– Lithuania TRAVEL GUIDE –
Capital city: Vilnius
Population: 3,343,500 people
Area: 65,200 square kilometers
Lithuania is the Largest and most populous of the Baltic republics. It’s easy to get around, and the short distances make it even easier to travel and explore the main attractions. In one day you can have breakfast in Vilnius’ Old Town and lunch on the seashore. Visit an exhibition at a modern art museum in the morning, and spend the afternoon in the middle of a centuries-old forest. Worth seeing is Vilnius, a multicultural capital with an Old Town where almost all of Europe’s architectural styles meet: Gothic, Renaissance, Classicism and stunning Baroque everywhere. Kaunas, the country’s second-largest city, proud of its Lithuanianness, is the cradle of national culture and art, which it showcases in museums, a modern theater and at jazz concerts and famous song festivals. On the Baltic coast, the Curonian Spit beckons with picturesque fishing villages and the highest wandering dunes in Europe.
-Lithuania travel guide –
The heart of Vilnius is the beautiful Old Town of Senamiestis, (one of the largest and more extensive in Europe) along with historic, mostly Baroque churches, magnificent magnate residences and bourgeois townhouses. Having visited the priceless monuments of Vilnius, it is worth trying to get into the soul of this city as well. It’s also worth stopping by the Cathedral or the Neris River, and looking at the towers of Gediminas or Trinity Hill.
Trakai Castle is another national symbol. It rises on an island in Lake Galve 30 km west of Vilnius. From here the Grand Dukes Vytautas, Kiejstut and Gediminas ruled in the 13th?15th century. Visiting this place is on the agenda of every tourist office organizing trips to Lithuania, so it is often crowded, but it is impossible to miss this only Gothic fortress on water in Europe. Particularly impressive are the large courtyard, the residential tower (donjon) and the throne room with a starry vault in the five-story Main Castle (Palas). Most of the rooms are occupied by the Historical Museum.
Located 15 km north of Šiauliai, the Hill of Crosses is Lithuania’s most famous national shrine – a forest of thousands of large and small crosses, made of every material imaginable. When the wind blows, you can hear the quiet ringing, creaking and clattering. Visiting this small hill is an unforgettable experience. The Hill of Crosses is a former castle hill in JurgaiÄiai, it is believed that a defensive castle once rose here. During the Soviet era, there were attempts to abolish the Hill of Crosses – but the people won, who kept putting up more and more crosses on the hill. Today the Hill of Crosses is a special place of worship for Catholics. There is neither a shrine, nor a miraculous image, nor burial sites, yet the hill amazes the whole world with the power of faith that emanates from here. Records of the first crosses erected here date back more than 150 years.
„Gateway to the world” – that’s what Lithuanians call their only port city located where the Curonian Lagoon ends and the Baltic Sea begins. The port (20 million tons of annual transshipment) is the engine and flywheel of the economic development that this third-largest center in Lithuania (population 194,000) has experienced over the years. Here the histories of Lithuania and Germany are intertwined ? for almost seven centuries, from its foundation in 1252 until 1945, the city was called Memel and belonged to East Prussia, only after the war it was renamed Klaipeda. On Moscow’s orders, the port was expanded and armaments plants were built, but the center was closed and only in 1987 were the first foreigners allowed in..
Curonian Spit National Park
It protects the unique sandy spit that crosses the Curonian Gulf from the Baltic Sea. The sandy embankment here forms dunes that have been shaped by wind and water. These areas provide a natural habitat for rare specimens of flora and fauna. These dunes under the buried sand hide old fishing villages, which are even now being developed along the shores. The buildings found here were built according to the canons of the style in force here and the patterns left by the ethnic Curonian Balts who once inhabited the area. The Curonian Spit is also listed as a World Natural Heritage Site – UNESCO.
Beautifully located on the high bank of the Nemunas River, surrounded by forests and gentle hills, Druskininkai (Druskininkai), drowning in greenery, imbued with the scent of ozone and fresh resin, is, next to Palanga, the most popular Lithuanian health resort, whose fame reaches far beyond the country’s borders. The people who come to Druskininkai are mainly those who want to relax. This was already the case in 1794, when the Polish king, by a special decree, named the town as a health resort due to its miracle-working waters, and it remains so today. The town (population 18,000) on the Nemunas River at the southern end of Lithuania is actually one big forest park, a mosaic of sanatoriums, villas, small lakes and almost endless walking paths, saturated with gentle, intoxicating air. The peculiar mild microclimate and the legendary power of the very salty mineral waters have made Druskininkai (druska means salt) the most famous therapeutic bath in Lithuania.
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