Top 10 things to do in Lithuania

Lithuania

An expanding economic market, it has some of the best natural countryside in Europe.

Lithuania is a country.

Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania , is a country in Northern Europe, one of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden and Denmark. It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 3 million as of 2013, and its capital and largest city is Vilnius. Lithuanians are a Baltic people. The official language, Lithuanian, and Latvian are the only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family.

For centuries, the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea was inhabited by various Baltic tribes. In the 1230s, the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, the King of Lithuania, and the first unified Lithuanian state, the Kingdom of Lithuania, was created on 6 July 1253. During the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe; present-day Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were the territories of the Grand Duchy. With the Lublin Union of 1569, Lithuania and Poland formed a voluntary two-state union, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighboring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772–95, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory.

As World War I neared its end, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the establishment of a sovereign State of Lithuania. Starting in 1940, Lithuania was occupied first by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end in 1944 and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, a year before formal break-up of the Soviet Union, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare itself independent, resulting in the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania.

Lithuania is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, a full member of the Schengen Agreement and NATO. It is also a member of the Nordic Investment Bank, and part of Nordic-Baltic cooperation of Northern European countries. The United Nations Human Development Index lists Lithuania as a "very high human development" country. Lithuania has been among the fastest growing economies in the European Union and is ranked 24th in the world in the Ease of Doing Business Index. On 1 January 2015, Lithuania adopted the euro as the official currency and became the 19th member of the Eurozone.

History

Prehistoric

The first people settled in the territory of Lithuania after the last glacial period in the 10th millennium BC. Over a millennium, the Proto-Indo-Europeans, who arrived in the 3rd – 2nd millennium BC, mixed with the local population and formed various Baltic tribes. The first written mention of Lithuania is found in a medieval German manuscript, the Annals of Quedlinburg, in an entry dated 9 March 1009.

Medieval

Initially inhabited by fragmented Baltic tribes, in the 1230s the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, who was crowned as King of Lithuania on 6 July 1253. After his assassination in 1263, pagan Lithuania was a target of the Christian crusades of the Teutonic Knights and the Livonian Order. Despite the devastating century-long struggle with the Orders, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania expanded rapidly, overtaking former Slavic principalities of Kievan Rus'.

By the end of the 14th century, Lithuania was one of the largest countries in Europe and included present-day Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia. The geopolitical situation between the west and the east determined the multicultural and multi-confessional character of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The ruling elite practiced religious tolerance and borrowed Chancery Slavonic language as an auxiliary language to the Latin for official documents.

In 1385, the Grand Duke Jogaila accepted Poland's offer to become its king. Jogaila embarked on gradual Christianization of Lithuania and established a personal union between Poland and Lithuania. It implied that Lithuania, the fiercely independent land, was one of the last pagan areas of Europe to adopt Christianity.

After two civil wars, Vytautas the Great became the Grand Duke of Lithuania in 1392. During his reign, Lithuania reached the peak of its territorial expansion, centralization of the state began, and the Lithuanian nobility became increasingly prominent in state politics. In the great Battle of the Vorskla River in 1399, the combined forces of Tokhtamysh and Vytautas were defeated by the Mongols. Thanks to close cooperation, the armies of Lithuania and Poland achieved a great victory over the Teutonic Knights in 1410 at the Battle of Grunwald, one of the largest battles of medieval Europe.

After the deaths of Jogaila and Vytautas, the Lithuanian nobility attempted to break the union between Poland and Lithuania, independently selecting Grand Dukes from the Jagiellon dynasty. But, at the end of the 15th century, Lithuania was forced to seek a closer alliance with Poland when the growing power of the Grand Duchy of Moscow threatened Lithuania's Russian principalities and sparked the Muscovite–Lithuanian Wars and the Livonian War.

Modern

The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was created in 1569. As a member of the Commonwealth, Lithuania retained its institutions, including a separate army, currency, and statutory laws. Eventually Polonization affected all aspects of Lithuanian life: politics, language, culture, and national identity. From the mid-16th to the mid-17th centuries, culture, arts, and education flourished, fueled by the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation. From 1573, the Kings of Poland and Grand Dukes of Lithuania were elected by the nobility, who were granted ever increasing Golden Liberties. These liberties, especially the liberum veto, led to anarchy and the eventual dissolution of the state.

During the Northern Wars , the Lithuanian territory and economy were devastated by the Swedish army. Before it could fully recover, Lithuania was ravaged during the Great Northern War . The war, a plague, and a famine caused the deaths of approximately 40% of the country's population. Foreign powers, especially Russia, became dominant in the domestic politics of the Commonwealth. Numerous factions among the nobility used the Golden Liberties to prevent any reforms. Eventually, the Commonwealth was partitioned in 1772, 1792, and 1795 by the Russian Empire, Prussia, and Habsburg Austria.

The largest area of Lithuanian territory became part of the Russian Empire. After unsuccessful uprisings in 1831 and 1863, the Tsarist authorities implemented a number of Russification policies. They banned the Lithuanian press, closed cultural and educational institutions, and made Lithuania part of a new administrative region called Northwestern Krai. The Russification failed owing to an extensive network of book smugglers and secret Lithuanian home schooling.

After the Russo-Turkish War , when German diplomats assigned what were seen as Russian spoils of war to Turkey, the relationship between Russia and the German Empire became complicated. The Russian Empire resumed the construction of fortresses at its western borders for defence against a potential invasion from Germany in the West. On 7 July 1879 the Russian Emperor Alexander II approved of a proposal from the Russian military leadership to build the largest "first-class" defensive structure in the entire state – the 65 km Kaunas Fortress. Large numbers of Lithuanians went to the United States in 1867–1868 after a famine. A Lithuanian National Revival laid the foundations of the modern Lithuanian nation and independent Lithuania.

20th and 21st centuries

During World War I, the Council of Lithuania declared the independence of Lithuania and the re-establishment of the Lithuanian State on 16 February 1918. Lithuania's foreign policy was dominated by territorial disputes with Poland and Germany. The Vilnius Region and Vilnius, the historical capital of Lithuania , were seized by the Polish army during Żeligowski's Mutiny in October 1920 and annexed two years later by Poland. For 19 years Kaunas became the temporary capital of Lithuania. The Polish occupation of Vilnius was greatly resented by Lithuania; there were no diplomatic relations between the two states for most of the period between the two World Wars.

Acquired during the Klaipėda Revolt of 1923, the Klaipėda Region was ceded to Germany after a German ultimatum in March 1939. During the interwar period, the domestic affairs of Lithuania were controlled by the authoritarian President, Antanas Smetona and his party, the Lithuanian Nationalist Union, who came to power after the coup d'état of 1926.

The Soviet Union returned Vilnius to Lithuania after the Soviet invasion of Eastern Poland in September 1939. In June 1940, the Soviet Union occupied and annexed Lithuania in accordance to the secret protocols of Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. A year later the Soviet Union was attacked by Nazi Germany, leading to the Nazi occupation of Lithuania. The Germans and their collaborators murdered around 190,000 Jews of Lithuania during the Holocaust.

After the retreat of the German armed forces, the Soviets re-established the annexation of Lithuania in 1944. Under border changes promulgated at the Potsdam Conference in 1945, the former German Memelland, with its Baltic port Memel , was again transferred to Lithuania, or as it was after 1945 the Lithuanian SSR. Most German residents of the area had fled in the final months of World War II.

