Gargždai is a town in western Lithuania. Minija River flows through the city.
Gargždai is administrative centre of Klaipėda district. It’s population is 15,8 thousand. Gargždai town is approximately 15 km away from Klaipėda.
In historical sources Gargždai for the first time is mentioned in the name of Garisda in 1253, however, people lived here from Brass Age. In the XVth c. the settlement moved to the western shore of the River Minija. Gargždai Manor is being mentioned from the XVIth c. Up to the the XVIIIth c. the settlement belonged to the estate of baron E. Röne. The Magdeburg’s Rights were given to Gargždai and the coat of arms (the sword surrounded by laurel garland in the red frame) of Gargždai town was awarded in 1792. The settlement became a town and was entitled to organize markets and fairs. From the XIXth c. Gargždai was famous as for being the frontier town and experienced its prosperity days. The trade, crafts, cultural and religious life were developing at that time. During the First World War, almost all the centre of the town burned away, only some of the brick buildings were untouched. Samogitian Road was built through the centre of the town from 1931 to 1939. However, the town was desolated by the fire one more time. Only the contemporary buildings survived: court, a part of the municipality, stables of the former Manor complex, customs- house and a part of J. Basanavičius Street. During the occupation of the Soviet Union, Gargždai developed a lot. In 1950 it became the centre of the Klaipėda district. The major image of the town was created, i.e. a typical example of the Soviet construction. Having announced the Independence of Lithuania, Gargždai experienced a new period of its existence. Today the town cannot be proud of the very rich architecture, but its history holds its ground among the Lithuanian towns which developed in the similar way.
Year by year Gargždai town and its district attract more and more investors, foreign capital companies. The incoming finances are designated for the development of the town’s infrastructure, renovation of buildings, development of cultural life, sport and tourism.