Alanta (dialectal Aukštaitian name Alunta, Polish: Owanta, Yiddish אַוואָנטע) is a small town in Molėtai district municipality, Lithuania. It is the administrative seat of the Alanta Elderate. According to a census in 2011, Alanta had 348 residents.[1] It is situated at the crossing of two roads: MolėtaiAnykščiai and Utena–Alanta–Ukmergė. The town's St. Jacob's church was built in 1909.

Alanta
St. Jacob's church in Alanta
St. Jacob's church in Alanta
Nickname(s): 
Alunta
Alanta is located in Lithuania
Alanta
Alanta
Location of Alanta
Coordinates: 55°21′N 25°17′E / 55.350°N 25.283°E / 55.350; 25.283Coordinates: 55°21′N 25°17′E / 55.350°N 25.283°E / 55.350; 25.283
Country Lithuania
Ethnographic regionAukštaitija
CountyUtena County COA.png Utena County
MunicipalityMolėtai district municipality
ElderateAlanta elderate
Seat ofAlanta elderate
First mentioned1436
Population
 (2011)
 • Total348
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)

Etymology of the nameEdit

The name of the town is derived from the Alanta River, tributary of Virinta. The name of the river is derived from an ancient Lithuanian verb "alėti", which means 'to stream merrily' or 'to run'.

HistoryEdit

In 1436, Sigismund Kestutaitis granted Alanta to Kristinas Astikas to commend him for his aid in defeating Švitrigaila in the Lithuanian Civil War (1431–1435). In the 16th century, the town's Catholic church was built, and in 1581 the Grand Duke of Lithuania Stefan Batory gifted Alanta to Gáspár Békés (Lithuanian: Kasparas Bekešas), a Hungarian general. After 1598 the town belonged to Radziwiłł family and from 1828 until the World War I it belonged to the Pamarnacki family. From the 18th century to the Lithuanian revolt in 1863 Alanta had a parish school.

Alanta suffered heavily from many wars, including Napoleon's invasion of the Russian Empire, World War I and World War II, because of its location on the crossing of two important roads.

Whole Jewish community of 30 families,[2] which made majority of Alanta population, was killed during the Holocaust in 1941 August [3] Alanta has a rare, surviving wooden synagogue.[4]

Palace of Alanta estateEdit

 
Renovated Alanta estate, located in Naujasodis suburb

The palace of the estate, which houses a library and an ethnographic museum, has been renovated and its park trimmed. The founder of the Alanta library, Elvyra Satkūnaitė, was named "The best librarian of Lithuania" in 1996.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "2011 census". Statistikos Departamentas (Lithuania). Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  2. ^ http://dbs.bh.org.il/place/alunta
  3. ^ http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/pinkas_lita/lit_00138.html
  4. ^ Center for Jewish Art (2004). "Preserved Wooden Synagogues in Lithuania". The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Retrieved on December 17, 2008. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-05. Retrieved 2008-12-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit