Most Famous Tourist Attractions in Lithuania - Photo credit: Amber255 via Bitlanders.com
Greetings! Today's theme of my new blog is the tourist attractions in Lithuania. I have written a few blogs about most famous places to visit in Lithuania already:
- Most Famous Lithuanian Castles
- Most Famous Lithuanian Manors and Palaces
- Most Famous Lithuanian Museums
- Most Beautiful Lithuanian Churches
But still, there are some places that do not fit those categories but are famous among tourists and locals as sights worth visiting in Lithuania. This time, I want to introduce you some famous Lithuanian places. I try to introduce to you what's left behind those three categories. At the start of the summer, free from work or studies, you no longer want to sit at home with a computer or a TV. At least I am trying to escape from the city and visit the places that have not yet seen in Lithuania.
Lithuania, as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, was the largest nation in Europe, taking in parts of present-day Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and Russia.
No matter how many great astonishing places you ever find when traveling around the world, the homeland always is the place for the body and spirit's rest, for the gaining new strengths, and recharge the soul. There is no more such place as a homeland anywhere else. And everyone may see it differently than those who just come for traveling purpose. So, my opinion is just my opinion, all the places and things you may see in your own eyes, and what for me looks like a great place worth visiting, you may find it not interesting at all. As people are different, their approaches and opinions are different too.
Anyway, let's start traveling to tourist attractions in Lithuania!
Travel To Lithuania - Photo credit: makalius.lt
Curonian Spit - Kursiu Nerija National Park
The beauty of Lithuania's nature is perhaps the greatest asset that we can be proud of. However, only a few of us have visited all the country's best-known regional parks but all of us, I believe, have been at least once in Kursiu Nerija National Park.
The largest parabolic sand dunes in Europe, the raging Baltic Sea, the Curonian Lagoon that meets the sun every morning are very close to each other in the Curonian Spit National Park, and all of them have formed an extraordinary idyllic whole astonishing everyone who is coming here.
Tourist Attraction in Lithuania - Curonian Spit - Kursiu Nerija National Park
It's enough to visit this special place once for to fall in love with dunes. 98 kilometers of the sandy strip, washed out by the Baltic Sea on the west side, and from the east by the waters of the Curonian Lagoon, is a wonderful piece of nature and human effort. The current view of the Curonian Spit was shaped by the people who lived there and fought against the relentless wind trying to hold back moving sand. Due to this unique human and natural union in shaping the landscape, the Curonian Spit was recognized as a national park. This park is UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Curonian Spit is called the Pearl of the Baltic Sea.
Lonely Planet, the influential travel magazine has added the Curonian Spit to the top ten of Europe's finest beaches.
The Curonian Split is worth separate blog, and I will write it later. I have been there a few times, and every time I promise to come back. It's a big relaxation for body and soul to walk through the soft sand of dunes.
Siauliai Hill of Crosses
Approximately 12 km north of Siauliai, near the Siauliai - Riga railway line, there is a very small, oblong, concave in the middle hill, all densely set with crosses. This is the famous Hill of Crosses, which testifies to the respect and faithfulness to the sacrifice of the cross, through which Christ saved the people of all times and generations.
The Hill of Crosses is a unique sacred place, unique and only one such in its size and history. The world-famous shrine is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Lithuania. People from different nations and religions here leave their crosses with their names, intentions, requests for grace. Currently, there are more than 100 thousand crosses, large and small crosses, saints' statues and paintings with rosaries on it. Tourists say that the hill attracts by its peace, spirituality, authenticity, and sacredness.
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In the Middle Ages, there was a wooden castle on this mountain, called in the chronicles as Kula. It was destroyed by the Livonia Army. For years the mountain was empty. Local people say that the first crosses were built by praying to God for health. The tsar's government forbade the building crosses - the people in whose farmsteads stood a cross, were punished and the crosses were destroyed. Religious people had no intention of refusing to build a cross, but they took a more remote place, such as the Hill of Crosses. Thus, the Hill of Crosses is a sign of strength to overcome all obstacles.
During the Soviet occupation, it was strictly forbidden to build crosses on the hill, and praying people were persecuted. Moreover, the mountain itself has been severely damaged several times, and all its crosses ruined, the paths leading to it, have been washed away. But every time the hill was rebuilt again. The Hill of Crosses became a religious symbol of the heroic resistance and belief in the freedom.
