Intresting places in Lithuania
Vilnius (pop. 541.3 thousand), the capital of Lithuania, is the largest and one of the oldest cities of the country. Its name was first mentioned in 1323 in the letters of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas inviting craftsmen, merchants and monks from Western Europe to come and stay here. In 1387, after Lithuania adopted Christianity, the city was awarded the Magdeburg Rights, i.e. self-governing.
Vilnius was forming as a centre of tolerance where people of various nationalities, including Poles, Byelorussians, Russians, GGermans, Jews and others, settled and lived in harmony. It also enjoyed prospering crafts and trade. Upon having established a university in the Lithuanian capital in 1579, Vilnius became the biggest centre of culture and education in the region.
Vilnius boasts the most wonderful architectural styles of Southern and Western Europe, Gothic and Renaissance, as well as the original “Lithuanian” Baroque, also called the last vivid flash of Baroque in Europe. During these periods the dynamic silhouettes of the majority oof very elegant churches and belfry towers emerged above the city panorama. The end of the 18th century enriched the capital with beautiful buildings in the Classicist style. The capital of Lithuania is the biggest northernmost and easternmost city of EEurope with especially evident influence of Western cultures in its architectural harmony. In 1994 the Old Town of Vilnius was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
At the start of the 20th century, Vilnius became the centre of the Lithuanian national rebirth. On 16 February 1918 the independence of the Lithuanian state was declared here.
Contemporary Vilnius is the fastest growing and advancing capital in the Baltic States, aspiring to be the most attractive centre for business, political and cultural meetings and events in the region of the neighbouring countries. The city enjoys a well-developed infrastructure of services and entertainments–it has plenty of accommodation, catering and leisure places of various levels. Vilnius is home to the majority of national art aand cultural institutions and companies as well as artists. Eimuntas Nekrošius, Oskaras Koršunovas, Rimas Tuminas and other Lithuanian artistic directors, the best in Europe, are working here. During summertime the city hosts international and national cultural events, including Vilnius Festival (classics and of the virtuosi of the world music), Christopher’s festival of traditional and modern music, several jazz, folklore and modern dance festivals along with other inventive festivities.
Vilnius, for its activities in creating the good neighbourship and civic community, eearned the 2000-2001 UNESCO Cities for Peace Prize and was nominated as the City for Peace for the region of Europe and North America. In 2009 Vilnius, the first from the new EU Member States, along with the Austrian city Linz will become the European cultural capital.
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE: LITHUANIAN MASTERPIECESVILNIUS HISTORIC CENTRETHE CURONIAN SPITCROSS-MAKING IN LITHUANIA. SYMBOLISM OF CROSSESTRADITIONS AND SYMBOLISM OF SONG FESTIVALS IN ESTONIA, LATVIA AND LITHUANIAKERNAVĖ
VILNIUS HISTORIC CENTRE
In 1994, the primary motive for the inscription of Vilnius Historic Centre on the UNESCO World Heritage List said: “The political centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 13th through the 18th century, Vilnius had a considerable influence on the cultural and architectural development of the Eastern Europe. Despite invasions and partial destruction, it has preserved impressive complexes of gothic, renaissance, baroque, and classical buildings as well as its medieval layout and natural settings”.
