Lithuania a small but very unique country located in Northern Europe, along the shores of the Baltic Sea; on the border with Latvia to the North, Belarus to the East and South, Poland to the South, as well as Russia to the Southwest. It is a beautiful country blessed with evergreen and birch forests, blue lakes and rivers, and cute small towns. Here are some of the most interesting facts about Lithuania.
1. According to a study made by a French scientist in 1989, Lithuania is in the geographical center of Europe. To calculate this, the method used was that of the centre of gravity of the geometrical figure of Europe.
2. The Lithuanian language is more ancient than Greek, Latin, German, Celtic, or the Slav tongues. It belongs to the Indo-European group and is nearest to Sanskrit.
3. On the 23 August 1989, around 2 million citizens from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia joined hands in a human chain that stretched 600 kilometers across the 3 Baltic countries. Only a few months after these events, which formed part of the so-called Singing Revolution, Lithuania became the first country to declare independence from the Soviet Union.
4. Lithuania is the only country in the world with its own official scent, called the Scent of Lithuania.
5. By the end of the XIV century, Lithuania was the largest country in Europe, and included Belarus and parts of Ukraine.
6. Every year the River Vilnia is dyed bright emerald green for St. Patrick’s Day. This practice began in the 1960s, after plumbers in Chicago discovered a way to dye water without making it unclean.
7. It has the oldest oak tree in Europe, called The Stelmuze Oak, which is 23 meters high, and is more than 1,500 years old. It requires 8-9 people just to hug its trunk.
8. It also has one ofthe fastest Internet connections in the World. It has the fastest broadband – with the download speeds of up to 30 Mbps. There are many free Wi-Fi hotspots around the biggest cities.
9. There’s a bohemian neighbourhood in Vilnius called The Republic of Užupis that has its own flag, unofficial currency, president, constitution and an army of 11 men.
How to reach?
The best way to reach Lithuania is via air. There are airports in Kaunas, Vilnius and Palanga. There are a number of connecting flights from India to most of the major cities in Europe.
Užupis: Recognized by UNESCO as the World Heritage Site, Bohemian Užupis is a neighbourhood in Vilnus featuring incredible angel-like murals, sculptures, and great cafes serving the best of local cuisines. Generally, the entire area is photogenic so remember to pack your HD camera on this exhilarating adventure.
Trakai Castle and Island: A fantastic fragment of grassy hills, islets, rolling meadows, and shimmering waters, this place is just a short train away from the Vilnus. Trakai is famous for its fairy tale castle surrounded by a beautiful panoramic view of the lake. Take a look!
Kernavė: Kernavė is one of the oldest towns in Lithuania. It is located in the southeast, on the right bank of the river Neris, and only 35 km away from the capital, Vilnius. Here, you can enjoy the panoramic views of the valleys, as well as the beautiful vegetation and wildlife living in the area. You can also make your way to the town’s archaeological reserve, explore numerous relics, including the foundations of ancient fortresses, throne rooms and burial sites, which date back to the late Palaeolithic Period!
Hill of Crosses: At this pilgrimage site near Šiauliai, you’ll see over 200,000 crosses, crucifixes, statues and effigies. In addition to this, you will also notice a statue of the Virgin Mary. It’s a 3-hour drive from Vilnius, but well worth the journey.
Palanga: Palanga is one of the busiest seaside summer resort towns, located on the shores of the Baltic Sea, in western Lithuania. The main attractions in Palanga are the beach, the long boardwalk that leads out to sea, and the pedestrian street, Jono Basanaviciaus.
Klaipėda: Another beautiful seaside resort town in Lithuania, this place boasts of picturesque beaches with epic sunsets! Some of the most notable beaches in Klaipeda include Smiltynės Beach, 2 Melnrage Beach and Melnrage Beach.