About Lithuania

Video “Unseen Lithuania”. Photography: Marius Jovaisa, music: Andrius Mamontovas

LITHUANIA AT A GLANCE

Lithuania is the southernmost of the three Baltic States – and the largest of them. Bordered by Poland to the south, and former Old Prussian land, now Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) to the southwest, Lithuania has 60 miles of sandy coastline which faces the open Baltic Sea. Its shores are famous for the Baltic amber (succinite), nicknamed “Lithuanian gold”. Found since Neolithic times/dating from 44 million years ago (cia vartok kuri nori), amber has been a hallmark of Baltic art, culture and economy for centuries. It is considered to be one of the biggest treasures of our nature. Many myths and legends surround the origin of it, and it is believed that this precious stone protects from evil eye. Amber – Lithuanian national symbol and pride – has also been used in folk medicine for its purported healing properties.

Rebellious, quirky and vibrant, Lithuania (Lietuva) is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. Though the country rarely makes it into newspapers outside its borders (and when it does, it’s for some basketball exploit), the southernmost of the three Baltic countries holds a bag of treats.

Foremost among these is the country’s majestic Baltic coastline and the unique sliver of white sand known as the Curonian Spit. Inland, lush forests watch over lakes that twinkle between the pine trees, and lonely coastal wetlands lure migrating birds by the tens of thousands. There are over 2,800 lakes larger than 0.5 hectares in size, and 18 rivers longer than 100 kilometres in Lithuania.

 

The capital, Vilnius, is a beguiling artists’ enclave, with mysterious courtyards, worn cobbled streets and crumbling corners, overshadowed by baroque beauty beyond belief.

Further afield, remnants of Soviet times – a disused nuclear missile site (now a museum to the Cold War) and a Soviet sculpture park – fascinate and shock. The Hill of Crosses and Orvydas stone garden are two more oddities of this awe-inspiring land.

See more: http://www.lithuania.travel

VILNIUS, BAROQUE PERL

feel the unique spirit of Vilnius

Like no other Eastern European city, Vilnius has earned the title of Baroque Capital. Walking in the narrow streets of Vilnius old town you will feel the magic of the city as if you were travelling in time.
Situated at the confluence of the rivers Neris and Vilnia, the capital of Lithuania is one of the most visited cities in Eastern Europe. The Vilnius Old Town – a Baroque masterpiece as they say – was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. Vilnius has long been called Little Rome, North Athens or North Jerusalem. Approximately 40 churches of various architectural styles stand here, and some authentic buildings with Gothic, Renaissance or Classical features have survived.
The Old Town of Vilnius is small and cosy. Narrow streets and passages will have you disappear into a world of flower-decorated courtyards, churches and museums in no time
Since its founding days Vilnius has been the home for people of different nationalities and religions. The diversity of its citizens is marked by street names: Vokiečių (Eng. German), Žydų (Eng. Jewish), Totorių (Eng. Tartar), Rusų (Eng. Russian), as well as numerous temples of nine different religions.
The Old Town of Vilnius is small and cosy. Narrow streets and passages will have you disappear into a world of flower-decorated courtyards, churches and museums in no time. It is one of the largest and most beautiful old towns in the Middle and the Eastern Europe; the Lithuanian capital is on the list of twenty most beautiful cities of the world one must visit.
While strolling the narrow streets of Vilnius old town you will feel like travelling back in time: you will pass the Gedimino castle on the top of the hill and the reconstructed Cathedral at its foot with the ancient rulers resting in its catacombs. In the Cathedral Square you will find the monument for Gediminas, who is considered to be the establisher of Vilnius.