Places to Visit in Lithuania - The Hill Of Crosses - Photo Credit: svajoniupieva.blogspot.com
After Lithuania regained back its independence, pilgrims began to come in the steady stream to the Hill of Crosses. The crosses were started to build at the foot of the hill because the hill was already full of them. The most important event in the history of Hill of Crosses, making it famous throughout the world, is the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1993. Holy Father prayed on the Hill of Cross, sacrificed Saint Mass at the chapel of the hill.
Thank you, Lithuanian, for this Hill of Crosses which testifies to the nations of Europe and to the whole world the faith of the people of this land. - Pope John Paul II
After the Lithuania restored back its independence, many Soviet-era ideology's monuments were dismantled and, in the absence of an established order of storage, lay in stacks in warehouses and yards, mostly in communal enterprises. Many soviet monuments were damaged, and could be completely destroyed, as happened in the neighboring republics.
About the dismantled Soviet-style sculptures, there were various opinions and suggestions. To destroy or to preserve? It was decided to preserve them, but to create a park where they could stay. In such way, we now have a Grutas Park where all Soviet monuments can be seen in one place.
Soviet-era monuments dismantled from the cities and towns of Lithuania were taken to the Grutas Park. Such a number of ideological content's sculptures in one exposition is unique in the world. This is the heritage of Lithuanian monumental art for several decades. The idols and symbols imprinted by the tragic Lithuanian nation in the Soviet times tell the historical truth about the Soviet occupation of our country.
Traveling to Lithuania - Gruto parkas - Photo credit: viamichelin.co.uk
The exposition is aimed at ensuring that the people of Lithuania, visiting guests, as well as future generations, would have the opportunity to see the naked Soviet ideology, that has been stressing and damaging the spirit of our nation for many decades. It is a live documentary telling how the sophisticated military, political, ideological, artistic and other means were used to carry out Soviet politics, concealment of crimes, and exaltation of perpetrators of crimes.
The Grutas Park is the project in an atmosphere of the Soviet-era spirit, which reflects the reality of the life of the time, in all sorts of ways. There are plenty of sculptures, slogans, Lenin at every corner. For me, when I have visited this park, it left a very oppressive impression, especially all those numerous monuments of Lenin.
The Pazaislis Monastery surrounded by magnificent secrets stands near Kaunas lagoon.
Pazaislis Monastery ensemble is one of the most beautiful masterpieces of Baroque architecture in North-Eastern Europe. Sanctuary on the outskirts of Kaunas, at that time in a remote forest, in the seventeenth century built the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Kristupas Zygimantas Pacas. The ensemble was designed by the Italian architect, decorated with mosaics of the Lombardy sculpture masters and frescoes of the Florentine painter Palonis.
Currently, the monastery is part of the Congregation for the Sisters of Kazimierz. It has one of the most up-to-date museums in Lithuania, astonishing not only the abundance of the museum and religious values but also an extremely attractive and modern way of presenting them.
Sights Worth Visiting In Lithuania - PazaislisMonastery - Photo credit: youtube.com
The building counts more than three centuries with a legend-styled story, admired by its distinctive appearance and its colorful surroundings. Throughout the year, the Pazaislis Monastery welcomes its visitors to the peaceful surroundings, but in the summer its seriousness and concentration are interfered by the sounds of music. The Pazaislis Music Festival concerts are taking place in the Pazaislis Monastery courtyard. Here are artisans' expositions, excursions.
The Hill of Witches
It is a unique hill of wooden sculptures in Juodkrante, where devils, witches, and other folk heroes reign, creating the natural-mystical spirit of the place to visitors. The vast part of Hill of Witches sculptures is located around the picturesque Egles valley. This valley is a natural forest amphitheater formed by parabolic dunes.
The Hill of Witches is 42 m high dune hill. The hill slopes are covered with hundred-year-old pine trees, the winding path leads to the top. Its famous for the National Folk Art Sculpture Park, which was built in 1979. Since 1995, the hill is a geomorphological natural monument.
Sights Worth Visiting In Lithuania: The Hill of Witches - Photo credit: Amber255 via Bitlanders.com
The Hill of Witches is full of legends. It is said that from time immemorial, not only people loved this mountain, but also devils with witches here made feasts. Inspired by such stories, the Juodkrante forest manager came up with the idea of realizingold stories in the form of sculptures. The Hill of Witches itself is divided into two parts: bright and dark. The bright part of the trail is wide, there are famous fairy-tale characters. Ongoing further, the road is narrowing and darkening - there begin the devil's sculptures: the dragons, Lucifer, witches with devils. Down the slope, a sculpture of a screaming cock shows that the ghosts are scattered here and all the Devils end.
