Eldership center – Gataučiai village
The Gatauciai Eldership, containing 21 villages, begins in the south-eastern part of the Joniskis district. 2,036 residents are settled in the Eldership, its area is 9,705 hectares and its centre is the Gatauciai settlement. Here we can find an elementary school, a library, a cultural centre, a post office, a dispensary, 14 enterprises and the centre of the Gatauciai agricultural community.
In the first half of the 17th century Gatauciai was mentioned in written sources. The historical peculiarities of the Gatauciai Eldership territory are connected with the existence of three manor houses: Gatauciai, Juodziai and Vaizguciai.
St John Nepomuk’s chapel, located in Ivoskiai cemetery, used to belong to Vaizguciai manor house. The chapel is famous for the fact, that in 1786 the Pope (Pius IV) granted it a right to hold Church festivals – a right that has been exercised up to the present time.
The most distinctive cultural feature is a youth festival “Saulėtosios naktys” (Sunny nights). Among the most active village communities of the district two come from Jauniūnai and Stupurai, from the Gatauciai Eldership.
The Eldership is well-known not only in the district, but in the country for having the site of the victorious Battle of Saule located within its boundaries in Jauniunai village. Here, at the confluence of the Musa and Tautinis rivers on the 22nd of September 1236, on St Mauritius’ Day, 770 years ago the historic victory at the Battle of Saule was won.
The Eldership is also proud of the fact, that on the territory of Vaizguciai village (Laimuze farmhouse) there once stood the home of a famous artist (a graphic art specialist), Marce Katiliute. In Jauniunai village there is a historical monument – a cemetery of Soviet army soldiers.