Only around 1920 Lithuania’s independence was recognized by Russia. A dictatorship came to an end and the beginning of parliamentary democracy was made. Then the Second World War threw a spanner in the works and there was a lot of unrest in Lithuania. The Germans again occupied Lithuania and the many Jews who lived there were killed or rounded up and put in concentration camps. In 1944 the country was liberated by the Red Army. A dichotomy of supporters and opponents of the Soviet Republic ensured that deportations took place. In 1990, many uprisings broke out and there was again a plea for independence. It was only after Iceland recognized Lithuania as independent a year later that it finally succeeded. It all happened not so long ago. And yet the country managed to pull itself together and eventually made it to the European Union. As the largest of the Baltic states, Lithuania has plenty to offer tourists. Historic cities, popular festivals, the beautiful and impressive nature and the tumultuous history of the country will certainly not leave you unmoved. Visiting the beach is also possible in Lithuania. The country has more than ninety meters of coastline where you can enjoy sunbathing during the summer days. The seaside resort of Palanga has all the ingredients for a successful beach holiday. Check topmbadirectory for how to get to Lithuania.
Top 10 sights of Lithuania
#1. Trakai Historical National Park
Of the five national parks in Lithuania, the charming Trakai Historical National Park is the most beautiful. It is also the smallest park of all. Trakai Historical National Park is located about twenty-eight kilometers from Vilnius. Around 1960 the park was declared a protected area. The historical heritage in the Trakai Historical National Park was later recognized only around 1991. In the park you will find various monuments, lakes, forests, ruins, wooden houses, churches and the Trakai castle. Grand Duke Vytautas, the national hero of Lithuania, died on this site around 1430. Later the castle served as a prison. Unfortunately, the castle suffered a lot during the eighteenth century and was later restored. You will also find a church and a historical museum about the Karaite culture. Check simplyyellowpages for mass media and culture of Lithuania.
As the capital of Lithuania, the city of Vilnius plays an important role. The historic center has great appeal for culture sniffers. Vilnius University has been known as an important cultural and scientific center since the sixteenth century. The old town center is located on the south bank of the Neris River. Nowadays you will find many day trippers strolling through the small streets and alleys, admiring the buildings, often built in baroque style. They can always count on a lot of interest, especially around the streets of Gedimino prospektas, on Katedros Aikste near Vilnius Cathedral and the artists’ district of Užupis.
Between World War I and World War II, the city of Kaunas served as the temporary capital of Lithuania. Later that role was reassigned to Vilnius. The city of Kaunas is a very nice city where culture and fun come together nicely. In the old town you will find many historical buildings such as the Kaunas Castle, the Town Hall, the Presidential Palace, the Kaunas Cathedral and the St. Michael Church. In addition, you can also shop very well in Kaunas and there are fascinating museums to visit. These include the ‘Museum of Medicine and Pharmacy in Lithuania’ and the ‘Povilas Stulga National Musical Instruments Museum of Lithuania’.
#4. National Museum
The National Museum of Lithuania ‘Nacionalinis Muziejus Lietuvos Didžiosios Kunigaikštystės Valdovų Rūmai’ is located in the former palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. After the Russian invasion in the second half of the seventeenth century, the palace stood empty for a long time and then served as a military fortress. The last major renovation took place in 2006. And only in 2013 the palace was opened to the public. You can now look around areas where different foundations of the original palace have been exposed, where you can admire different architectural styles and areas such as the palace kitchen, classroom and apartments.
#5. Vytautas the Great War Museum
Lithuania’s war museum is named after Grand Duke Vytautas the Great. The museum at its current location opened its doors on February 16, 1936. The museum has an exhibition about historical weapons, uniforms and other military objects. There are also exhibitions dedicated to the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
#6. Curonian Spit
Since the year 2000 the Curonian Spit ‘Kuršių Nerija’ belongs to Unesco’s World Heritage. The headland of almost a hundred kilometers long can be reached by ferry. The northern part belongs to Lithuania and the southern part to Russia. From the place Klaipėda you make the crossing of about five hundred meters by ferry to the village of Smiltynė. In this village there is the Maritime Museum of Lithuania and a dolphinarium. Another nice museum in Smiltynė is the open-air museum. Here you immediately get some information about the nature and the flora and fauna of the Curonian Spit. Because that is the most attractive part of the Curonian Spit. The beautiful dune areas and the pine forest are particularly good for many bird species. Art lovers can then indulge themselves in the village of Juodkrantė near Raganų kalnas. This village is in possession of beautiful statues made by dozens of different Lithuanian artists.
#7. Gate of the Dawn
In the capital of Lithuania, several impressive monuments and buildings can be discovered. The sixteenth century city gate ‘Aušros Vartai’ Gate of the Morning Red is a good example of this. It is the only one of the original nine city gates still left. On the gate of the dawn you can see religious images that are said to protect the city against visitors with wrong intentions.
#8. Aukštaitija National Park
The Aukštaitija National Park is located in the north-east of Lithuania. This more than four hundred square kilometers of park is filled with beautiful lakes, wooded areas and a rich biodiversity. You can rent a boat or canoe at various locations to explore the area from the water. It is even possible to spend several days in the park. You can book an overnight stay in different villages. The most famous village is Palūšė. You can immediately visit a very beautiful wooden church from the eighteenth century. If you decide to explore the Aukštaitija National Park on foot, it is recommended to do this with a guide. The dense forestation is quite disorienting.
#9. Ninth Fort
The original name of the Ninth Fort is: Devintas Fortas. The fortress is located in the city of Kaunas and was part of large fortress complex, Fort Kaunas. Before becoming a museum, the fort has been used as a defensive fortress, prison, concentration camp and agricultural complex. The museum also pays attention to the Jews and how they fared during and after World War II. A visit is sure to impress as so much has played out.
#10. Center of Europe
According to the 1989 calculations, the geographic center of Europe is near Purnuškės in Lithuania. The square in Bernotai with a large star on it bears witness to this. The column next to it is marked with the text: pastatyta 2004 metais Laatuvai stojant I europos sajunga. It is indicated here that Lithuania has been part of the European Union since 2004. The monument was designed by Lithuanian sculptor Gediminas Jokūbonis.