Eldership center – Gaižaičiai village
Larger settlements – Juodeikiai, Raistai, Martyniškiai
The Gaizaiciai Eldership, located 50 km from the district centre, has borders with two neighbouring districts: the Kruopiai Eldership of Akmene district and the Sakyna Eldership of Siauliai district, as well as the Zagare Eldership, and with the Latvian Republic.
The Eldership area covers 12,000 hectares, of which 4,579 hectares is arable land, 683 hectares forest and 585 hectares – water and other land. 644 residents are settled in 13 villages and settlements in the Eldership. There are no agricultural communities here. 237 small farms predominate in the territory. The residents work individually and most of them earn their living from working on their own 2–3 hectare farm. Only 26 farmers own more than 50 hectares of land.
The Svete river flows through the Eldership – it starts in the Tyrelis swamp with 16 hectares of lake. Tyrelis is the only swamp in the northern part of the republic where cranberries grow and where peaty chamaedapne calyculata remains green throughout the year; 47 bird species hatch there every year. Peat is the greatest asset of the swamp.
Gaizaiciai is the largest settlement of the Eldership. Gaizaiciai elementary school, a library, a cultural centre, a village medical dispensary, two shops, the Gaizaiciai sports stadium and a sports facility room that is on the verge of completion are located here. The Eldership residents go to Juodeikiai and Zukanciai churches for Mass.
There are three non-governmental institutions implementing various cultural and social projects – the village community, a youth club and a large family community.
The Eldership is proud of the example of Aleksandras Zalys, a teacher who has been awarded the C. Kudaba prize – named after the environmentalist. The teacher contributed to the work of developing the Eldership’s outstanding features and its natural and historical values. From 1956 to 1960 a remarkable Lithuanian priest, Father Stanislovas, worked in Juodeikiai village.
The Eldership is also famous for a special historical asset – a monument to Vytautas the Great. Every year a symbolic coronation of Vytautas the Great is organised here in the course of a special day of celebrations and festivities.