In 1198 Zagarė was mentioned for the first time in historical documents as Sagera, but according to the VI-IX century archeological remains the Lithuanians lived here earlier. Zagarė was established in the Lithuanian part of the historic lands of Ziemgala near the two hills – Raktuve and Zvelgaiciai which were defensively very important. The castles on hills and the defenders were mentioned in the written documents of the early IX century. In XVI century official documents Zagare was mentioned as a town. The river Svete acted as a natural divide between Old and New Zagare.
The two silver keys in the red field in the coat of arms of Zagare symbolizes the union of two cities (Old and New Zagare). The red colour is a symbol of bravery and shed blood for the motherland, the silver one symbolizes innocence, honesty and conscience.
The centre of Zagare town – famous for its urban and unique architecture. The Old Zagare is announced as urbanistic monument. The XVI century main street networks, urbanistic architecture, stoned roadway, red-brick houses are saved till nowadays.
The remote town in the north of Lithuania, close to the border with Latvia, is blessed with great natural beauty (such as Dolomite Rock Exposure, Zagare Ridge, Svedpolis Spring, Svete Explosure, Rakte mound, the Mound of Zvelgaitis) and its ancient architecture (Zagare Mansion House, Zagare windmill, The Motor Mill, The Church of St. Peter and Paul in Old Zagare, The Church of St. Peter and Paul in New Zagare, The Barrows of Zagare and The Old Jewish Cemetery, etc.)
Zagare manor House mostly is called Naryskinas Mansion house. Classical-style mansion house was built in the 19th century. At the end of 2014 it was completely reconstructed.
At present (2015) 1501 inhabitants live in Zagare. Zagare occupies the teritory of 475,4 ha. The Zagare town is a centre of Zagare eldership that was established in 2000. In the town are located such institutions as gymnasium where children gain a secondary education, sports and art schools, a special boarding-school for children who have mental disability, the centre of social services, cultural centre, the health centre, post-office and police station. The natives of Zagare actively participate in social and cultural activity.
Zagare officially became Lithuanian Capital of Culture for 2015. The solemn opening ceremony of Lithuanian Capital of Culture for 2015 occurred on January 24 in Zagare. During the Event, symbolically the reconstructed Zagare Manor Estate was opened too. With a help of modern technologies, Zagare was congratulated by famous Lithuanian people.
In the Hall of Zagare Manor Estate the famous Lithuanian singers, groups and a Choir “Brevis” made their performances. The ceremony was finished by colourful fireworks.
During the period of 2015 year, many important and significant cultural events will occur in Zagare. All the events that promote creativity are dedicated to all groups of a society – children, youth, adults, seniors, families, natives and guests.
This project is dedicated not only to local and regional communities but also to all Europeans. The main and biggest events of ‘Zagare – Lithuanian Capital of Culture of 2015’ are Zagare cherry festival that became a beautiful tradition and annual meeting of Charta of European rural communities.
Town Chief Mr. Alvydas Urbonas
Click on this link to learn more about Zagare: www.joniskis.lt