The Soviets engaged in massive deportations of Lithuanians to Siberia, complete nationalisation and collectivisation and general sovietization of everyday life. From 1944 to 1952 approximately 100,000 Lithuanian partisans fought a guerrilla war against the Soviet system. An estimated 30,000 partisans and their supporters were killed, and many more were arrested and deported to Siberian gulags. It is estimated that Lithuania lost 780,000 people during World War II.

The advent of perestroika and glasnost in the late 1980s allowed the establishment of Sąjūdis, an anti-Communist independence movement. After a landslide victory in elections to the Supreme Soviet, members of Sąjūdis proclaimed Lithuania's independence on 11 March 1990, becoming the first Soviet republic to do so. The Soviet Union attempted to suppress the secession by imposing an economic blockade. Soviet troops attacked the Vilnius TV Tower, killing 14 Lithuanian civilians and wounding 600 others on the night of 13 January 1991 . On 31 July 1991 Soviet paramilitaries killed seven Lithuanian border guards on the Belarusian border in what became known as the Medininkai Massacre.

On 4 February 1991, Iceland became the first country to recognise Lithuanian independence. After the Soviet August Coup, independent Lithuania received wide official recognition and joined the United Nations on 17 September 1991. The last Soviet troops left Lithuania on 31 August 1993 – even earlier than they departed from East Germany. Lithuania, seeking closer ties with the West, applied for NATO membership in 1994. After a transition from a planned economy to a free market one, Lithuania became a full member of NATO and the European Union in the spring of 2004 and a member of the Schengen Agreement on 21 December 2007.

Geography

Lithuania is located in Northern Europe. It covers an area of 65,200 km . The country lies between latitudes 53° and 57° N, and mostly between longitudes 21° and 27° E . It has around 99 kilometres of sandy coastline, of which only about 38 kilometres face the open Baltic Sea and which is the shortest among the Baltic Sea countries; the rest of the coast is sheltered by the Curonian sand peninsula. Lithuania's major warm-water port, Klaipėda, lies at the narrow mouth of the Curonian Lagoon , a shallow lagoon extending south to Kaliningrad. The main and largest river, the Nemunas River, and some of its tributaries carry international shipping.

Lithuania lies at the edge of North European Plain. Its landscape has been smoothed by the glaciers of the last ice age. Lithuania's terrain is an alternation of moderate lowlands and highlands; its maximum elevation is Aukštojas Hill at 294 metres in the eastern part of the country. The terrain features numerous lakes, Lake Vištytis for example, and wetlands; a mixed forest zone covers nearly 33% of the country. The climate ranges between maritime and continental, with wet, moderate winters and mildly hot summers.

After a re-estimation of the boundaries of the continent of Europe in 1989, Jean-George Affholder, a scientist at the Institut Géographique National determined that the Geographic Centre of Europe is located at . The method used for calculating this point was that of the centre of gravity of the geometrical figure of Europe. This point is located in Lithuania, specifically 26 kilometres north of its capital city, Vilnius.

Climate

Lithuania's climate, which ranges between maritime and continental, is relatively mild. Average temperatures on the coast are −2.5 °C in January and 16 °C in July. In Vilnius the average temperatures are −6 °C in January and 17 °C in July. During the summer, 20 °C is common during the day while 14 °C is common at night; in the past, temperatures have reached as high as 30 or 35 °C . Some winters can be very cold. −20 °C occurs almost every winter. Winter extremes are −34 °C in coastal areas and −43 °C in the east of Lithuania.

The average annual precipitation is 800 mm on the coast, 900 mm in the Samogitia highlands and 600 mm in the eastern part of the country. Snow occurs every year, it can snow from October to April. In some years sleet can fall in September or May. The growing season lasts 202 days in the western part of the country and 169 days in the eastern part. Severe storms are rare in the eastern part of Lithuania but common in the coastal areas.

The longest measured temperature records from the Baltic area cover about 250 years. The data show that there were warm periods during the latter half of the 18th century, and that the 19th century was a relatively cool period. An early 20th century warming culminated in the 1930s, followed by a smaller cooling that lasted until the 1960s. A warming trend has persisted since then.

Lithuania experienced a drought in 2002, causing forest and peat bog fires. The country suffered along with the rest of Northwestern Europe during a heat wave in the summer of 2006.

Politics

Since Lithuania declared the restoration of its independence on 11 March 1990, it has maintained strong democratic traditions. In the first general elections after the independence on 25 October 1992, 56.75% of the total number of voters supported the new constitution. There were intense debates concerning the constitution, especially the role of the president. A separate referendum was held on 23 May 1992 to gauge public opinion on the matter and 41% of all the eligible voters supported the restoration of the President of Lithuania. According to the explanation of Constitutional Court of Lithuania on 10 January 1998, the Republic of Lithuania is a parliamentary republic with some attributes of a semi-presidential system.

The Lithuanian head of state is the President, elected directly for a five-year term and serving a maximum of two consecutive terms. The post of president is quite ceremonial; main policy functions include foreign affairs and national security. The president is also the commander-in-chief of the military. The President also appoints the Prime Minister and, on the latter's nomination, the rest of the cabinet, as well as a number of other top civil servants and the judges for all courts.

The current Lithuanian head of state, Dalia Grybauskaitė was elected on 17 May 2009, becoming the first female President in the country's history. This marked a dramatic shift in Baltic politics after its European neighbour, Latvia, elected their first female political leader late in the previous decade.

The judges of the Constitutional Court , who serve nine-year terms, are appointed by the President , the Chairman of the Seimas , and the Chairman of the Supreme Court . The unicameral Lithuanian parliament, the Seimas, has 141 members who are elected to four-year terms. 71 of the members of this legislative body are elected in single member constituencies, and the other 70 are elected in a nationwide vote by proportional representation. A party must receive at least 5% of the national vote to be eligible for any of the 70 national seats in the Seimas.

Administrative divisions

The current administrative division was established in 1994 and modified in 2000 to meet the requirements of the European Union. Lithuania has a three-tier administrative division: the country is divided into 10 counties that are further subdivided into 60 municipalities which consist of over 500 elderships .

The county governors institution and county administrations have been dissolved in 2010.

Municipalities are the most important administrative unit. Some municipalities are historically called "district municipalities", and thus are often shortened to "district"; others are called "city municipalities", sometimes shortened to "city". Each municipality has its own elected government. In the past, the election of municipality councils occurred once every three years, but it now takes place every four years. The council elects the mayor and appoints elders to govern the elderships. There is currently a proposal for direct election of mayors and elders, however that would require an amendment to the constitution.

Elderships, numbering over 500, are the smallest units and do not play a role in national politics. They provide necessary public services close to their homes; for example, in rural areas the elderships register births and deaths. They are most active in the social sector: they identify needy individuals or families and distribute welfare or organise other forms of relief. While the elderships have a potential of becoming a source of local initiative to tackle rural problems, complaints are made that elderships have no real power and receive too little attention.

Foreign relations

Lithuania became a member of the United Nations on 18 September 1991, and is a signatory to a number of its organizations and other international agreements. It is also a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, NATO and its adjunct North Atlantic Coordinating Council. Lithuania gained membership in the World Trade Organization on 31 May 2001. It also seeks membership in the OECD and other Western organizations.

Lithuania has established diplomatic relations with 149 countries.

In 2011, Lithuania hosted the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Ministerial Council Meeting. In 2013, Lithuania assumed the role of the Presidency of the European Union.

