Žemaitija National Park is full of unique valuables showing the cultural heritage of this land dating back to the Stone Age. Samogitians who have preserved their dialect, customs, features of character, buildings and original small- scale architecture live there. More than 200 of valuables of cultural heritage are taken care of. The old cultural heritage are mounds, old sacred places, grave- yards, places of the settlements. The mounds of Užpelkiai, Gegrėnai, Pučkoriai, Šarnelė, Mikytai, the old sacred places of Visvainiai, Mikytai, Vilkai, the places of ancient settlements of Gegrėnai and Šarnelė are really interesting.
The churches of Plateliai and Beržoras, basilica of Žemaičių Kalvarija, the mill of Babrungėnai, old homesteads distinguish themselves from architectural valuables. More than 90 valuables of art are taken care of in the territory of the Park. They are Samogitian crosses, chapels, roofed crosses; even theses days they are built at the roadsides or fastened to trees.
Žemaitija National Park has a team of ancient sport game – ripka.
It is mounds of Užpelkiai, Gegrėnai, Pūčkoriai, Jazdauskiškės, Grigaičiai, St. John‘s (in Žemaičių Kalvarija), Šarnelė, Mikytai, old sacred places of Visvainiai, Mikytai, Vilkai, Gilaičiai, Paparčiai, places of old settlements in Gegrėnai and Šarnelė who are really interesting.
The ancient sacred place of Mikytai is called the hill of Alka, and is located 200 m to southeast from the Barstyčiai-Salantai road. There is a view point on the top of the hill. The total area of the hill is 11,5 ha.
On the northern slope of the hill of Alka there is a stone with the devil’s footprint. On the eastern slope of the hill there is a small, approximately 2 m in diameter and up to 50 cm deep hole, the bottom of which is covered with small stones. This hole is called the well of prayers (offerings).
Samogitian folk architecture can be found in former valakas-type villages and steadings, scattered in the whole territory of Žemaitija National Park. You can find farmsteads of a particular style or elements of them in the following villages of the Park: Jazdauskiškiai, Stirbaičiai, Godeliai, Visvainiai, Medsėdžiai, etc.
Small scale architecture
Since ancient times the chapels, roofed crosses and crosses have been built along the roads, crossroads, rivulets, churches, in old graveyards of villages, historical places and places mentioned in legends of Žemaitija.
Now you can see those objects, which were built several hundred years ago in the territory of the National Park, e.g. chapels of Christ‘s road in Žem. Kalvarija were built in the middle of the 17 th century, some were rebuilt these days but in original places, e.g. St. Florion roofed cross in Plateliai, or recent ones.
Churches of Plateliai and Beržoras are among the oldest wooden churches in Lithuania. Both of them were built of squared timber in the middle of the 18th century. There are lots of sacral and art valuables in them and in the little basilica church of Žem. Kalvarija.
The folk artists and professional artists who live in the Park carry on the old traditions of wood carving and painting. They are Regina and Justinas Jonušai, Kazys Striaupa, Leonardas Černiauskas, Gediminas Černiauskas, Antanas Vaškys, Vytas Jaugėla and others.