the Polish Children’s Home, Polish educational institutions and Caritas.

It is worth stopping for a little longer in Soleczniki in order to spend some time and listen to our common history, and to see interesting monuments and places associated with Adam Mickiewicz. Due to its location (40 km from Vilnius), the place is a

starting point for trips to the Lithuanian capital. Adam Mickiewicz was associated with this region, because he observed the Dziady rite at the cemetery in Soleczniki on November 2, 1821, and later on described it in his drama. The monument of Adam Mickiewicz stands on the most important square in Soleczniki. There is an interesting history related to the Baliński Palace in Jaszuny, which was renewed in 2015. You can look at the Republic of Pawłowo – in the eighteenth century father Paweł Ksawery Brzostowski abolished serfdom in his estates and parcelled the land between peasants (the republic had its own constitution, coat of arms, money, parliament, school, etc.). The Region of Soleczniki is also associated with forests – the Rudnicka Forest is the largest forest massif with amazing, interesting, often wild tourist routes.

Today, the Region of Soleczniki is the largest concentration of Poles in Lithuania – they constitute about 80% of the inhabitants of this area. It is worth going to Soleczniki to experience their incredible hospitality and openness.