Lithuania is also an active member in the cooperation among Northern Europe countries. Lithuania is a member of Baltic Council, since its establishment in 1993. Baltic Council is a permanent organisation of international cooperation, located in Tallinn. It operates through the Baltic Assembly and Baltic Council of Ministers.

Lithuania also cooperates with Nordic and the two other Baltic countries through NB8 cooperation format. The similar format, called NB6 unites Nordic and Baltic countries members of EU. The main goal of NB6 cooperation is to discuss and agree on positions before presenting them in the Council of the European Union and the meetings of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers.

The Council of the Baltic Sea States was established in 1992 in Copenhagen as an informal regional political forum, which main aim is to promote integration process and to affiliate close contacts between the countries of the region. The members of CBSS are Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Russia and European Commission. The observer states are Belarus, France, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, United States, United Kingdom and Ukraine.

The cooperation between the Nordic Council of Ministers and Lithuania is a political cooperation through which experience exchange contributes to realization of joint goals. One of its most important functions is to discover new trends and new possibilities for joint cooperation. The information office aims to represent Nordic concepts and demonstrate Nordic cooperation in Lithuania.

Lithuania, together with other two Baltic countries, is also a member of Nordic Investment Bank and cooperates in NORDPLUS programme committed to education.

Baltic Development Forum is an independent nonprofit organization that unites large companies, cities, business associations, and institutions in the Baltic Sea region. In 2010 the 12th Summit of the BDF was held in Vilnius.

Since 1 July 2013, Lithuania has held the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In 2013, Lithuania was elected to United Nations Security Council. Lithuania is the first Baltic states country to be elected in such post. In addition, Lithuania started chairing the Council from 1 January 2014.

Military

The Lithuanian Armed Forces is the name for the unified armed forces of Lithuanian Land Force, Lithuanian Air Force, Lithuanian Naval Force, Lithuanian Special Operations Force and other units: Logistics Command, Training and Doctrine Command, Headquarters Battalion, Military Police. Directly subordinated to the Chief of Defence are the Special Operations Forces and Military Police. The Reserve Forces are under command of the Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces.

The Lithuanian Armed Forces consist of some 15,000 active personnel, which may be supported by reserve forces. Compulsory conscription ended in 2008 and Lithuania now relies solely on professional armed forces. The Lithuanian Armed Forces currently have deployed personnel on international missions in Afghanistan , Kosovo and Somalia .

In March 2004, Lithuania became a full member of the NATO. Since then, fighter jets of NATO members are deployed in Zokniai airport and provide safety for the Baltic airspace.

Since the summer of 2005 Lithuania has been part of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan , leading a Provincial Reconstruction Team in the town of Chaghcharan in the province of Ghor. The PRT includes personnel from Denmark, Iceland and USA. There are also special operation forces units in Afghanistan. They are placed in Kandahar province. Since joining international operations in 1994 Lithuania has lost two soldiers. 1st Lt. Normundas Valteris fell in Bosnia, as his patrol vehicle drove over a mine. Sgt. Arūnas Jarmalavičius was fatally wounded during an attack on the camp of his Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan.

The Lithuanian National Defence Policy aims to guarantee the preservation of the independence and sovereignty of the state, the integrity of its land, territorial waters, airspace and its constitutional order. At the moment the main strategic goals is to be able to defend the country's interests and maintain the armed forces which would be ready to contribute, cooperate and participate with the other armed forces of NATO and European Union member states, and also increase their further capability to participate in NATO missions.

The defence ministry is responsible for combat forces, search and rescue, and intelligence operations. The 5,000 border guards fall under the Interior Ministry's supervision and are responsible for border protection, passport and customs duties, and share responsibility with the navy for smuggling and drug trafficking interdiction. A special security department handles VIP protection and communications security.

Economy

In 2003, before joining the European Union, Lithuania had the highest economic growth rate amongst all candidate and member countries, reaching 8.8% in the third quarter. In 2004 – 7.4%; 2005 – 7.8%; 2006 – 7.8%; 2007 – 8.9%, 2008 Q1 – 7.0% growth in GDP reflects the impressive economic development and as a result is often termed as a Baltic Tiger. However, 2009 marked a dramatic decline in GDP at −14.74% attributed to overheating of the economy. In 2010, the rate was 1.33%. As of June 2013, the unemployment rate is 10.4%.

Lithuania has a flat tax rate rather than a progressive scheme. According to Eurostat, the personal income tax and corporate tax rates in Lithuania are among the lowest in the EU. The country has the lowest implicit rate of tax on capital in the EU. Lithuania also has the lowest overall taxation as a percentage of GDP in the European Union

Lithuanian income levels are somewhat lower than in older EU Member States but higher than in most new EU Member States that have joined in the last decade. According to Eurostat data, Lithuanian GDP per capita stood at 74% of the EU average in 2013.

Structurally, there is a gradual but consistent shift towards a knowledge-based economy with special emphasis on biotechnology . The major biotechnology companies and laser manufacturers of the Baltics are concentrated in Lithuania. Also mechatronics and information technology are seen as prospective knowledge-based economy directions.

In 2009, Barclays established Technology Centre Lithuania – one of four strategic engineering centres supporting the Barclays Retail Banking businesses across the globe. In 2011, Western Union officially opened their new European Regional Operating Centre in Vilnius. The stated position of the Lithuanian government is that the focus of Lithuanian economy is high added-value products and services. Among other international companies operating in Lithuania are: PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, Societe Generale, UniCredit, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Phillip Morris, Kraft Foods, Mars, Marks & Spencer, GlaxoSmithKline, United Colors of Benetton, Deichmann, Statoil, Neste Oil, Lukoil, Tele2, Hesburger and Modern Times Group. TeliaSonera, ICA and Carlsberg respectively own local telecommunications company Omnitel, retailer Rimi and beer breweries . Lithuanian banking sector is dominated by the Scandinavian banks: Swedbank, SEB, Nordea, Danske Bank, DNB ASA.

Among the biggest private owned Lithuanian companies are: ORLEN Lietuva, Maxima Group, Achema Group, Lukoil Baltija, Linas Agro Group, Indorama Polymers Europe, Palink, Sanitex. Corporate tax rate in Lithuania is 15% and 5% for small businesses. The government offers special incentives for investments into the high-technology sectors and high value-added products. Most of the trade Lithuania conducts is within the European Union and Russia.

The litas, the national currency along with the euro, has been pegged to the euro since 2 February 2002, and the litas switched to the euro on 1 January 2015 at the rate of EUR 1.00 = LTL 3.45280.

Infrastructure

Communication

According to the Speedtest.net website, as of 30 October 2011 Lithuania ranks first in the world by the internet upload speed and download speed, schools and corporations ignored. The high speeds are largely due to the fact that Lithuania has the EU's and Europe's most available FTTH network. According to a yearly study published by the FTTH Council Europe in 2013, the country has connected 100% of households to the FTTH network. 31% of these households are subscribers to this network at the time of publishing. Lithuania has thus Europe's most available fibre network and also has the highest FTTH penetration. Sweden has the next highest FTTH penetration with 23%. In Vilnius, it is common to find free WiFi in taxis.

Transport

The country boasts a well-developed modern infrastructure of railways, airports and four-lane highways. Lithuania has an extensive network of motorways. The best known motorways are A1, connecting Vilnius with Klaipėda via Kaunas, as well as A2, connecting Vilnius and Panevėžys. One of the most used is the European route E67 highway running from Warsaw to Tallinn, via Kaunas and Riga.

