Klaipeda Journals

Lithuania's Attractive Sand Coast

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A December 2007 trip to Klaipeda by Koentje3000

Schooner on the river Photo, Klaipeda, Lithuania More Photos
Quote: Coastal Lithuania is home to the renowned sandy Curonian Spit peninsula, the beach resort Palanga and the attractive Klaipeda old town.

Lithuania's Attractive Sand Coast

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Overview

Curonian Spit ferry Photo, Klaipeda, Lithuania
Quote:
Klaipeda, the third-largest city of Lithuania, with around 200.000 inhabitants, is the country's only seaport and thus provides home to ship repair companies, ferry service providers and other naval industries. Most people arrive in Klaipeda by ferry and zoom through it to other more imaginative destination in the country, like the nearby sandy Curonian Spit or the towns of Kaunas and Vilnius. However, the old town is worthwhile enough to justify at least a one-day visit. Right on the Dane river, the centre contains a bright white neoclassical Drama Theatre, half-timbered houses, a rebuilt schooner ship, and the ruins of an old castle. Statues are abundant in the town, especially in the sculpture park...Read More

Klaipeda Old Town

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Story/Tip

Schooner on the river Photo, Klaipeda, Lithuania
Quote:
The town was founded as Memelburg as a garrison fort in the 13th century by the crusading German Teutonic Knights. Prussia took control of the town and for the next centuries it formed the border with the powerful Grand Duchy of Lithuania. For the next centuries, the Prussian rule proved to be a blessing for the town as it kept on growing and prospering due to the excellent location of its port facilities. After WWI the freshly independent Lithuania acquired the region, which already had a large Lithuanian population. Memel was officially renamed into its Lithuanian name Klaipeda. After the German occupation during WWII the Soviet Union invaded the country and made it the Lithuanian Soviet Republic. W...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2007

Palanga

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Story/Tip

Pedestrian boulevard Photo, Palanga, Lithuania
Quote:
Palanga municipality is one of the smallest in Lithuania, with only 20.000 inhabitants. It occupies a roughly 4km wide strip on Lithuania's northwest coast and runs for 20km from the tiny hamlet Nemirseta, a former border post between Lithuania and the German Empire, all the way to the Latvian border. The two major settlements within the municipal border, Palanga proper and Sventoji, attract a multiple of their population as tourists every summer. The town even ranks first in the most visited places by locals but fails to attract foreigners.The main reason for tourists to come to Palanga is the excellent sandy beach, brushing the Baltic Seacoast for the full length of the town and beyond. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 26, 2007

Curonian Spit

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Attraction | "Juodkrante"

Curonian Spit Photo, Curonian Spit, Lithuania
Quote:
Juodkrante is a village on the Curonian Spit, about halfway between Nida and Smiltyne, both at namely around 25km. Although there are only 700 permanent residents, the village is the third largest settlement on the peninsula after Nida and Rybachy (Russia). The town's name translates as "black shore", a reference to the original German name Schwarzort ("black village"). It probably stems from the dark pine forests surrounding the town. Schwarzort was founded in the 14th or 15th century on the Baltic Sea coast. Two centuries later it was moved to its present location on the Curonian Lagoon after the decimation of its population by an outbreak of the Black Death and large dune-shifting sandstorms. One h...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 26, 2007

Curonian Spit
Neringa
Klaipeda, Lithuania

Nida

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Attraction

House in Nida Photo, Curonian Spit, Lithuania
Quote:
Occupying the southern end of the Lithuanian side of the Curonian Spit, the village of Nida is part of the Neringa municipality. The village has long been a small fishermen colony in Prussia and later in Germany. First settled around the 13th-14th century, the village has since been moved 2km north due to continuing sand drifts on its original location. In the beginning of the 20th century the attractive coast around Nida attracted many German artists like the expressionist painter Max Pechstein or writer Thomas Mann. After the German defea...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 26, 2007

Witches' Hill Sculpture Park

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Attraction | "Witches' Hill"

Witches' Hill Sculpture Park Photo, Curonian Spit, Lithuania
Quote:
The hills of Jonas and Ieva (John and Eve) are two dunes on the Curonian Spit near the village of Juodkrante. They contain some of the oldest patches of forests on the peninsula. Local legends say that on midsummer night (aka St. John's Eve!) evil spirits like witches and devils gather in these hills, so even during the heavy logging of the 15th century the woods were left untouched. To drive off these creatures wooden barrels were set afire and rolled down the hills into the Curonian Lagoon. Soon the haunted hills were nicknam...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 30, 2007

Witches' Hill Sculpture Park

Juodkrante, Lithuania

Curonian Spit

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Attraction

Curonian Spit Photo, Curonian Spit, Lithuania
Quote:
The Curonian Spit is a long and thin sand peninsula in the Baltic Sea. It has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list because of its history of interaction between humans and landscape. This extraordinary feature was formed 5000 years ago when seasand was deposed along the curved Baltic coast of that time, blocking almost the entire coast. Subsequently the Curonian Lagoon, f...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 30, 2007

Curonian Spit
Neringa
Klaipeda, Lithuania