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Balbieriskis (Kaunas, Lithuania)

Last modified: 2010-04-09 by dov gutterman
Keywords: prienai | kaunas | balbieriskis |
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Overview

Town of Balbieriskis is in Prienai district in Kaunas county, Lithuania. It has 1,180 inhabitants, and is the center of Balbieriskis Eldership, which has 3,850 inhabitants.
From <www.jewishgen.org>: "Located in Southwest Lithuania, on the left bank of the Neiman River, approximately 18 kilometers northwest of the railroad center of Alita (Alytus, cf.). The town developed adjacent to the large estate established there in the beginning of the 16th century. In 1520, it was awarded the privileges of a city. However, during Prussian rule (1795-1807) this status was withdrawn because of its small population. Between 1807-1815, it was included in the territory of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. In 1815, after Napoleon's defeat, it became Russian territory and eventually was made part of Suvalk Province. Under Russian rule, Balbirishok developed into an important commercial center. At the end of the 19th century, when the rail line was laid to Alita and Pren (Prienai), those two towns grew at the expense of Balbirishok, whose importance declined. Between 1915-1918, during World War I, the German army occupied the town. During Lithuania's independence (1918-1940), Balbirishok was a sub-district city."
Valentin Poposki, 8 March and 14 June 2007

Balbieriškis - on a red field the arms of Balbieriskis: over an indented base a sailboat.
Flag proportions 5:6, fringe is golden, finial is a golden knob.
Balbieriskis is named after the Barbiera rivulet, which is in turn named after the Barbiera (also called Balbiera) rocks in Nemunas River. Those rocks were dangerous for ships navigating the Nemunas, till the water-power plant of Kaunas was built, and the shoal was drowned. So the indented base means the Barbiera rocks as the origin of town name, and the sailboat means trade over the Nemunas River, which has grown the town.
Virginijus Misiunas, 28 February 2010