The Port of Klaipėda is the only commercial port in Lithuania. In a record year for the port, in 2011 45.5 million tons of cargo were handled , making it one of the biggest in the Baltic Sea.

Vilnius International Airport is the largest airport. It served 2.2 million passengers in 2012. Other international airports include Kaunas International Airport, Palanga International Airport and Šiauliai International Airport.

Lithuania received its first railway connection in the middle of the 19th century, when the Warsaw – Saint Petersburg Railway was constructed. It included a stretch from Daugavpils via Vilnius and Kaunas to Virbalis. The first and only still operating in the Baltic states Kaunas Railway Tunnel was completed in 1860. Lithuanian Railways' main network consists of 1,749 km of 1,520 mm broad gauge railway of which 122 km are electrified. They also operate 22 km of standard gauge lines. The Trans-European standard gauge Rail Baltica railway, linking Helsinki–Tallinn–Riga–Kaunas–Warsaw and continuing on to Berlin is under construction.

Energy

Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant was a Soviet-era nuclear station. Unit No. 1 was closed in December 2004, as a condition of Lithuania's entry into the European Union; the plant is similar to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in its lack of a robust containment structure. The remaining unit, as of 2006, supplied about 70% of Lithuania's electrical demand. Unit No. 2 was closed down on 31 December 2009. Proposals have been made to construct another – Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant in Lithuania. However, a non-binding referendum held in October 2012 clouded the prospects for the Visaginas project, as the 63% of voters said no to new nuclear power plant.

The country's main primary source of electrical power is Elektrėnai Power Plant. Other primary sources of Lithuania's electrical power are Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant and Kaunas Hydroelectric Power Plant. Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant is the only in the Baltic states power plant to be used for regulation of the power system’s operation with generating capacity of 900 MW for at least 12 hours. As of 2012, 63% of electrical power was imported.

Demographics

Since the Neolithic period the native inhabitants of the Lithuanian territory have not been replaced by any other ethnic group, so there is a high probability that the inhabitants of present day Lithuania have preserved the genetic composition of their forebears relatively undisturbed by the major demographic movements, although without being actually isolated from them. The Lithuanian population appears to be relatively homogeneous, without apparent genetic differences among ethnic subgroups.

A 2004 analysis of MtDNA in the Lithuanian population revealed that Lithuanians are close to the Indo-European and Uralic-speaking populations of Northern Europe. Y-chromosome SNP haplogroup analysis showed Lithuanians to be closest to Latvians, Estonians, and Finns.

According to 2009 estimates, the age structure of the population was as follows: 0–14 years, 14.2% ; 15–64 years: 69.6% ; 65 years and over: 16.2% . The median age was 39.3 years .

Ethnic groups

Ethnic Lithuanians make up about five-sixths of the country’s population and Lithuania has the most homogenous population in the Baltic States. According to the 2011 census, the population of Lithuania stands at 3,043,400, 84% of whom are ethnic Lithuanians who speak Lithuanian, which is the official language of the country. Several sizable minorities exist, such as Poles , Russians , Belarusians and Ukrainians .

Poles are the largest minority, concentrated in southeast Lithuania . Russians are the second largest minority, concentrated mostly in two cities. They constitute sizeable minorities in Vilnius and Klaipėda , and a majority in the town of Visaginas . About 3,000 Roma live in Lithuania, mostly in Vilnius, Kaunas, and Panevėžys; their organizations are supported by the National Minority and Emigration Department. For centuries a small Tatar community has flourished in Lithuania.

The official language is Lithuanian. Other languages, such as Russian, Polish, Belarusian and Ukrainian are spoken in the larger cities, in the Šalčininkai district municipality and the Vilnius district municipality. Yiddish is spoken by members of the tiny remaining Jewish community in Lithuania. According to the Lithuanian population census of 2001, about 84% of the country's population speak Lithuanian as their native language, 8% are native speakers of Russian and 6% of Polish. More than 60% are fluent in Russian, while only about 16% say they can speak English. According to the Eurobarometer survey conducted in 2005, 80% of Lithuanians can speak Russian and 32% can speak English. Most Lithuanian schools teach English as the first foreign language, but students may also study German, or, in some schools, French or Russian. Schools where Russian or Polish are the primary languages of education exist in the areas populated by these minorities.

Health

As of 2012 Lithuanian life expectancy at birth was 70.7 years for males and 80.7 for females, and the infant mortality rate was 6.2 per 1,000 births. The annual population growth rate increased by 0.3% in 2007. At 30.4 people per 100,000, Lithuania has seen a dramatic rise in suicides in the post-Soviet years, and now records the third highest suicide rate in the world. Lithuania also has the highest homicide rate in the EU.

Religion

As per the 2011 census, 77.2% of Lithuanians belonged to the Roman Catholic Church. The Church has been the majority denomination since the Christianisation of Lithuania at the end of the 14th century. Some priests actively led the resistance against the Communist regime .

In the first half of the 20th century, the Lutheran Protestant church had around 200,000 members, 9% of the total population, mostly Protestant Lithuanians and ethnic Germans from the former Memel Territory, but it has declined since 1945 with the removal of the German population. Small Protestant communities are dispersed throughout the northern and western parts of the country. Believers and clergy suffered greatly during the Soviet occupation, with many killed, tortured or deported to Siberia. Various Protestant churches have established missions in Lithuania since 1990. 4.1% are Orthodox , 0.8% are Protestant and 6.1% have no religion.

Lithuania was historically home to a significant Jewish community and was an important center of Jewish scholarship and culture from the 18th century until the eve of World War II. Prior to the war, the Jewish population, outside of the Vilnius region , numbered about 160,000. In September 1939, tens of thousands of Polish Jews became Lithuanian subjects when the Soviets transferred the Vilnius region to Lithuania and additional Jewish refugees arrived in Lithuania during the period prior to June 1941. Of the approximately 220,000 Jews who lived in the Republic of Lithuania in June 1941, almost all were entirely annihilated during the Holocaust. The community numbered about 4,000 at the end of 2009.

The census 2011 main results on religion are:

  • Roman Catholic – 77%
  • Orthodox – 4%
  • Orthodox – 0.8%
  • Evangelical Lutherans – 0.6%
  • Evangelical Reformists – 0.2%
  • Other religions – 0.8%
  • No religion – 6%
  • Did not specify – 10%

According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005, 49% of Lithuanian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", 36% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force", and 12% said that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force".

Education

The first documented school in Lithuania was established in 1387 at Vilnius Cathedral. The school network was influenced by the Christianization of Lithuania. Several types of schools were present in medieval Lithuania – cathedral schools, where pupils were prepared for priesthood; parish schools, offering elementary education; and home schools dedicated to educating the children of the Lithuanian nobility. Before Vilnius University was established in 1579, Lithuanians seeking higher education attended universities in foreign cities, including Kraków, Prague, and Leipzig, among others. During the Interbellum a national university – Vytautas Magnus University was founded in Kaunas.

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania proposes national educational policies and goals. These are sent to the Seimas for ratification. Laws govern long-term educational strategy along with general laws on standards for higher education, vocational training, law and science, adult education, and special education. County administrators, municipal administrators, and school founders are responsible for implementing these policies. By constitutional mandate, ten years of formal enrollment in an educational institution is mandatory, ending at age 16.

