Šalčininkai (pronunciation ; Polish: Soleczniki; Yiddish: סאָלעטשניק Solechnik; Belarusian: Салечнікі) is a city in Vilnius County, Lithuania, situated south-east of Vilnius, near the border with Belarus.

City centre with monument to Adam Mickiewicz
City centre with monument to Adam Mickiewicz
Coat of arms of Šalčininkai
Šalčininkai is located in Lithuania
Location of Šalčininkai
Coordinates: 54°19′0″N 25°23′0″E / 54.31667°N 25.38333°E / 54.31667; 25.38333Coordinates: 54°19′0″N 25°23′0″E / 54.31667°N 25.38333°E / 54.31667; 25.38333
Country Lithuania
Ethnographic regionDzūkija
CountyVilnius County flag.svg Vilnius County
MunicipalityŠalčininkai district municipality
EldershipŠalčininkai eldership
Capital ofŠalčininkai district municipality
Šalčininkai eldership
First mentioned1311
Granted town rights1956
 • Total6,857
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)

The name of the city derives from Šalčia river, than means in Lithuanian language šalta – cold (waters, river).[2] The region around Šalčininkai was inhabited by Lithuanians and it is one of the centres where forefathers of written Lithuanian language were born (including Stanislovas Rapalionis, Jurgis Zablockis and Aleksandras Rodūnonis [lt]), but during the course of history, the demographics changed (partially due to language shift and through acculturation) and now in the environs of Šalčininkai, uncodified Belarusian vernacular (called po prostu by the locals) is widespread and the city itself is considered the most important provincial centre of Polish culture in Lithuania (the urban centre being Vilnius).

Šalčininkai attained the town status in 1956 and is now a capital of the Šalčininkai district municipality. According to the latest census of 2021, Šalčininkai had 6857 inhabitants and features a multi-ethnic population of 4930 Poles (71.9%), 920 Lithuanians (15.7%), 438 Russians (6.4%), 286 Belarusians (4.2%), 61 Ukrainians (0,9%) and 222 people of other background (3.2%). 12.2% of all inhabitants in Šalčininkai district municipality, according to the 2021 census were born abroad, while 87.8% were born in Lithuania. This was a decrease from 14.3%, recorded by the previous – 2011 census. Out of 34.5 thousand inhabitants in 2011, 3711 or 10.7% of all the inhabitants were born in Belarus, 728 or 2.1% in Russia.[3] Šalčininkai contains the highest percentage number of Poles of any town in Lithuania. The town's coat of arms, designed by Arvydas Každailis, shows three hazelnuts symbolizing solidarity of the population.

Notable peopleEdit

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Šalčininkai is twinned with:[4]


  1. ^ "GYVENTOJAI GYVENAMOSIOSE VIETOVĖSE" (XLSX). Osp.stat.gov.lt. Retrieved 18 July 2022.
  2. ^ Šalčininkų rajono miestų vardų kilmė ir kirčiavimas
  3. ^ Population and Housing Censuses of Lithuania, 2011, 2021
  4. ^ "Tarptautinis bendradarbiavimas". Salcininkai.lt (in Lithuanian). Šalčininkų rajono savivaldybė. Retrieved 2021-04-02.