Varniai is a city in the Telšiai County, western Lithuania. In the Middle Ages the city was known as Medininkai. It was established in the 14th century, on the bank of the Varnelė River, near an important Samogitian castle. It was the center of Samogitian Catholic church: after the baptism of Samogitia, the Samogitian Bishop resided in the town. Around 1414–1416 the first church was built, and circa 1464 the first cathedral. Varniai was the center of Samogitian episcopate until the middle of the 19th century, when authorities of the Russian Empire moved to it Kaunas.