14,7% of the 2014 state budget was allocated to education expenses. Primary and secondary schools receive funding from the state via their municipal or county administrations. The Constitution of Lithuania guarantees tuition-free attendance at public institutions of higher education for students deemed 'good'; the number of such students has varied over the past decade, with 53,5% exempted from tuition fees in 2014.

The World Bank designates the literacy rate of Lithuanian persons aged 15 years and older as 100% and, according to Eurostat Lithuania leads among other countries of EU by people with secondary education . As of 2012, 34% of the population aged 25 to 64 had completed tertiary education; 59.1% had completed upper secondary and post-secondary education. According to Invest in Lithuania, Lithuania has twice as many people with higher education than the EU-15 average and the proportion is the highest in the Baltic. Also, 90% of Lithuanians speak at least one foreign language and half of the population speaks two foreign languages, mostly Russian and English.

As with other Baltic nations, in particular Latvia, the large volume of higher education graduates within the country, coupled with the high rate of spoken second languages is contributing to an education brain drain. Many Lithuanians are choosing to emigrate seeking higher earning employment and studies throughout Europe. Since their inclusion into the European Union in 2004, Lithuania's population has fallen by approximately 180,000 people.

As of 2008, there were 15 public universities in Lithuania, 6 private institutions, 16 public colleges, and 11 private colleges.Vilnius University is one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe and the largest university in Lithuania. Kaunas University of Technology is the largest technical university in the Baltic States and the 2nd largest university in Lithuania. Other universities include Kaunas University of Medicine, Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Lithuanian University of Educology, Vytautas Magnus University, Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, The General Jonas Zemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, Klaipėda University, Lithuanian Veterinary Academy, Lithuanian University of Agriculture, Šiauliai University and Vilnius Academy of Art.

Culture

Lithuanian language

The Lithuanian language is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 0.2 million abroad.

Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they are not mutually intelligible. It is written in an adapted version of the Roman script. Lithuanian is believed to be the linguistically most conservative living Indo-European tongue, retaining many features of Proto Indo-European.

Literature

There is a great deal of Lithuanian literature written in Latin, the main scholarly language of the Middle Ages. The edicts of the Lithuanian King Mindaugas is the prime example of the literature of this kind. Letters of Gediminas is another crucial heritage of the Lithuanian Latin writings.

Lithuanian literary works in the Lithuanian language started being first published in the 16th century. In 1547 Martynas Mažvydas compiled and published the first printed Lithuanian book The Simple Words of Catechism, which marks the beginning of printed Lithuanian literature. He was followed by Mikalojus Daukša with Katechizmas. In the 16th and 17th centuries, as in the whole Christian Europe, Lithuanian literature was primarily religious.

The evolution of the old Lithuanian literature ends with Kristijonas Donelaitis, one of the most prominent authors of the Age of Enlightenment. Donelaitis poem The Seasons is landmark of the Lithuanian fiction literature.

With a mix of Classicism, Sentimentalism, and Romanticism, the Lithuanian literature of the first half of the 19th century is represented by Maironis, Antanas Baranauskas, Simonas Daukantas and Simonas Stanevičius. During the Tsarist annexation of Lithuania in the 19th century, the Lithuanian press ban was implemented, which led to the formation of the Knygnešiai movement. This movement is thought to be the very reason the Lithuanian language and literature survived until today.

20th century Lithuanian literature is represented by Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas, Antanas Vienuolis, Bernardas Brazdžionis and Vytautas Mačernis and Justinas Marcinkevičius.

Arts and museums

The Lithuanian Art Museum was founded in 1933 and is the largest museum of art conservation and display in Lithuania. Among other important museums is the Palanga Amber Museum, where amber pieces comprise a major part of the collection.

Perhaps the most renowned figure in Lithuania's art community was the composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis , an internationally renowned musician. The 2420 Čiurlionis asteroid, identified in 1975, honors his achievements. The M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum, as well as the only military museum in Lithuania, Vytautas the Great War Museum, are located in Kaunas.

Music

Lithuanian folk music belongs to Baltic music branch which is connected with neolithic corded ware culture. Two instrument cultures meet in the areas inhabited by Lithuanians: stringed and wind instrument cultures. Lithuanian folk music is archaic, mostly used for ritual purposes, containing elements of paganism faith. There are three ancient styles of singing in Lithuania connected with ethnographical regions: monophony, heterophony and polyphony. Folk song genres: Sutartinės, Wedding Songs, War-Historical Time Songs, Calendar Cycle and Ritual Songs and Work Songs.

Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis is the most renowned Lithuanian painter and composer. During his short life he created about 200 pieces of music. His works have had profound influence on modern Lithuanian culture. His symphonic poems In the Forest and The Sea were performed only posthumously.

Vytautas Miškinis is a professor, composer and choir director of the famous Lithuanian boys' choir Ąžuoliukas. He is very popular in Lithuania and abroad. He has written over 400 secular and about 160 religious works.

In Lithuania choral music is very important. Vilnius is the only city with three choirs laureates at the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing. There is a long-standing tradition of the Lithuanian Song and Dance Festival . The first one took place in Kaunas in 1924. Since 1990, the festival has been organised every four years and summons roughly 30,000 singers and folk dancers of various professional levels and age groups from across the country. In 2008, Lithuanian Song and Dance Festival together with its Latvian and Estonian versions was inscribed as UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Marijonas Mikutavičius is famous for creating unofficial Lithuania sport anthem "Trys milijonai" .

Cuisine

Lithuanian cuisine features the products suited to the cool and moist northern climate of Lithuania: barley, potatoes, rye, beets, greens, berries, and mushrooms are locally grown, and dairy products are one of its specialties. Since it shares its climate and agricultural practices with Northern Europe, Lithuanian cuisine has some similarities to Scandinavian cuisine. Nevertheless, it has its own distinguishing features, which were formed by a variety of influences during the country's long and difficult history.

Because of their common heritage, Lithuanians, Poles, and Ashkenazi Jews share many dishes and beverages. Thus there are similar Lithuanian, Litvak, and Polish versions of dumplings , doughnuts spurgos or , and blynai crepes . German traditions also influenced Lithuanian cuisine, introducing pork and potato dishes, such as potato pudding and potato sausages , as well as the baroque tree cake known as Šakotis. The most exotic of all the influences is Eastern cuisine, and the dishes kibinai and čeburekai are popular in Lithuania. Torte Napoleon was introduced during Napoleon's passage through Lithuania in the 19th century.

Sports

Basketball is the national sport of Lithuania. The Lithuania national basketball team has had significant success in international basketball events. Having won a total of 10 medals in the EuroBasket, the World Championships and the Olympic Games, formerly Lithuania was even ranked 3rd worldwide in FIBA Rankings . Lithuania has produced a number of NBA players: Arvydas Sabonis, Šarūnas Marčiulionis, Žydrūnas Ilgauskas, Darius Songaila, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Linas Kleiza and current NBA players Donatas Motiejūnas of the Houston Rockets and Jonas Valančiūnas of the Toronto Raptors. Arvydas Sabonis was the first Lithuanian to be inducted into the prestigious Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. Šarūnas Marčiulionis was inducted in 2014.

In 2013, the Lithuania national basketball team won silver medals in EuroBasket 2013. In 2011, Lithuania hosted the men's European Basketball Championship EuroBasket 2011. The historic Lithuanian basketball team Kauno Žalgiris won the European basketball league Euroleague in 1999. BC Žalgiris together with Vilniaus Lietuvos Rytas compete in Euroleague. Neptūnas competes in the second-tier European competition Eurocup Basketball.

