Category Archives: Lithuania

Lithuania – Nida

Nida is the biggest town in the Curonian Spit with approximately 1650 inhabitants. It is composed of 3 little settlements  – Nida, Skruzdynė and Purvynė as the old Nida was snowbouded by dune sands in 1675 and the local inhabitants were forced to settle further north. It is located 48 km from Klaipėda and only 4 km form the borderline with the Russian Federation.   Nida was harried many times during the World Wars but finally it was rebuilt by soviets in 1953 and in 1961 under the order of the Supreme Council of Soviet Lithuania Nida became an administrative center of Neringa city.

Lithuania – Kaunas

Kaunas is the center of Kaunas County and the second biggest city in Lithuania with the population of more than 415,700 and the area of 156 sq. km. It was founded in the 12th century and owes its existence to its favourable geographic position. Kaunas is situated in the centre of Lithuania, at the confluence of the two biggest rivers the Nemunas and the Neris.

Kaunas enjoys a remarkable Old Town which is a concentration of ancient architectural monuments: the remnants of the 13th century Castle, the Cathedral, the Jesuit and ST. Trinity Churches as well as the Old Town Hall, nicknamed the “White Swan” for its charming architecture. The Old Town Hall Square, the most important architectural accent of the Old Town, is reminiscent of the Middle Ages with the early Gothic Vytautas Church and the late Gothic Perkunas House not far away.

Lithuania – Vilnius

Vilnius is the capital and largest city of Lithuania. It lies on the bank of Neris river and has approxmately 560,000 inhabitants.

The Old Town, historical centre of Vilnius, is one of the largest in Eastern Europe (360 ha). The most valuable historic and cultural heritage is concentrated here. The buildings in the Old Town—there are about 1.5 thousand of them—were built in a number of different centuries, therefore, it is a mixture of all European architectural styles. Although Vilnius is often called a Baroque city, here you will also find masterpieces of Gothic, monuments of Renaissance, Neoclassicism and other styles. The main sights of the city are the Gediminas Castle, the Cathedral Square—symbols of the capital—and the historic centre, the Old Town of Vilnius, which in 1994 was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

In 2009, at the same time as Linz (Austria), Vilnius was a European Capital of Culture. Vilnius has always been a multicultural city.

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.