The hundreds of years old Alytus Mound is the witness of the town foundation. It is a historical and cultural monument and today there are a group of sculptures called Ancestors of Alytus Mound at the bottom of it. There are lots of legends tell about the mound itself. One of the legends is about love and the origin of the name of the town. Once upon a time Mirgrausele and Alyta lived there. They fell in love with each other but Mirgrausele was destined to be a priestess. Crusaders forayed the local castle. Many warriors died in the battle but Alyta stayed alive and thrust his way out of the encirclement of the enemy. He rode away to the Gabija hill where Mirgrausele nursed the sacred fire and hid her away. He went back to the battle himself. Although Alyta fought fearlessly he died. When Mirgrausele found out about the death of Alyta, she cried her eyes out so that her tears turned into a runlet and started to run into the river Nemunas. The priests named the runlet Alytupis, the Gabija hill was named the Mirgrausele mound and the town of Alytus was named after Alyta. Even today the runlet of Mirgrausele tears flows into the Nemunas and old people say that those who take a sip of the runlet water fall in love if they were not in love yet, and those who are in love already start loving even stronger. The mound dates back to the middle of the 1st millennium – 14th century. On the mound, there was the Castle of Alytus that was burnt by Crusaders. Authors of photographs: D. Belenihin, B. Malaškevičiūtė, S. Pinkevičienė, S. Šmigelskas.
The highest Lithuania’s pedestrian and bicycle bridge (project by V. Karieta) was built in Alytus in 2015, on the remains of former railway bridge piers. It has been registered in the Book of Lithuanian Records. It is 38.1 m in height and 240,52 m in length. It was officially opened on 4 June 2016. The bridge connects two bicycle paths running on the both banks of the Nemunas River that divides the town. In the second half of the 19th century, a military railway to Alytus classified as a fortress of the 3rd class, was built to reinforce the western borders of the Russian empire (Lithuania then was a part of it). A 33 m high and 240.5 m long bridge of an innovative cantilever design was built in this place in 1897 to 1899 (project by N. Beleliubskis). The carriageway was designed for rail traffic and horse-driven carriages. During World War I, in 1915, the retreating tsarist army blew up the bridge. The Germans who occupied Alytus built up a temporary wooden military railway bridge. It was 35 m high and 294 m long. The bridge served until 1926, later it was dismantled. The modern-day bridge is popular among enthusiasts of extreme entertainment. Jumping from the bridge while connected to a large elastic cord ( Bungee jumps ) have been organised there for some time. When standing on the bridge, a wonderful panoramic view opens to Alytus Hill Fort shrouded in legends and dated back as far the 14th century, the middle of the 1st millennium. Near the bridge, there is a recreation area with walking trails, arbours and places for bonfire. Old photographs from Algimantas Antanevičius collection. The author of today's photos: J. Baranowski, G. Bernatavičius, J. Bulina, E. Dovydėnas, V. Paprastutis, M. Gudzinevičius, E. Rugieniūtė.
Near Didysis Dailidės ežeras (Big Dailidė Lake), there is a sport field, bicycles paths along the lakeshore, gazebos and bonfires. The Dailidė lakes (you see, there is also Mažasis Dailidės ežeras, that is, Little Dailidė Lake) are oxbow lakes, formerly part of the old channel of the Nemunas River. Old-timers say that once, in the place where the lakes are now, divided by the embankment, the most picturesque manor in the area stood. Those who saw the duke's manor could not help marvelling at its grandeur and delighting in its lightness. For that reason, it was called the Dailusis Dvaras (Elegant Manor), and it became well-known; thus, its ruler was called the duke Dailidė. The duke and his manor were doomed by his greed and cruelty, and so water pouring from a cursed cloud drowned the manor. Since that time, the resulting lake has been called Dailidė. Author of photographs G. Bernatavičius, Alytus TIC.
The "Angel of Freedom" monument was built for the first time in 1929 to commemorate the first decade of Lithuanian independence. The famous Dzūkai (inhabitants of south Lithuania) sculptor Antanas Aleksandravičius is the author of the sculpture. The monument went through several tests of nature and history: in 1934 it was struck and broken down by the lightning (restored after three years later). Later, in the fifties the Angel of Freedom was pulled down again for political reasons. In 1991, the statue was again restored. Authors of photographs: B. Malaškevičiūtė, E. Rugieniūtė.
The City Garden was started in 1930. The park is famous for its rose beds. An interwar fountain with a small basin, where goldfish used to swim and water lilies used to blossom, has remained to this day. The fountain was meant to represent the Sun and paths stretching from it – beams of the Sun. The City Garden has 55 species of trees and bushes. Authors of photographs: G. Bernatavičius, S. Šmigelskas, L. Valentaitė-Gudzinevičienė, R. Valiukevičiūtė, M. Gudzinevičius.
The first gymnasium in Alytus was established in 1919 without its own building. In 1925, a new building was completed and opened its doors – contractors from Kaunas won an open competition and erected it using materials from the former military barracks that once belonged to the Tsar. Today it is home to the School of Fine Crafts. The School carries out educational activities and also has a shop of students’ works. Author of photograph L. Valentaitė
Construction of the modern, spacious Riflemen’s House was completed in 1938. It was named after Antanas Juozapavičius, the first military officer to be killed in the Wars of Independence, and was popularly called Kurhaus. The first floor had a large hall with a stage, a lobby with a canteen and a porch with a restaurant. Jazz was played there in the evenings. The second floor was occupied by the riflemen’s club and a museum dedicated to Juozapavičius. The basement had an exercise area. During the Soviet period, the building was used as a cultural centre. It was given back to Alytus Riflement’s Union after the Restoration of Independence. Author of photograph G. Bernatavičius
The former bakery ‟Higiena” was built in 1930. The best bakery in town operated on the first floor, and residents had rooms on the second floor. Thanks to this bakery, one could guess if an older male pupil at the gymnasium was inviting a younger female pupil on a date just to increase his number of dates or because he really liked the pupil. A stop to pick up a roll meant that he actually liked her, but if just passed by the bakery, he was only going on a date to increase his date count. Author of photograph B. Malaškevičiūtė
This building was built in 1929. Before the Second World War, the cinema ‟Kapitol” made its home here. After the war, several organisations and a meat shop took its place. From 1993 to 2003, the building hosted an exhibition in memory of the pilots Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas. Author of photograph G. Bernatavičius
Before the Second World War, residential and commercial buildings and houses of craftsmen stood here. They were bombarded by German fleets during the war. The houses were not rebuilt and the square was constructed instead. The square was reconstructed in 2012. The newly-installed colourful fountain was adorned with the verses of poet Jurgis Kunčinas. Authors of photographs: V. Kuchalskis, B. Malaškevičiūtė, E. Dovydėnas
The St. Guardian Angels' Church was built in 1830 replacing St. Ann’s chapel that was there already in XVII century. The present-day interior of the church contains neobaroque elements and it is very colourful and palatial, having sacramental articles of values. 114 volunteers who died for Lithuanian’s Independence are buried in the churchyard. Antanas Juozapavičius, the first officer who was killed by Bolshevik bullet on the Alytus Bridge, the teacher Juozas Bloznelis, beaten by the Polish Army, and other Lithuanian and Alytus men of merit are buried among them. Vytautas Kasuba is the sculptor of one of the gravestones in the churchyard. Author of photograph E. Rugieniūtė