Swimming is currently experiencing an immense rise in popularity. The boom has been sparked by the success of Rūta Meilutytė who, at the age of just 15, won the gold medal in the women's 100 metre breaststroke at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Margarita Čiuplytė is a well-known Lithuanian Kyokushin Karate Champion. In 2009 and 2013 she won World-Champion title and in 2011 she was the best in Europe.

Virgilijus Alekna is one of world top discus throwers. He has won two consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics. In the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Alekna received the Bronze medal, and in London 2012 Alekna finished 4th. Austra Skujytė , Laura Asadauskaitė and Justinas Kinderis are also world-class athletes.

Simona Krupeckaitė is currently the country's most famous professional track cyclist. She is former world-record holder in 500m time trial and flying 200m time trial. Krupeckaitė has been named the Lithuanian Sportsman of the Year twice in 2009 and 2010.

Lithuania has a stellar NHL player Dainius Zubrus playing for New Jersey Devils. Ričardas Berankis is the top ranked Lithuanian tennis player.

When it comes to non-Olympics sports, Viktorija Čmilytė, the chess player, has grown to fame owing to her Grandmaster and Woman Grandmaster titles. In 2011, Čmilytė has become the champion of the European Woman Chess Championship. Jurgis Kairys, the most renowned Lithuanian aviator, has won the bronze in unlimited freestyle aviation in the 2011 FAI World Aerobatic Championship. The other famous Lithuanian sportsman is Žydrūnas Savickas who is currently nominated as the Strongest Man in the World. Another notable Lithuanian athlete in mixed martial arts is Marius Žaromskis.

With the launch of the first indoor ski slope in Baltics, Snow Arena, the rise of popularity in winter sports is widely expected.

Overall rating: 4.1
Country
Address: Lithuania
Typical length of visit: 7 days

Top 10 things to do in Lithuania

Druskininkai

Druskininkai
Druskininkai , Polish: Druskieniki is a spa town on the Nemunas River in southern Lithuania, close to the borders of Belarus and Poland. The city of Druskininkai has a population ...

Palanga

Palanga
Palanga , German: Polangen; Polish: Połąga is a seaside resort town in western Lithuania, on the shore of the Baltic Sea. It is the busiest summer resort in Lithuania and ...

Šiauliai

Šiauliai
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Anykščiai

Anykščiai
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Panevėžys

Panevėžys
Panevėžys see also other names, is the fifth largest city in Lithuania. As of 2011, it occupied 52 square kilometres with 113,653 inhabitants.The largest multifunctional arena in Panevėžys, Cido Arena, ...

Klaipėda

Klaipėda
Klaipėda is a city in Lithuania situated at the mouth of the Danė River where it flows into the Baltic Sea. It is the third largest city in Lithuania and ...

Palūšė

Palūšė
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Kaunas

Kaunas
Kaunas ; also see Kaunas' other names is the second-largest city in Lithuania and has historically been a leading centre of Lithuanian economic, academic, and cultural life. Kaunas was the ...

Vilnius

Vilnius
Vilnius ; see also other names is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 539,939 as of 2014. Vilnius is located in the southeast part ...

Trakai

Trakai
Trakai is a historic city and lake resort in Lithuania. It lies 28 kilometres west of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Because of its proximity to Vilnius, Trakai is a ...

Alytus

Alytus
Alytus is a city with municipal rights in southern Lithuania. It is the capital of Alytus County. Its population in 2013 was 57,281. Alytus is the historical centre of the ...

Mažeikiai

Mažeikiai
Mažeikiai , Samogitian: Mažeikē, Polish: Możejki is a city in the north-western Lithuania, on the Venta River. It has a population of around 45,300, making it the eighth largest city ...

Nida, Lithuania

Nida, Lithuania
Nida is a resort town in Lithuania, the administrative centre of Neringa municipality. Located on the Curonian Spit between the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea, it is the westernmost ...

Molėtai

Molėtai
Molėtai , Polish: Malaty is a city in north eastern Lithuania. One of the oldest settlements in Lithuania, it is a popular resort for the inhabitants of Vilnius. According to ...

Marijampolė

Marijampolė
Marijampolė ; also known by several other names is an industrial city and the capital of the Marijampolė County in the south of Lithuania, bordering Poland and Russian Kaliningrad oblast, ...

Šilutė

Šilutė
Šilutė , previously Šilokarčiama, German: Heydekrug, Polish: Szyłokarczma is a city in the south of the Klaipėda County, Lithuania. The city was part of the Klaipėda Region and ethnographic Lithuania ...

Biržai

Biržai
Biržai , known also by several alternative names is a city in northern Lithuania. Biržai is famous for its reconstructed Biržai Castle manor, and the whole region is renowned for ...

Vištytis

Vištytis
Vištytis is a town in southern Lithuania on Lake Vištytis, Marijampolė district. It is situated at the Russian border and is a capital of Vištytis elderate.The town has preserved its ...

Lazdijai

Lazdijai
Lazdijai is a city in Lithuania located about 7 km east of the border with Poland. In 1990 Lithuania declared independence from the Soviet Union, and new check points between the ...

Rokiškis

Rokiškis
Rokiškis is a city in northeastern Lithuania with population of about 16,000.HistoryThe legend of the founding of Rokiškis tells about a hunter called Rokas who had been ...

Tauragė

Tauragė
Tauragė ; see other names is an industrial city in Lithuania, and the capital of Tauragė County. In 2011, its population was 26,444. Tauragė is situated on the Jūra River, ...

Utena

Utena
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Zarasai

Zarasai
Zarasai is a city in northeastern Lithuania, surrounded by many lakes and rivers: to the southwest of the city is Lake Zarasas, to the north – Lake Zarasaitis, to the ...

Telšiai

Telšiai
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Presidential Palace

Presidential Palace
A Presidential Palace is the official residence of the president in some countries. However, some countries do not call the official residence of their head of state a "palace", or ...

Lake Dusia

Lake Dusia
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Kupiškis

Kupiškis
Kupiškis is a city in northeastern Lithuania. It is the capital of the Kupiškis district municipality. Kupiškis is located on the Lėvuo and Kupa rivers. The name of the city ...

Kėdainiai

Kėdainiai
Kėdainiai , also known by several other names is one of the oldest cities in Lithuania. It is located 51 km north of Kaunas on the banks of the Nevėžis River. ...

Lake Plateliai

Lake Plateliai
Lake Plateliai is the biggest lake in Samogitia and 9th biggest in Lithuania. It is the central attraction in the Žemaitija National Park. It covers about 12 km² and reaches up ...

Birštonas

Birštonas
locality

Raseiniai

Raseiniai
Raseiniai is a city in Lithuania. It is located on the south eastern foothills of the Samogitians highland, some 5 km north from the Kaunas–Klaipėda highway.HistoryGrand Duchy of ...

M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum

M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum
The M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum is a group of museums based in Kaunas, Lithuania. It is primarily dedicated to exhibiting and publicizing the works of the painter and ...

Gate of Dawn

Gate of Dawn
The Gate of Dawn is a city-gate of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, and one of the most important religious, historical and cultural monuments.HistoryIt was built between ...

Labanoras Regional Park

Labanoras Regional Park
Labanoras Regional Park, established in 1992, is located 80 kilometers northeast of Lithuania's capital, Vilnius. Covering 553 hectares, it is the largest regional park in the country.The park contains about ...

