New, attractive, interesting, modern expositions, new experience and the spirit of Samogitia.
Manor of Plateliai has opened its doors to visitors. In the former estate Stable is founded Shrove Tuesday Museum, in the Barn – a modern historical-ethnographic, nature exposition, exhibition hall. A colorful exhibition of nature offers access to interactive wildlife of Park. Ethnographic exhibition highlights the ancient Plateliai – crafts, entertainments, courtiers and ordinary people’s lives. Visiting the Shrove Tuesday Museum at any time of year one can feel like in a whirl of Samogitian winter games. We invite you to visit.
Address: Didžioji street 22, Plateliai, Plungė dstr.
Coordinates: 363800, 6213735 (LKS); 56.038255, 21.814255 (WGS); 56° 2′ 17.72″, 21° 48′ 51.32″ (WGS).
Working hours (from 1st May to 31st August):
Day off – Monday
Working hours (from 1st September to 30th September):
Lunch time 12.00 – 13.00
Days off – Sunday, Monday.
Working hours (from 1st October to 30th April):
Tuesday – Friday 10:00-17:00
Lunch time 12.00 – 13.00
Days off – Sunday, Monday.
Expositions will be closed on the All Saints’ Day (1 November), Christmas Eve (24 December), Christmas (25-26 December), New Year (1 January) and Easter (16-17 April).
Attention: Visitors can’t visit the museum if less than half an hour left till the lunch time or the end of the work.
Guide service (foreign language)
For adults – 2,5 €;
For children, students, pensioners, disabled people – 1,50 €;
Subscriber for a family (2 adults and children) – 7 €;
Guide service (in foreign language) – 15 €.
Cold War Museum is located in the former Soviet Union`s complex of ballistic missile silo launch. Since 1963 up to 1978, there had been deployed four medium- range ballistic missiles SS-4, armed with 2- megaton power thermonuclear warheads. These missiles, together with the nearby terrestrial platforms of analogue missile launching, had created a common Soviet nuclear armament group in Lithuania, which was able to destroy all the Europe.
Adress: Šilinė street 4, Plokščiai, Plungė dstr.
Cold War exposition (visitor centre) coordinates: 369504, 6212682 (LKS); 56.030391, 21.906232 (WGS); 56° 1′ 49.41″, 21° 54′ 22.44″ (WGS).
E- mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Šilinė street 4, Plokščiai, Plungė dstr.
Coordinates 369506, 6212885 (LKS) or 21.906174, 56.032209 (WGS).
Tel. +370 616 15710, +370 677 86 574.
E- mail: email@example.com
Working hours (1 May – 30 September excursions):
Monday – Sunday: 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00, 18:00.
Working hours (1 October – 30 April excursions):
Monday – Sunday: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00
The museum will be closed on the All Saints’ Day (1 November), Christmas Eve (24 December), Christmas (25-26 December), New Year (1 January) and Easter (16-17 April).
For adults – 5 €;
For children, students, pensioners, disabled people – 2,50 €;
Subscriber for a family (2 adults and children) – 14 €;
Audio guide – 3 €;
Commercial photography, filming – 17 €/1 hour.
First of all pay attention to the restored piece of multi – stage electronic security system. During the operation time of base the whole vast area was protected by armed soldiers, electric fences and alarms. You can see the Cold War views at the Info – centre which is on the right side of central entrance.
When you will enter the silo launch complex area, pay attention to the four underground silo shells as well as to the technological unit – bunker for all the necessary equipment and the control elements, which is inside of it. Hundred tons silo shields could withstand a nuclear bomb explosion.
Let`s come down to the bunker. At the end of the corridor you will find yourself next to the central control apparatus room. Previously there were four missile control panels and the commands for the missile launch were to be given here. Historical view of this room is rebuilt on the basis of archival footage. You will see in the video- terminal that was formerly showed only on the top – ranking leaders of the USSR. Now this room is equipped with a historical exposition, telling about beginning of the Cold War and of its evolution: from the first disagreement between the allies of the Word War II to the nuclear arming race. Historical exhibits, photographs and video materials will help to understand better this military conflict and to realize how close the nuclear abyss was, though the strength for refusal of mutual self – destruction was found: the course of disarmament is shown at the end of the exposition in the hall.
The armament exhibition is located in the next hall, in the former control apparatus room of fuel components and silo shells. Layouts represent the internal structure of the silo launch complex and missile silo. All devices and units here are newly made in compliance with the original hardware, most of which did not remain in the complex.
The next hall is dedicated to the evolution of missile technology. The combat missile components and equipment from the Cold War period and the only exact model of missile SS – 4 are exhibited here. At the end of the hall there is a restored cabinet of a bunker`s commander. You will see the rigorous colonel which is authorized by this country to “keep a finger” on the “nuclear button” behind the glass.
Let`s acquaint with the restored equipment of communication node and the crew when you will go further down. The political propaganda exposition installed here: during the Cold War years this counter measure was actively used in the Soviet Union and NATO countries. In the ground floor of the bunker you will find the complex hall of electric power plant with the remains of powerful generator, and in the former premise of the electricity distribution you will get acquainted with the information on the Soviet leadership`s efforts to prepare the society of country for possible nuclear conflict shown as a civil defence exposition.