Anyksciai Treetop Walking Path
Anyksciai is one of the most picturesque places in Lithuania. In August 2015, the Treetop Walking Path Complex was opened - the first one in the Baltic States, and Eastern Europe. The trail runs 300 meters, rises steadily to 21 m, and ends with a 36 m high observation tower.
Famous Lithuanian Places: The Treetop Walking Path - Photo credit: mail.tiesa.com
Visitors can use the given opportunity to climb up to the tower and overlook the beautiful Anyksciai pine wood, to see the Sventoji River, and the highest towers of the St Matthew church. An Informational Center is located next to the Path with an exposition, in which it will be shown what grows there, who lives, and the natural information is associated with literature. The Treetop Walking Path is free to enter.
The tower has an elevator, so this impressive entertainment will also be enjoyable by the disabled.
Lithuanian Zoological Garden
Lithuanian Zoological Garden is both the biggest and the oldest zoo in Lithuania, located in Kaunas. The Zoo opened its doors for the first time in 1938. It was founded by prominent naturalist professor Tadas Ivanauskas. Upon establishing a zoo, the main goal of the professor was to educate the visitors about nature preservation and the preservation of endangered wildlife species.
Kaunas residents and guests visiting the Lithuanian Zoo can see over 2,000 animals from around the world - from the highest giraffes to the smallest insects. Among them are endangered species. The Lithuanian Zoo has a goal to preserve the rare and endangered species of wildlife and invites visitors to see the accumulated animal collection.
Tourist Attractions In Lithuania: Lithuanian Zoological Garden - Photo credit: ve.lt
The Zoo offers a variety of cognitive programs and animal shows on a daily basis. Here you will not only be able to hear stories about exotic animals but also try yourself: to watch, smell, touch and overcome the fear of a cold-blooded reptile or weird insect.
What to add from my side? I have been there one time in school years with excursion, and will never come back. I simply do not like animals forced to live in the enclosed territory, some in the cages even. I think, they all should live free in the environment close to their origin. But people love the zoo, come there with children, and educate them about the fauna. So, the zoo is needed. Just not for me.
Druskininkai Aqua Park
Druskininkai Aqua Park offers the water attractions, swimming pools, heated and health improving baths, whirlpool baths and many other holiday-smelling delights. Druskininkai Aqua Park Complex - 23,000 sq. m entertainment and relaxation world. Its function is a comfortable and modern entertainment center adapted for people of all ages.
Travel to Lithuania: Druskininkai Aqua Park - Photo credit: tourismlife.wordpress.com
In the water entertainment section, visitors are delighted with 6 open and closed water slides and a spectacular part of the pool. A unique sauna area, in which there are even twenty different saunas, awaits all those who are longing for the rest of the soul and body. Since water attractions, saunas, conference halls, hotel, spa, bars, restaurants and even a nightclub were set up in Druskininkai Aqua Park, the building required unconventional design and spatial design solutions.
Each day in the sauna area, there are sauna programs with ecological honey, Black Sea salt, facial masks, scents, and at the weekends there are additional sauna programs for naked people only.
Druskininkai Aqua Park is located in one building with a hotel, so there you can find places wheer to eat, and it is possible to stay at night if you wish. A very handy thing, especially if you want to spend the whole day in the water park. Compared to all the water parks I had visited, I can say that the best is to stay there for at least 4 hours or for the whole day.
If it is possible, I recommend to visit it on weekdays. In the weekend, there is a high occupancy, the mass of people, and you cannot always find a free place in baths or relaxation areas. Everything else is very good. I have been there not so long ago, so I think, I will blog about this visit more closely.
At The Final Note
Lithuania is a small country, and we have not many big majestic places to show the tourists, but those that are famous we love and cherish. Our people are friendly, and they will meet you with smile and generosity. Just come, explore our country, and get some memorable impressions.
Places to Visit in Lithuania - Photo credit: Amber255 via Bitlanders.com
Get to know our most beautiful corners, taste our dishes, collect pieces of amber that the Baltic sea washes out on the shores after the storm, go to the Curonian Spit, where from the one side you can enjoy laggon and from the other - Baltic sea. Wander in a soft white sand barefoot, and get the energy from our Mother Earth.
Spend time wandering along the wonderfully atmospheric cobbled streets of the largest medieval old town in central and eastern Europe. - the Telegraph
And you know what? We have the highest internet speed in the world!. Yes, it's true. That alone is a good reason to visit our country. I know that our country is very loved by Germans as time ago, our Klaipeda was a part of Germany, and many still search their ancestors here. But every year, we have increased the number of tourists from all over the world. Maybe you will be soon one of them?
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