Gediminas' Tower

Gediminas' Tower
Gediminas' Tower is the remaining part of the Upper Castle in Vilnius, Lithuania.The first fortifications were built of wood by Duke of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Gediminas. Later the ...

Ninth Fort

Ninth Fort
The Ninth Fort is a stronghold in the northern part of Šilainiai elderate, Kaunas, Lithuania. It is a part of the Kaunas Fortress, which was constructed in the late 19th ...

Radviliškis

Radviliškis
Radviliškis , pol. Radziwiliszki is a city in the Radviliškis district municipality, Šiauliai County, Lithuania. Radviliškis has been the administrative center of the district since 1950, and is an important ...

Museum of Genocide Victims

Museum of Genocide Victims
The Museum of Genocide Victims in Vilnius, Lithuania was established in 1992 by order of the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture and the President of the Lithuanian Union of Political Prisoners ...

Žmuidzinavičius Museum

Žmuidzinavičius Museum
Žmuidzinavičius Museum, commonly known as the Devils' Museum , is a museum in Kaunas, Lithuania, dedicated to collecting and exhibiting sculptures and carvings of devils from all over the world. ...

Kintai

Kintai
Kintai is a small town in Klaipėda County, in western Lithuania. According to the 2001 census, the town has a population of 833 people. ...

Vilnius TV Tower

Vilnius TV Tower
The Vilnius TV Tower is a 326.5 m tower in the Karoliniškės microdistrict of Vilnius, Lithuania. It is the tallest structure in Lithuania, and is occupied by the SC Lithuanian Radio ...

Christ's Resurrection Church, Kaunas

Christ's Resurrection Church, Kaunas
Christ's Resurrection Church is a monumental Roman Catholic church in Kaunas, Lithuania. The church was consecrated in 2004, and in 2005 it was finally completed.HistoryAfter Lithuania regained ...

Pakruojis

Pakruojis
Pakruojis is a city in Lithuania. It is situated on the Kruoja River, which has a dam above the city. Forty three buildings of the manor, mentioned in 1531 still ...

Pažaislis Monastery

Pažaislis Monastery
Pažaislis monastery and church form the largest monastery complex in Lithuania, and the most magnificent example of Italian Baroque architecture in the country. It is situated in the Petrašiūnai elderate ...

St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, Vilnius

St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, Vilnius
St. Peter and St. Paul's Church is a Roman Catholic church located in the Antakalnis neighbourhood of Vilnius, Lithuania. It is the centerpiece of a former monastery complex of the ...

Ukmergė

Ukmergė
Ukmergė , is a city in Vilnius County, Lithuania, located 78 km northwest of Vilnius, with a population of about 22,000 .Etymology and variant namesHistoric names for the ...

Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania
The Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania is a palace in Vilnius, Lithuania. It was originally constructed in the 15th century for the rulers of the Grand Duchy of ...

House of Perkūnas

House of Perkūnas
The House of Perkūnas is one of the most original and archaic Gothic secular buildings, located in the Old Town of Kaunas, Lithuania. Originally built by Hanseatic merchants and served ...

Jonava

Jonava
Jonava is the ninth largest city in Lithuania with a population of ca 35,000. It is located in Kaunas County in central Lithuania, 30 km north east of Kaunas, the second-largest ...

Historical Presidential Palace, Kaunas

Historical Presidential Palace, Kaunas
The Historical Presidential Palace is a Neo-baroque building in the Old Town of Kaunas, Lithuania that served as the Presidential Palace during the interwar years. Today, the palace is a ...

Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum

Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum
The Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum in Vilnius, Lithuania is dedicated to the historical and cultural heritage of Lithuanian Jewry.The museum was established in 1989 by the Lithuanian Ministry of ...

Švenčionys

Švenčionys
Švenčionys , known also by several alternative names is a city located 84 kilometers north of Vilnius in Lithuania. It is the capital of the Švenčionys district municipality. As of ...

Town Hall, Kaunas

Town Hall, Kaunas
The Town Hall of Kaunas stands in the middle of the Town Hall Square at the heart of the Old Town, Kaunas, Lithuania.The structure dates from the 16th century. It ...

National Museum of Lithuania

National Museum of Lithuania
The National Museum of Lithuania , established in 1952, is a state-sponsored historical museum that encompasses several significant structures and a wide collection of written materials and artifacts. It also ...

Ginučiai

Ginučiai
Ginučiai is a village on the shore of the Lake Linkmenas in the Aukštaitija National Park, Ignalina district of Lithuania. According to the 2001 census, its population was 69. It ...

Vilnius Castle Complex

Vilnius Castle Complex
The Vilnius Castle Complex , is a group of cultural, and historic structures on the left bank of the Neris River, near its confluence with the Vilnia River, in Vilnius, ...

St. Michael the Archangel Church, Kaunas

St. Michael the Archangel Church, Kaunas
St. Michael the Archangel's Church or the Garrison Church is a Roman Catholic church in the city of Kaunas, Lithuania, closing the perspective of the Laisvės alėja, the main pedestrian ...

Kulautuva

Kulautuva
Kulautuva is a town in Kaunas district municipality, in Kaunas County, in central Lithuania. It is situated on the right bank of the Nemunas River. According to the 2001 census, ...

Vilnius Cathedral

Vilnius Cathedral
The Cathedral of Vilnius is the main Roman Catholic Cathedral of Lithuania. It is situated in Vilnius Old Town, just off of Cathedral Square. Dedicated to Saints Stanislaus and Ladislaus, ...

Vytautas the Great War Museum

Vytautas the Great War Museum
The Vytautas the Great War Museum is a museum in Kaunas, Lithuania.Originally it was established in 1921, but later it was decided to move to a larger location. A part ...

Dubingiai

Dubingiai
Dubingiai is a town in Molėtai district in Lithuania. It is situated near Lake Asveja, the longest lake in the country. The town has 260 inhabitants as of 2003.

Centras

Centras
Centras is an elderate in the city of Kaunas, Lithuania, based on two neighbourhoods of Kaunas - the Old City and the New City. It lies at the confluence of ...

St. Nicholas Church, Vilnius

St. Nicholas Church, Vilnius
St. Nicholas Church is the oldest surviving church in Lithuania, built in the Old Town of the capital city Vilnius. Originally built in the 14th century, it is mentioned in ...

Mosėdis

Mosėdis
Mosėdis is a small town in northern Lithuania in Klaipeda County, best known for its stone collection. The museum and impressive outdoor collection were initiated by Vaclovas Intas and have ...

Kaunas Castle

Kaunas Castle
Kaunas Castle is located in Kaunas, Lithuania. Archeological evidence suggests that it was originally built during the mid-14th century, in the Gothic style. Its site is strategic – a rise ...

Lithuanian Art Museum

Lithuanian Art Museum
The Lithuanian Art Museum was initially established in Vilnius in 1933 as the Vilnius City Museum. It houses Lithuania's largest art collection.HistoryThe institution's origins can be traced ...

Joniškis

Joniškis
Joniškis is a city in northern Lithuania with a population of about 11,150. It is located 40 kilometers north of Šiauliai and 14 kilometers south of the Lithuania–Latvia border. Joniškis ...

Lithuanian Zoo

Lithuanian Zoo
Lithuanian Zoo previously known as Kaunas' Zoo is the only Zoo in Lithuania. It is located in an Ąžuolynas oak grove park in the south-western Žaliakalnis elderate of Kaunas. The ...

Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania

Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania
Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania is a national cultural institution which collects, organizes and preserves Lithuania’s written cultural heritage content, develops the collection of Lithuanian and foreign documents relevant ...

Vilkija

Vilkija
Vilkija is situated in the Kaunas district municipality, Lithuania. It is located 25 km north-west of Kaunas. It's right on the north side of the river Nemunas, the most important river ...

Bernardinai Garden

Bernardinai Garden
Bernardinai Garden is a public park in the city of Vilnius, Lithuania. It is located on the right bank of the Vilnia River between the Gediminas Tower and Bernardine Monastery ...

Kaunas Cathedral Basilica

Kaunas Cathedral Basilica
Kaunas Cathedral Basilica is a Roman Catholic cathedral basilica in Kaunas, Lithuania.The exact date when the first Gothic style church dedicated to apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, was built ...

Šalčininkai

Šalčininkai
Šalčininkai , Polish: Soleczniki is a city in Vilnius County, Lithuania, situated south-east of Vilnius, near the border with Belarus.Šalčininkai received its city rights in 1956 and is now a ...

Verkiai Regional Park

Verkiai Regional Park
Verkiai Regional Park is one of the Regional Parks in Lithuania. It is located almost entirely in Verkiai elderate of Vilnius municipality.The park was established in 1992 in order to ...

Church of St. Francis Xavier, Kaunas

Church of St. Francis Xavier, Kaunas
Church of St. Francis Xavier is located in the Old Town of Kaunas, Lithuania. The church dedicated to St. Francis Xavier was built at the Town Hall Square in the ...

Kretinga

Kretinga
Kretinga , German: Krottingen, Polish: Kretynga is a city in Klaipėda County, Lithuania. It is the capital of the Kretinga district municipality. It is located 12 km east of the popular ...

Botanical Garden of Vilnius University

Botanical Garden of Vilnius University
Botanical Garden of Vilnius University is a botanical garden situated in Vilnius, Lithuania.HistoryThe garden was established by professor Jean-Emmanuel Gilibert of Vilnius University in 1781. In 1832 ...

Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum

Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum
The Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum was established in Kaunas, Lithuania, in 1919 by Tadas Ivanauskas. The museum collects and exhibits various animals: hunting trophies, stuffed animals, insect collections, skeletons, dissections. ...

Plungė

Plungė
Plungė , Samogitian: Plongė is a city in Lithuania with 23,246 inhabitants. It has a crab stick factory which exports to many countries in Europe.Before World War II, Plungė had ...

Ąžuolynas

Ąžuolynas
Ąžuolynas is a public park in Lithuania's second largest city, Kaunas, in the Žaliakalnis neighbourhood. The park covers about 84 hectares and is the largest urban stand of mature oaks ...

Radziwiłł Palace, Vilnius

Radziwiłł Palace, Vilnius
Radziwiłł Palace is a Late Renaissance palace in the Old Town of Vilnius, Lithuania. It was the largest but second in importance of Radziwiłłs' palaces in Vilnius.HistoryIt ...

Ignalina

Ignalina
Ignalina is a city in eastern Lithuania, famous for the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in nearby Visaginas. It is said that Ignalina name got its name from Ignas and Lina, ...

Green Lakes

Green Lakes
Green Lakes can refer to one of the following:Green Lakes north of Vilnius in Lithuania"Green Lakes" towers in Dubai, United Arab EmiratesGreen Lakes State Park, a state park in central ...

Museum of the History of Lithuanian Medicine and Pharmacy

Museum of the History of Lithuanian Medicine and Pharmacy
The Museum of the History of Lithuanian Medicine and Pharmacy is located in a restored 16th-century building at the Town Hall Square in the Old Town of Kaunas, Lithuania. It ...

Jurbarkas

Jurbarkas
Jurbarkas , known also by several alternative names is a city in Tauragė County, Lithuania. It is on the right-hand shore of the Neman River at its confluence with the ...

Kaunas Fortress

Kaunas Fortress
Kaunas Fortress is the remains of a fortress complex in Kaunas, Lithuania. It was constructed and renovated between 1882 and 1915 to protect the Russian Empire's western borders, and was ...

Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum

Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum
Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum was a proposed art museum in the city of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. On April 8, 2008 an international jury named Zaha Hadid, a British-Iraqi ...

Kernavė

Kernavė
Kernavė was a medieval capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and today is a tourist attraction and an archeological site . It is located in the Širvintos district municipality ...

All Saints Church, Vilnius

All Saints Church, Vilnius
All Saints Church is a Baroque style church in Vilnius, Lithuania. All Saints church was built between 1620-1630 and was adopted for Carmelites' needs. In the second half of the ...

Lithuanian Aviation Museum

Lithuanian Aviation Museum
The Lithuanian Aviation Museum is located in Kaunas, Lithuania. The museum was officially opened in 1983. The permanent collection of the museum contains more than 18 000 displays of different ...

Kelmė

Kelmė
Kelmė is a city in central Lithuania. It has a population of 9,150 and is the administrative center of the Kelmė district municipality.HistoryKelmė's name may come from ...

Communication History Museum

Communication History Museum
Communications History Museum ia a museum supported by Teo LT AB, former AB Lietuvos Telekomas, in the Old Town of Kaunas, Lithuania. The building is an old merchant house, where ...

Great Synagogue of Vilna

Great Synagogue of Vilna
The Great Synagogue of Vilna which once stood at the end of Jewish Street , Vilnius, Lithuania, was built between 1630-1633 after permission was granted to construct a synagogue from ...

Cathedral of the Theotokos, Vilnius

Cathedral of the Theotokos, Vilnius
The Cathedral of the Theotokos in Vilnius is the main Orthodox Christian church of Lithuania.The cathedral was built during the reign of the Grand Duke Algirdas for his Orthodox wife ...

Orthodox Church of St. Michael and St. Constantine

Orthodox Church of St. Michael and St. Constantine
The Orthodox Church of St. Michael and St. Constantine is a Russian Orthodox church in Vilnius, Lithuania. It was built in 1913 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Romanov ...

Palanga Amber Museum

Palanga Amber Museum
The Palanga Amber Museum , near the Baltic Sea in Palanga, Lithuania, is a branch of the Lithuanian Art Museum. It is housed in the restored 19th-century Tiškevičiai Palace and ...

Juodkrantė

Juodkrantė
Juodkrantė with permanent population of about 720 people is a quiet Lithuanian seaside resort village located on the Curonian Spit. A part of Neringa municipality, Juodkrantė is the second largest ...

central lithuania

central lithuania
Central Lithuania may refer to:Republic of Central Lithuania, a short-lived Poland-dependent puppet state created in 1920 in the Vilnius RegionThe central region in the geography of Lithuania, around Kaunas, Kėdainiai, ...

Vilniaus Universiteto

Vilniaus Universiteto
International Business School at Vilnius University or VU IBS is a private university in Lithuania. VU IBS was established by Vilnius University, but now is an independent institution offering bachelor's, ...

Aušros Vartai

Aušros Vartai
The Gate of Dawn is a city gate of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, and one of the most important religious, historical and cultural monuments.HistoryIt was built ...

Paneriai

Paneriai
Paneriai is a neighborhood of Vilnius, situated about 10 kilometres away from the city center. It is the largest elderate in the Vilnius city municipality. It is located on low ...