Kazlų Rūda railway station

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Kazlų Rūda railway station is the oldest surviving building in Kazlų Rūda. The station was built in 1861 within 2 km from the former village of Kazlų Rūda, near the Lentvaris-Virbalis railway.

In 1859, the Russians started building a railway from Kaunas to Kybartai. Wooden barracks were built for the workers in the thick forest. According to written sources, before the World War I, there were about 11 homesteads in Kazlų Rūda without the railway station building. The growth and development of the town began in 1923, when the Kazlų Rūda railway station was connected to Marijampolė, Kalvarija and Alytus, and in the same year, about 300 separate plots of land were formed for the development of the town. In the newspaper “Lietuva” (September 24, 1924, p.5), it was written that on Mondays and Thursdays, markets were held near the railway station, although the place was not the most convenient due to the small square and traffic jams on market days.

In the 1940s, Kazlų Rūda changed beyond recognition and became an unofficial Lithuanian resort, thus, in the newspapers of that time, we can find information about preparations for the holiday season: “The railway station decorates its area in front of the dusty main street, trees of which are covered with turf on one side and with whitewashed stones on the other. The summer houses in the park, in the direction of the pine forest are being ventilated and painted”, – “Lietuvos aidas” (May 25, 1936, p.6). We know from written sources that vacationers from Marijampolė, Virbalis, Vilkaviškis and Kaunas used to come to Kazlų Rūda on holidays. It is said that one-day adventure seekers from Kaunas would come to Kazlų Rūda every Sunday. They would make romantic acquaintances, get the fresh pine forest air, pick mushrooms and berries. At that time, the municipality took over and started managing the town’s park, built public toilets and benches. Hammocks were rented to vacationers for five litai each, and three litai were charged for owning the house gates that open to the park side”, – writes “Lietuvos Aidas” (August 24, 1937, p.2).

“Dates or meetings were arranged on the station platform. In the evenings, hundreds of people would meet or escort each train. On the platform, not only romantic acquaintances took place, but also settlement of old grievances or insults” (April 8, 2020, online newspaper “Santaka”, “The famous past of the town Kazlų Rūda” by Tomas Sušinskas). Currently, the town bar “Peronas” operates in the old railway station of Kazlų Rūda, which makes this building a meeting and dating place for the residents of the town and its guests once again.