Interesting facts about Lithuania

lithuania flag

Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe.

The official name of the country is the Republic of Lithuania.

Lithuania is situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea and borders Latvia on the north, Belarus on the east and south, and Poland and the Kaliningrad region of Russia on the southwest.

The official language is Lithuanian.

As of 1 January 2016, the population of Lithuania was estimated to be 2,850,400 people.

Lithuania has an area of 65,300 square kilometers (25,212 square miles).

Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and its largest city. It is known for its baroque architecture, seen especially in its medieval old town.

vilnius

Lithuania is a country of gently rolling hills, many forests, rivers and streams, and lakes.

Aukštojas Hill at 294 meters (964 feet) above sea level is the highest point in all of Lithuania.

Forests in Lithuania cover approximately 33% of Lithuania′s territory.

lithuania forest

There are about 6,000 lakes in Lithuania, covering 950 square kilometers (367 square miles), or 1.5% of the territory of Lithuania.

Lithuania has a coastal length of about 90 kilometers (56 miles).

The Curonian Spit is a 98 kilometers (61 miles) long, thin, curved sand-dune spit that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea coast. Human habitation of this elongated sand dune peninsula dates back to prehistoric times. Its southern portion lies within Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia and its northern within southwestern Lithuania. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site shared by the two countries.

curonian spit

There are five national parks in Lithuania.

Aukštaitija National Park established in 1974, it is the oldest national park in Lithuania. More than 70 percent of its area is covered by woods. 80 percent of woods are pine stands, some reaching 200 years old. Also there are 126 lakes are scattered among the woods and hills.

aukstaitija national park

Trakai Historical National Park is a national park in Lithuania. It was designated in 1992 to embrace the historic city of Trakai, some 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) west of Vilnius, and the forests, lakes, and villages in its environs. It is the only historical national park in Europe.

trakai

The Kernavė Archaeological site represents an exceptional testimony to some 10 millennia of human settlements in this region. In 2004 Kernavė Archaeological Site was included into UNESCO world heritage list.

kernavė archaeological site

The Old Town of Vilnius is one of the largest surviving medieval old towns in Northern Europe. It encompasses 74 quarters, with 70 streets and lanes numbering 1487 buildings with a total floor area of 1,497,000 square meters (16,113,500 square feet) .In 1994 the Vilnius Old Town was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

old town of vilnius

The Gate of Dawn is a city gate of Vilnius and one of the most important religious, historical and cultural monuments. It was built between 1503 and 1522 as a part of defensive fortifications for the city of Vilnius, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

gate of dawn vilnius

One of Lithuania’s most awe-inspiring sights is the legendary Hill of Crosses. It has been a site of pilgrimage for hundreds of years. The tradition of leaving crosses began after an uprising against the Russian tsar was put down in 1831. Over the generations, not only crosses and crucifixes, but statues of the Virgin Mary, carvings of Lithuanian patriots and thousands of tiny effigies and rosaries have been brought here by Catholic pilgrims. Today there are some 200,000 crosses, carvings and shrines at the site made out of everything from wood to metal.

hill of crosses lithuania

Pažaislis monastery and church form the largest monastery complex in Lithuania, and the most magnificent example of Italian Baroque architecture in the country. Founded in 1662 by Polish nobleman and Great Chancellor of Lithuania, Krzysztof Zygmunt Pac, for the Order of the Camaldolese Hermits.

pažaislis monastery

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.

Lithuania only ever had a single king: Mindaugas, who united the tribes and established a monarchy, but was assassinated a few decades later.

Lithuania was the last country in Europe to be converted to Christianity. Before Christianity, the country’s religion was ‘Romuva’.

christianity

The first documented school in Lithuania was established in 1387 at Vilnius Cathedral.

Lithuania is one of three countries commonly known as the “Baltic States“. The other Baltic State countries are Estonia and Latvia.

Traditional Lithuanian cuisine is quite simple but offers a wide variety of interesting dishes. Rye products, potatoes, various meats, mushrooms and dairy products are the main ingredients. Cepelinai, potato dumplings stuffed with meat, curd cheese or mushrooms, is the most famous national dish.

cepelinai

Lithuania is the only country in the world with its own official scent, called the Scent of Lithuania.

Lithuanian seasides are famous for the amber found on the shores of the Baltic Sea. What is more, Lithuania even has its own Amber Museum in Palanga, one of the biggest lithuanian seasides.

Lithuania is ranked the 1st in the world by the number of hot air balloons per resident. And Vilnius is one of a few European capital where you can fly with hot air balloons.

In Lithuania, the Easter Granny (Velykų Senelė) delivers Easter eggs.

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