Lithuanian version



Betygala – small town on the banks of the Vevirse creek in Samogitia, approximately one km from the Dubysa river, between Ariogala (13 km) and Raseiniai (16 km); in 1595 the population was 454 (483 in 1841, 434 in 1934). Near the town is an old fortress hill which was the site of a noted Samogitian castle in the 13th and 14th centuries. It was often attacked by the Teutonic Knights, in whose chronicles it is called Betigal or Bytigal. 

BetygalaThe first Roman Catholic church in Betygala, the wooden Church of St. Nicholas, was built in 1416 shortly after the conversion of Samogitia to Christianity. The present baroque church was built in 1930. From 1592-1603 Mikalojus Dauksa was the pastor of the parish. The town suffered severe damage during the Swedish invasion in 1706. It was later rebuilt; subsequently its population was greater than at present. During the 1863 insurrection against the Russians a number of strong rebel groups operated in the environs of Betygala. During the years of Lithuanian independence Betygala was the seat of township which encompassed 1 546 farms with 9 573 inhibitions (1934).


By Antanas Bendorius
Photo of Jonas Danauskas

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Samogitian Cultural Association Editorial Board, 1998.
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Page updated 2003.05.15.