Klaipeda is the oldest city in Lithuania first mentioned in historical sources under the name of Memelburg in 1252. At that time the territory, presumably a fishermen’s settlement, was occupied by the Livonian Order that built the first wooden castle in the confluence of the Dane river and the Curonian lagoon.

The town grew around the castle. At that time the present Old Town territory and the castle site looked quite different. In the mouth of the river the Dane valley was about 800 m in width, and the river itself ran along the old bed where Didzioji Vandens Street is located now. In the place of present Theatre Square the stream of the river split into several branches and beds thus forming low sandy islands.

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