Continue walking along the narrow corridor toward the silo. Previously, it was even narrower because all the walls were filled with the conduits of missile fuel components, electrical cables and other communications. Once you appear in the silo you will see the place where the combat missile was kept for almost two decades. Almost thirty meters depth silo is a complex engineering building, filled with various facilities and communications.
When the United States started building underground military bases, the Soviet Union felt it had to maintain its military advantage. For that reason in September 1960 in the village of Plokščiai the Soviets began to build rapidly an underground military base, one of the first in the S. U. The shore of the nearby Plateliai lake and the Plokštinė forests were ideally suited for the construction of the military base. The location was 170 m above sea level, the soil was easy to excavate and the local population was small. The local inhabitants were poor farmers who were paid 4.5 thousand rubles to move their farms. Further, from this location all of Europe could be covered by the missiles which could reach Turkey and southern European countries.
Ten thousand soldiers, mostly Estonians, constructed the base. The missile silos were dug out with shovels which took approximately 6-8 months. Simultaneously, in the centre of the four silos they excavated a large hole for the support structures – electrical and radio stations, control rooms and recreation areas for the soldiers who would be on duty. All of these underground facilities were waterproofed and covered with earth. They were constructed so that under normal conditions a personnel could survive in the silos for 15 days, or in extreme conditions with the silos hermetically sealed, 3 hours. A 2.5 km water trench was dug to the Plateliai lake, and a water pump station was constructed. The earth which had been excavated was used to lay the foundation for the new road to Plokštinė. Earlier travellers had to get to the base by going through Jogaudai. On December 31, 1962 the construction was completed; at 10 p. m. – just before the New Year – the “rocketeers” accepted their military duties.
Four R12 nuclear missiles, 23 meters high, including the 4 meters warhead, were installed in the silos. The rockets were fuelled with a mixture of kerosene and nitric acid. They were intended to last 10-15 years; in Plokštinė they were changed once in 16 years. The rocket launching facilities were guarded by 6 security systems including barbed wire, alarms, 1700 volt electric wires, etc. The rockets were aimed at diferent western countries: Norway, Great Britain, Spain, West Germany and Turkey. Every 3-4 years the targeted countries were changed.
Eight missile warheads were stored in the ammunition depot in Plokštinė. Extra rocket carries were stored in the ammunition depot specially build in nearby Šateikiai. Šateikiai also had eight surface missiles which had been deployed the year before those in Plokštinė.
These two bases together comprised the 79 th rocket regiment, headquartered in Šateikiai. The first commander was Kalisnicenko. After his refusal to participate in the Cuban operation, he was relieved and replaced by Sidorov. Other regimental commanders included Saloha, Ramaniuk and Jereskovskij. They all lived in the town of Plungė, travelling to the base for duty. Only in cases of increased military readiness, such as the events in Czechoslovakia in 1968, did they move to the officers quarters on base. The personnel of the 79 th Regiment participated in the deployment of rockets to Cuba. In the centre of Cuba they poured a concrete for the rockets and in September 1962 the rockets were transported from Šateikiai to Cuba. All of this was done in secrecy. The soldiers worked in civilian clothes and loaded the rockets at the night. When the Vilnius-Klaipėda passenger trains passed by, all lights would be turned off at the work site and work would cease. The rockets were transported to Sevastopol and loaded on commercial ships for transport to Havana.
Next to military base was a canteen and two wooden barracks for the duty relief of 9 officers and 22 soldiers which changed every 3 days. Shifts were 6 hours long; 6 hours in the missile silos and ours off.
In the nearby military town 3 more groups of officers and soldiers (320 people) lived. The town included a headquarters, soldiers barracks, officers quarters, separate canteens for officers and soldiers, medical aid post, food storage, and an autopark. The autopark housed two 25 meters long machines for raising and lowering the rockets into the silos, as well as machines which pumped air into the silos. In the maintenance storage section were spare parts, various equipment and insulation.
There were no incidents with the missiles while they were deployed in Plokštinė. They were removed from the base on June 18, 1978.
Adress: Zemaitija National park visitor’s center, Didžioji street 8, Plateliai, Plungė dstr.
Tel.: +370 448 49231
After arriving at Plateliai, notice the dark brown wooden house with a sloping Samogitian roof in the center of the town. Do not be fooled by the outside of the hundred-year old building – inside it is the national park’s visitor center with a modern exhibition, which includes touch screens, sound effects, natural games and descriptions of various routes and points of interest.
Inside, your attention will be grabbed by the three-dimensional model of Plateliai Lake, which shows the impressive differences in the lake’s depth, which are hard to notice when you are at the lake. By browsing the droplet-shaped windows, you will get to know the sights of the lake and its surroundings as well as where the names of the islands originate from. After coming up to the second floor, look up and listen – what do you hear? You are met by the inhabitants of Zemaitija forests and meadows. Have you seen the footprint of a hedgehog? Where are butterflies’ ears? Which birds are the biggest sleepers? Here you will find the answers to these and other questions. In the farthest corner of the room, visit the beaver’s habitat. Listen to the night sounds of forests and try to guess the names of the plants stored in the colored flasks by smelling them.
If you are still having a difficult time deciding which way to go, ask the employees of the visitor center for advice. Examine the map of Zemaitija National Park hanging in front of the entrance, which illustrates various sightseeing trails as well as the most important heritage objects, museums and viewpoints. Grab some leaflets with descriptions of locations and objects and prepare for unforgettable experiences in nature!