Did you know that the so-called Republic of Perloja once existed in Lithuania? Between 1918 and1919, the small village became famous all over the country when obtained the right of self-government, a way to protect itself from external enemies. The inhabitants of Perloja held elections, established an army and created its own money and seal. During the interwar period, the largest monument of Vytautas the Great ever built in Lithuania, reaching a height of eight metres, stood in Perloja. The occupying power tried to demolish it twice without success.
Today, Perloja is a small village with a great history, and is worth visiting for its neo-Romanesque redbrick Church of the Holy Virgin Mary and St. Francis of Assisi, which was built in 1930 and that contains a series of impressive wall paintings inside. The aforementioned monument of Vytautas the Great is also noteworthy. Few people know it, but several train rails installed inside the monument and a lot of other fittings are what make the structure especially sturdy.