Kacergine is a small town situated on the left bank of the Nemunas 16 km to the west of Kaunas. This place by the Nemunas is the glory of Kaunas district. Functional purpose of this town is to be a health- resort. The people are not occupied with farming here because of the sandy ground. Forestry is not developed either. However, the inhabitants earn their living by cattlebreeding and plant-growing. The town is situated in a hilly place and surrounded by coniferous (mostly pine) forests.
Kacergine is one of the youngest Lithuanian towns. It was given a status of a town in 1977, and in 1999 the Coat of Arms (author A.Kazdailis) was confirmed by the Decree of the President of Lithuania. At the moment about 750 residents are registered in Kacergine. It is the smallest seniunija in Kaunas district according to the area and the number of the inhabitants.
The history of Kacergine
In 1955–1957 archeologists excavated stone axes, some fragments of ceramics and horse bones in Kacergine. It is to be thought that this was a burial place of horses. Sandy and not suitable for farming Kacergine’s soil decided its late settling. It is to be supposed that the first settlers (some fishermen’s families) moved here in the end of the twentieth century.
The origin of Kacergine’s name is being explained in two ways: some link it with a farmer Kacergis and some others with a tool “Kacerga” (a poker). In the beginning of the twentieth century the name of the place wasn’t still legalized. In the 30s of the XXth century the place-name Commission of the Lithuanian government decided to name the town Pushilas. The name was fixed on some maps of that time but it was no popular.
From the beginning of the XXth century Kacergine became famous as a health-resort. Healthy and nice surroundings, dry pine forest air attracted the first summer residents to visit the place. Famous people, such as professor J.Jablonskis, the composers S.Simkus and J.Naujalis, a writer J.Biliunas, used to spend their summer holidays in Kacergine. In 1906 J.Biliunas wrote there the stories “Brisiaus galas” and “Juozapota”.
The town began to grow rapidly after Lithuania had restored its independence. In 1933 Kacergine was officially proclaimed a health-resort, and the chemist A.Grigalauskas became its first director.
The popularity of the resort was decided by its natural conditions and closeness to a provisional capital Kaunas.
The rapid growth of Kacergine began in the 40s of the XXth century. The boarding-house “Elit” and T.Dambraviciene’s, A.Grigalauskas’, J.Paulauskas’, S.Jankunas’ summer cottages opened widely their hospitable door to the health-resort visitors. J.Masiotas, a writer, J.Zikaras, a famous sculptor, V.Landsbergis-Zemkalnis, an architect, professor M.Kaveckas, V. Reklaitis, an engineer, general Vaiciuska, the Chairman of Tribunal Ciplijauskas built here their villas.
Before the war professors S.Salkauskis, J.Eretas and A.Gylys, the Chairman of Seimas K.Sakenis, the Minister of Justice A.Tamosaitis, the opera singers A. and S. Sodeika, the President of Lithuania K.Grinius liked spending their summer holidays in Kacergine too.
In July 1940 the editor of “The XXth century” J.Skrupskelis, the Minister of Foreign affairs J.Urbđys were arrested by NKVD officers.
In the soviet period in Kacergine lived and created famous people, such as the writer V.Mykolaitis-Putinas, the actor and director J.Staniulis, the painter A.Martinaitis, the architect V.Landsbergis-Zemkalnis and his son professor V.Landsbergis, professor A.Smailys, the director A.Sutkus, the artists D.Eidukaite, S.Nenorta, V.Manomaitis and others.
At that time the Primary School, established in 1940, developed into a Secondary School. In 1945 the Post Office and the Dispensary started their work. The Library was opened in 1948 and the Chemist’s – in 1962. A republican sanatorium “Zibute” for children began to work in 1962. In 1965 the Kinder-garden and the Fire station and in 1984 the Forestry were established. Besides the mentioned institutions in the soviet period there were three shops, a restaurant “Pusele” and well-known pioneer camps “J.Fucikas”, “J.Biliunas”, “Zvaigzdute”, “Liepsnele”, “Dobilelis” in Kacergine.
In 1960 a round of the USSR car race championship took place in Kacergine environs. The racetrack for car racing, which is 5540 km long and 7.5 m wide, was designed in 1961 and opened in 1962 (from 1997 a state enterprise “The Nemunas” round).
Today there is a Seniunija, a Main School, a kinder-garden, a sanatorium “Zibute”, a dispensary, a forestry, a summer camp for children “Merkurijus”, a post office, two shops, a café “Kacerga” in Kacergine. In the end of 1998 St.Ann’s Chapel designed by the architect V.Landsbergis-Zemkalnis opened the door to the believers.