In historical sources this town started to be mentioned from the 15th century. At that time, Plateliai Manor, the settlement and the church stood on the Šventorkalnis peninsula, while at the end of 17th century they moved to the current location. In 1792, Plateliai was granted the Magdeburg rights and obtained a coat of arms.
Plateliai is an interesting town because of its planned structure with a central square, characteristic of Žemaitija towns, St Peter and Paul church and the Manor.
About 1000 of residents live here. Another objects are: the Žemaitija National Park Administration, the Visitor Centre, the elderate, a post office, an ambulatory, a drugstore, a petrol station, several stores and cafes, several rural tourism farmsteads and a yacht club.
In the centre of the town, a shrine with a sculpture of St Florian stands, as well as the monuments in memory of the First Decade of Lithuanian Independence (1918-1928), Lithuanian Freedom Army (1941-1944-1953) and Balys Korza, a martyr of Rainiai tragedy.
St Peter and Paul Church. It is one of the oldest Lithuania’s shrines – a wooden church of squared timber built in 1744. Next to it, a wooden bell tower has been standing since the 19th century. Many old paintings, liturgical garments and accessories have survived and are stored here. Part of them have been recognized as monuments of art. In the churchyard, Marie Choiseul-Gouffier, one of the latest owners of Plateliai Manor, and her brother Gabriel Choiseul-Gouffier are buried.
Plateliai Manor Homestead. Until the end of the 18th century, Plateliai Manor was a property of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, while later, up to 1940, it used to belong to the family of Choiseul-Gouffier, French counts. In the 19th century, Sofija Tyzenhauzaitė de Choiseul-Gouffier used to live and create here, who was the first woman-author in historic Lithuania who wrote in French. Under Choiseul rule, Plateliai Manor used to be an important centre of Žemaitija’s culture, politics and economy.
Plateliai Manor Homestead of 19th century – the beginning of 20th century, being an object of architectural and landscaping value, together with the survived buildings (a threshing barn, servant’s quarters, stables, a granary and a cellar) and the park is a state-protected cultural valuable. Wooden buildings of the Manor were burnt during the World War II (in 1943). Part of these buildings are under restoration and will be adapted to meet public needs. In the building of former stables, a display of Shrovetide masks is offered, in the granary of the Manor – exposition of the Žemaitija National Park and an exhibition hall are located, in the cellar – Centre for Crafts, while in the threshing barn – the House of Culture.
Plateliai Manor Park started to be formed in the 19th century. Two imposing trees that have been granted the status of monuments of nature grow here – Raganos uosis (Witch’s Ash), Lithuania’s stoutest ash (7.2 m girth) and Platelių liepa (Plateliai linden) (5.4 m girth). The Plateliai Park is a habitat for bats, the largest on the entire territory of the Žemaitija National Park: 7 species of bats have been registered, the major part of which are listed by the Red List of Lithuania. Also, other species of protected plants (Phaeophyscia endophoenicea, Porella platyphylla, Greater butterfly orchid (Platanthera chlorantha) and others) and animals (Great crested newt (Triturus cristatus), Black apollo, Gray-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus) and others) can be seen in the Park.
Near the Park, a former orchard (3.5 ha) of the Manor has survived, in which Platelių vinkšna (Plateliai Elm) (4.8 m girth) grows that has been granted the status of a monument of nature.
Lake Plateliai Viewing Platform. This viewing platform overlooks Lake Plateliai panoramic view together with Pliksalės, Pilies, Veršių islands, Šventorkalnis peninsula and Plokštinė forests.
Lake Plateliai. This Lake is the largest and deepest Žemaitija’s lake famous for its natural, cultural and landscape value. Even depths of this Lake are special: unique geological formations have been discovered here, changing understanding about formation of the entire Žemaitija Upland. The name of this Lake was mentioned first in the Lithuanian Metrics in 15th century. Its area is 1205 ha, average depth 10.5 m, the deepest point – about 50 m. 17 rivulets are tributaries to the Lake, while the Babrungas river rises here.
There are 7 islands on the Lake: Pilies, Veršių, Pliksalė, Briedsalė, Ubagsalė, Gaidsalė and the smallest among them Šončelis island. All islands of the Lake and Kreiviškiai and Auksalė peninsulas are state-protected monuments of nature or objects of natural heritage.
Lake Plateliai stands out by a unique cultural heritage as well. A castle that used to belong to Lithuanian Dukes, stood even in 15th century already. It was connected with the Šventorkalnis peninsula via a wooden bridge. The bridge poles, Pilies island and Šventorkalnis peninsula (Plateliai Manor location) have been granted the status of cultural valuables.
Here, beside abundant usual fishes, salmon family fishes are breeding as well – vendace and lake whitefish that lived here even in the post-glacial period.
Jasmine Mountain (Bokštakalnis) – Jewish genocide cemetery. At the beginning of the World War II, about 30 Jews have been murdered and buried here.