On the other side of the elegant bridge near Druskonis Lake, an exhibition of folk art sculptures based on Druskonis legends will catch the attention of passers-by. One of the legends tells of two sisters, the daughters of Druskis Jonas, and their love for the same man. After their unfortunate love story, people named the home of Druskis Jonas “Druskonis”.
The coast of Druskonis Lake is one of the most beautiful areas for relaxation in Druskininkai. The area of Druskonis Lake is 7.5 ha. According to legend, the family of Druskis Jonas lived here a long time ago, and the lake was named after them. In former times, this small lake would greet the first guests of the resort after their tiring journey. For them, it meant they had finally reached their destination. The road that goes along the southern coast of the lake is the main historic road from Gardinas. Centennial pines grow there, which were already pictured in 19th century postcards, and are now illuminated at night. On the northern shore of the lake, the Druskininkai Town Museum building features an impressive terrace, while on the opposite shore you can visit the town’s Old Cemetery. In the summer, visitors can enjoy the lovely flower gardens and a refreshingly cool fountain. During the warm months, you can also rent a boat or a water bike to row or paddle around the lake. The coast is a great destination for cyclers, runners and hikers.
There is a lovely arched-type pedestrian bridge at the mouth of the Ratnyčėlė River. The Ratnyčėlė flows out of Latas Lake and is 33 kilometres long. It is particularly beautiful and noisy at the confluence with the Nemunas. The coastline is characterised by extraordinary beauty with large black alders, and it is a popular place to go for a walk – especially along the Love Trail that goes from the mouth of the river to the bridge across M. K. Čiurlionis Street. This bridge is decorated with the Ratnyčėlė sculpture that was built in 1962 (by the sculptor B. Vyšniauskas).
The Health Resort Park is the town’s oldest garden, situated in the historic area of Druskininkai. In the 19th century, it was the centre of the visitors’ daily activities including treatments, entertainment and interactions. The garden’s layout is symmetrical, and its individual parts are based on an English-style garden with winding paths. It has health facilities and a Kurhauz. In the past, the Kurhauz had a station, bookstore-library, confectionary and a theatre hall, and people could have a drink of kefir or kumis there. During Soviet times, a Buvette over a mineral spring was built, along with other buildings for drinking the mineral water. In 2011, the park was reconstructed and new sculptures, paths, benches and lighting were added, new greenery was planted, and the Beauty Spring surroundings were changed. Another historical landmark in the park is a river water level gauge that was built in 1881.
The Crown Monument, created by the well-known sculptor Dalia Matulaitė, is dedicated to a royal couple: Sigismund Augustus, the last of the Jogaila Dynasty, and his second wife Barbora Radvilaitė, who was the great love of his life. The monument is built on the banks of the Nemunas, in the Health Resort Park. It symbolises the co-operation between the resort towns of two neighbouring countries – Augustavas and Druskininkai.
Beauty Spring is the most salty and the deepest spring in Druskininkai, which has skin cleansing and rejuvenating properties. The spring flowing from the stone bas-relief near the Nemunas River is more than 300 metres deep. The spring water is especially salty, so drinking it is not recommended. However, the water can be used to wash your face and hands, or to rinse your throat. It is believed that the water rejuvenates the skin, providing it with beauty and invigoration. According to legend, in ancient times a duke accidentally found himself in this place while hunting. The hunt was successful, so the duke had to shoot down a falcon. Pierced by a well-aimed arrow, the falcon fell into the Nemunas and the duke jumped into the water to grab it. On the shore, his duchess began to cry and run along the banks of the river, pouring out salty tears and shouting for her husband. After a while, the duke emerged from the water alive and unhurt, with the falcon in his hands. According to the legend, the salty springs broke through from the places on the ground where the duchess’ tears had fallen.
Viečiūnai is a town near Druskininkai, which is mentioned in written sources dating from 1629. The settlement consists of two parts – the old village located at a bend of the Nemunas, opposite the Liškiava monastery; and the new settlement which began to grow in 1963 when a Viečiūnai spinning factory replaced the brickyard.