Coat of arms

Coat of Arms of Alytus City(1614–1631)
The June 15, 1581 Stefan Batory states that Alytus is granted Magdeburg rights and the coat of arms - a white rose in a red background. This was the only privilege with its colored coat of arms and it has not survived. It burnt in the 1737 fire together with other privileges and acts of Magdeburg rights granted by the rulers. The citizens, who were left without any documents and did not want anyone to use their rights, requested an extract from Lithuanian Metrics and received it in 1740. Nine years later Alytus was reaffirmed the rights of self-government. Neither the Lithuanian Metric nor the subsequent Acts of Confirmation of 1581 contain a coat of arms drawing. It can be determined from the stamps of Alytus city found in the documents of 1614 and 1631. In their center there is a Renaissance shield with a five-leaf heraldic rose. The shield is surrounded by a Latin legend *SIGILLVM*CIVITATIS*OLITHENSIS*...

The fact that Alytus was given this symbol was probably influenced by St. The cult of the Virgin Mary. In1524 The privilege of supplying the Church of Jonas Zabžezinskis is named after the Church of St. Of John the Baptist, The Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the name of St. Nicholas. One of the fairs in the city was held on the day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15. The five-leaf rose is one of the most common symbols of European heraldry. The white rose was The attribute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, reflecting virginity, chastity, spiritual revelation, and in the Middle Ages became a symbol of perfection, completeness, essence of life, beauty, joy and passion.

In 1776 the Seimas of the Commonwealth of the Two Nations abolished the self-governments of almost all state cities of Lithuania. Alytus also lost its self-government. In 1791 the Four-year Seimas (1788-1792) adopted a new Law on Cities. It restored the municipal rights of all the cities - all they needed was to prove them and obtain the privilege. Alytus self-government came into force in August 1791. The next year two new stamps were made, but instead of heraldic roses, three lilies on the ground were carved. There are no data why the coat of arms was changed. The lilies were probably taken from the heraldry of the nobleman Orlovskis who lived in the vicinity of Alytus.

The coat of arms of Alytus City in 1792

After the III partition of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795 Alytus was divided into two parts: the right bank of the Nemunas River went to the Russian Empire, the left bank went to Prussia.  Left bank Alytus in 1807-1815 belonged to the Duchy of Warsaw, in 1815-1915 it belonged the Kingdom of Poland which was an autonomous part of the Russian Empire. The inhabitants of this part of town preserved a transcript of privilege of 1740, the city stamp of 1792 and quite actively tried to regain the city self-government.

Postcard with the coat of arms of Alytus created by the artist B. Šaliamoras

In 1845 a new administrative division was carried out in the Russian Empire and coat of arms of the cities became a matter o interest. The inhabitants of the left-bank Alytus sent the drawing of their coat of arms to the Governing Commission of the Kingdom of Poland. The red field depicted a white rose on a stem with green leaves. This coat of arms has not been confirmed. In 1856 tsar Alexander the II ordered the revision and approval of the symbols of all the Governorates and Cities. The Governing Commission of the Kingdom of Poland again demanded the sending of data on herbal privileges and stamps. inhabitants of left-bank Alytus sent  a transcript of privilege of 1740  and the example of stamp dated 1792, but the coat of arms of Alytus was not approved again.

In 1918 after the restoration of Lithuania's independence, Alytus regained the city rights, but the coat of arms was not officially approved. During the interwar period the city coat of arms with three lilies became popular. This merit belongs to the artists Tadas Daugirdas and Bronius Šaliamoras who created the coat of arms and graphically depicted the colors. They also added a new element - the shield was decorated with a five-leaf crown. The popularity of the coat of arms was greatly influenced by the press of that time.

In 1966 the Republican Heraldry Commission was established under the Soviet Lithuanian Ministry of Culture. This commission has taken on the task of restoring the historic coat of arms of the city and creating new ones. It was decided to restore the first historical symbol of Alytus City. This work was entrusted to the artist Arūnas Tarabilda. In May 15, 1968 the National Heraldry Commission approved the restored coat of arms of Alytus. However in 1970  the commission was dissolved and cities were banned from using the arms.

The Coat of Arms of Alytus City was approved in 1995.

The coat of arms of Alytus created by the artist V. Skabeikienė in 1994 (according to the example of the coat of arms by A.Tarabilda)

After the restoration of Lithuania's independence, in 1995 the artist Juozas Galkus restored the coat of arms of Alytus City - a white rose in a red field according to old city stamps. In December 11, 1995 this coat of arms was approved by the President of the Republic of Lithuania.

Last updated: 29 11 2019