Vilnius, the name of the capital of Lithuania, was first mentioned in 1323 in the letter of Gediminas, the Grand Duke of Lithuania. In his letter, Gediminas was inviting European merchants and craftsmen to come and settle and offering them every support. Since then Vilnius has been famous for its tolerance towards ddifferent nations and religions. The names of the Old Town streets (German, Jewish, Tartar, and Russian streets) and the temples of as many as nine religions exhibit the multinational composition of the population.Despite all historic adversities, Vilnius still enjoys the old architecture that was built in the medieval heyday. The ensembles of Vilnius churches and palaces reflect all styles of architecture, from late gothic to classicism, whereas baroque put the last touches to the formation of the unique style of the town. Vilnius, the most northern capital of the Central and Eastern Europe, has adopted the old styles of the South and West European architecture and prides itself on its old town known as one of the largest (approximately 360 ha, more than 1500 buildings) and the most beautiful. The capital of Lithuania in the 14th through the 17th centuries and in particular Vilnius University established in 1579 represented a striking centre of western culture and education located furthest away in the East of Europe and propagating the western culture in the East. Gediminas Castle overlooking the city and the Cathedral located at the foot of the hill represent the main landmarks of Vilnius. The olden rulers of the country aare buried in the vaults of Vilnius Cathedral, which has been rebuilt several times. A monument to Gediminas, the reputed founder of Vilnius, is erected in the Cathedral Square. The tracery brick facade of the Church of St. Ann, a masterpiece of the late flamboyant gothic style, has no equal in the world. It is one of the most beautiful buildings of such kind in the world. Other masterpieces of baroque include the Church of St. Peter and Paul and the Church of St. Johns. Located on the confluence of the rivers Neris and Vilnia, the capital of Lithuania is one of the greenest capitals in the world. It is overflowed with numerous parks and groves, squares and lawns. The hills surrounding the historic centre of Vilnius offer a perfect site for enjoying the views or entertaining, where the visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a spectacular panorama of the Old Town of Vilnius.The Old Town of Vilnius, a reflection of the town glory and splendour, and the fast growing Vilnius, the leader among the Baltic capitals, is among the top twenty towns of the world to be visited because of its beauty.
Žemaitija National Park
Žemaitija National Park is a real
discovery for travellers who wish to explore wild nature and original traditions of the region. It is recommended to naturalists, cycling tourists, yachtsmen and scuba-divers since the Park offers a number of opportunities for active and interesting leisure time. The lake compound of Plateliai, vast woodlands, the architecture and traditional archaic feast of Žemaičiai Calvary as well as articles of wood craftsmen, a traditional Pancake Tuesday festival, the possibility to hear, touch and feel all that legendary character of Žemaičiai –– all of that attracts visitors to Žemaitija National Park. The Lake Plateliai (1205 ha), the biggest and cleanest lake in Žemaitija, along with another 25 lakes, provides opportunities to water sport and tourism, scuba diving, fishing and bird observation fans as well as professional scientists. A good road network linking settlements and villages of the Park allows travelling by car, by bicycle or on foot. The Park is home to 2 information centres, 8 museum expositions and 12 natural ssights. Those interested in all that can choose short tours or a week-long stay. Tourists are welcome at 7 holiday homes and hotels, 19 rural tourism farmsteads and 9 camping sites as well as 6 cafes, inns and Linelis. The SSamogitian kastinys (sour cream butter), spirginė (flaxseed and potato dish), cibulynė (onion and herring soup) or lake fish are really specific and delicious foods of the region. The Park fosters and revives old cultural traditions and festivals of the Žemaitija region. Tourists will be welcome by the guides having preserved their old dialect, customs and peculiarities of temper. Žemaitija National Park is a real blessing for eco-tourists and scientists of wide profile. The glacier-formed waterhole of Plateliai Lake and small lakes of thermokarst origin, distinguished by exceptional relief landscape complexes of Gardai Ridge, Mikytai, Jazdauskiškiai and Šarnelė, large marshlands densely inhabited by birds, and ravines carved with springs and upper reaches of rivers – all of that you can find iin a small area of 21720 ha. It should be noted that some 10% of the Park’s territory are not available for tourists; these include Plokštinė and Rukundžiai natural reserves, which also turn into telmological (marsh) reserves in spring and summer. The National Park contains 12 monuments of nature, including trees, springs, peninsulas and islands; however, not all of them are accessible easily. The most impressive in the territory of Plateliai Manor is the Ash-tree of Witch being the thickest aash-tree in Lithuania (the trunk size is 7.2 m, ...