Abundance of Tales and Tourist Attractions in Lithuania

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Norviliškės Castle, Norviliškės

Norviliškės Castle, Norviliškės

Lithuania lies at the edge of North European Plain, bordered by the Baltic Sea to the west, Latvia to the north, Poland to the south, Belarus to the east and south and Kaliningrad Oblast to the south-west. The country is divided into five regions: Aukštaitija, north-eastern and eastern region; Žemaitija Samogitia, north-western region; Dzūkija, south-eastern region; Suvalkija, south-western region and Lithuania Minor, the sea-coast region.
Lithuania’s songs and poetry are overflowing with passionate descriptions of forests rich of animals, rolling hills, winding rivers, vast valleys, birds singing in the trees and meadows full of butterflies. You can experience the romantic tale of the wealthy Prussian merchant who fell in love with Countess Darata Zienovičiūtė at Norviliškės Castle (see image above), Norviliškės, situated in the Šalčininkai district. Legend has it that there are hidden treasures of silver and gold in the castle and a secret tunnel from the castle to Halshany, Belarus.
Kryziu Kalnas - Hill of Crosses

Kryziu Kalnas – Hill of Crosses

For a rather unusual experience, you can visit the Hill of Crosses at Žemaičių Kalvarija, a small town in Plungė district municipality in the Samogitia region. It is known as a major site for Catholic pilgrimage. Originally Kryziu Kalnas (Hill of Crosses) was a ceremonial site where Lithuanians would mourn the dead lost at war. Today, over 100,000 crosses stand on the hill.
In 1337, King John of Bohemia and Duke Henry XIV of Lower Bavaria leaded an expedition of Teutonic Knights and found the Raudonė Castle on the Neman River. The original castle was the setting of an East Prussian legend known as The White Maiden of Bayerburg. The fabulous castle is located in Jurbarkas district. The castle is surrounded by a park with pine, silver fir and grey walnut trees. According to legend, the grand duke was mortally wounded in the park complex of the castle and the duke’s sons managed to conquer the castle after his death.
Raudonė Castle

Raudonė Castle

In the sixteenth century the castle belonged to King Sigismund II Augustus of Poland. Hieronymus Krispin-Kirschenstein rebuilt the castle and in the eighteenth century, the Polish owners of Raudonė Castle ordered Laurynas Gucevičius to renovate the castle. During WWI and WWII the German forces ruined the castle. The castle was rebuilt after the Second World War. At present, the building is an example of 19th century neo-Gothic architecture. The last owners of the Raudonė Castle were José Carlos de Faria e Castro from Madeira and his wife, Sophia Waxell. The tower serves as an observation tower of the Nemunas Valley and is open to the public.
Explore Trakai and visit the Trakai Island Castle, a fourteenth century Gothic castle and a well-known trademark of Lithuania. You can also visit the Trakai Peninsula Castle, which is older than the Traikai Island Castle. Trakai is a beautiful and small town in the midst of two lakes. The town is located in the scenic Trakai Historical National Park.
Lithuania is home to around seventy-five monasteries. Great examples of Italian Baroque architecture are Tytuvėnai Monastery in Tytuvėnai town, Kelmė district and Pažaislis Monastery in Pažaislis suburb east of Kaunas. The Monastery in Pažaislis is also famous for its annual Pažaislis Music Festival.
Gediminas' Tower

Gediminas’ Tower

There is a great legend told by Lithuanians about the establishment of Vilnius City. In the beginning of the fourteenth century, the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas stopped to overnight near the confluence of Neris and Vilnele rivers. During the dark hours of the night the Grand Duke Gediminas dreamt of an iron wolf howling on the hill. Gediminas believed his dream was a sign for him to build a city and he ordered to pour a mound at the place he spent the night. The castle was built on the hill, which today is known as the Gediminas Castle. According to legend, this was the groundbreaking event for the City of Vilnius. Gediminas’ Tower is a famous landmark in Vilnius Old Town and also serves as a museum. The tower is a well-known symbol of Lithuania.
Explore the Capital of Lithuania – Vilnius
The City of Vilnius lies in the south-eastern part of Lithuania at the confluence of the Neris and Vilnia Rivers. Vilnius is famous for its Old Town which is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The National Museum of Lithuania in Vilnius consists of the Royal Palace of Lithuania, Gediminas Tower, the remains of several medieval castles and the Cathedral Square. The House of the Signatories is a famous historical landmark where the Act of Independence was signed in 1918.
Užupis Main Square

Užupis Main Square

The Užupis district, located in close proximity to Old Town, is home to various art galleries and workshops. A statue of an angel blowing a trumpet can be seen in the main square. The angel is a symbol of artistic freedom.
Ensure to visit the Cathedral Square in Old Town for significant historical sites. Lukiškės Square is bordered by the Genocide Victims’ Museum, the Ministry of Finance and the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Town Hall Square is a vibrant area to experience celebrations, events and trade fairs.
Other noteworthy sites to visit include:
• Three Crosses Hill – a monument for seven monks tortured by pagans.
• Vilnius Cathedral – a classical style cathedral where you can stand on an encrypted tile for making a wish.
• Frank Zappa Statue at 1 Kalinausko Street, erected in 1995. The statue was unveiled in 2010 next to the Southeast Anchor Library.
• Orthodox Monastery and Church of the Holy Spirit,10 Aušros Vartų Street – Only Baroque Orthodox sanctuary in the country.
• National Museum of Lithuania, 1 Arsenalo Street – Oldest and biggest source of Lithuania’s cultural heritage.
• Presidential Palace, 3 Simono Daukanto Square – the sixteenth century palace became the Governor General’s residence in the 1800s and is now the residence of the President Lithuania.
Visit Verkiai Regional Park and experience a little bit of Jerusalem. The park is the biggest one in the city and is located in the north of Vilnius. Verkiai Calvaries was designed to replicate the plan of Jerusalem.
Lithuanian Cuisine
Lithuanian cuisine typically includes potatoes, meat and vegetables. Fast foods are widely available, such as Kibinai, a turnover filled with lamb; a Russian snack, Cheburekai, large folds of dough with fillings of meat or cheese.
Mushrooms and berries are popular in Lithuania. Mushrooms are usually harvested in the forest or obtained from roadside markets, such as roads in the Dzūkija region. Baravykas are the most popular mushrooms and are perfect for marinating or drying. Lingo berries and Bilberries are abundant and are used as a dressing for turkey or chicken, sauces and jam.
Cheese plays an important role in the country’s cuisine. You should try eating delicious non-fermented white cheese with fresh honey. Sour milk is also popular and is eaten with almost everything.
Lithuania is a beer drinking country and when you visit a bar, requesting for a Lithuanian beer always generates goodwill.
Other Cities in Lithuania
The City of Kaunas, Lithuania

The City of Kaunas, Lithuania

Alytus is the largest city of the Dzūkija region and is the unofficial capital. Kaunas is the second-largest city. Klaipėda is the third-largest city and a seaport and well-known for its various summer events. Palanga is the most popular spot for Lithuanians and tourists to visit in summer. Panevėžys is the largest city of the Aukšatitija region. Šiauliai is the fourth-largest city situated between two main regions of the country. Telšiai is the capital of Žemaitija region.
Visa Requirements for Lithuania
You can apply for a visa from Lithuanian Consulate or Embassy. The list can be found from Embassy and consulate list and on Foreign Affairs Ministry website.

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