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About the project


Together with our partners, we have created the project “Promoting local cultural entrepreneurship – Merkinė Manor” (in Lithuanian, Vietos kultūros verslumo skatinimas – Merkinės dvarvietė), or, to put it a little more briefly, Merkinės fabrikas (in English, “Merkinė factory”), which operates successfully with funding from the “Culture” programme of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism.

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Crossroads of cultures

We are located in an exceptional place: next to Merkinė hill-fort, overlooking the valley at the confluence of the rivers Nemunas and Merkys. The town has a rich history, at one time having been an important centre at an intersection among cities playing significant roles in Lithuania’s history: Vilnius, Kaunas, Grodno (present-day Belarus), Kraków (Poland). Even today, the area continues to be a soup of peoples, cultures and interests, flavoured with the memory of Jewish heritage.


Merkinės fabrikas, located 100 kilometres from Vilnius and from Kaunas, in a triangle defined by Druskininkai, Varėna and Alytus, continues to be a geographically convenient place for “cooking” culture.

Sustainable production

A sustainable outlook puts material things aside and invites us to enjoy the process itself. At Merkinės fabrikas, we focus on slow consumption, seeking to feel the surroundings, the local residents and traditions. We are certain that only together with the community will we discover the depth, meaning and will to cultivate the still-untapped cultural treasures of the town of Merkinė.

The historic buildings renovated and activated during the project will become a new place for gathering together: cultural evenings with local creative artists, literary readings, folklore and acoustic concerts are only a part of what we foresee in the Merkinės fabrikas production line, so to speak.

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Consuming slowly

Merkinė is a small town. Freedom, openness and creativity form the axis around which its homes are centred. Global discussions take place here, and all points of view are welcome. As if at home or in the studio Be pykčio (Without Anger) of the late Leonidas Donskis, Member of the European Parliament, journalist and philosopher. Merkinės fabrikas reflects the historical diversity of Merkinė, from a contemporary point of view.

Together with our partners in Lithuania and Norway, we strive to make Merkinės fabrikas not just another fast-consumption tourist site, but to offer a deep, slow understanding of local culture and history.

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