Varniai (About this soundpronunciation ; Samogitian: Varnē; Polish: Wornie; German: Medeniken; Russian: Варняй) is a city in the Telšiai County, western Lithuania. In the Middle Ages the city was known as Medininkai (Samogitian: Medėninkā).

Coat of arms of Varniai
Coat of arms
Varniai is located in Lithuania
Location of Varniai
Coordinates: 55°44′0″N 22°22′0″E / 55.73333°N 22.36667°E / 55.73333; 22.36667Coordinates: 55°44′0″N 22°22′0″E / 55.73333°N 22.36667°E / 55.73333; 22.36667
Country Lithuania
Ethnographic regionSamogitia
CountyTelšiai County
MunicipalityTelšiai district municipality
EldershipVarniai eldership
Capital ofVarniai eldership
First mentioned1314
Granted city rights1950
 • Total961
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)

It was established in the 14th century, on the bank of the Varnelė River, near an important Samogitian castle. It was the center of Samogitian Catholic church: after the baptism of Samogitia, the Samogitian Bishop resided in the town. Around 1414–1416 the first church was built, and c. 1464 the first cathedral.

Varniai was the center of Samogitian episcopate until the middle of the 19th century, when authorities of the Russian Empire moved it to Kaunas.

With support of Merkelis Giedraitis, Mikalojus Daukša translated and made ready for publication Katechizmas, the first Lithuanian language book printed in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, then part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

It was also residence of Motiejus Valančius.


Notable residentsEdit

External linksEdit