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Every Lithuanian knows them [or at least should] and it might be interesting to foreign visitors

Vilnius Mix

History

  • For the first time Lithuania was mentioned in 1009 in Qedlinburg annals, so in 2009 we are celebrating our country name anniversary
  • The Lithuania as a state emerged in early 13th century after the union of the main lands that was done by the only king Mindaugas
  • By the end of the 14th century, Lithuania was the largest country in Europe.
  • Lithuania was the first Soviet republic to declare independence from the USSR on March 11, 1990
  • On February 4, 1991, Iceland became the first country to recognize Lithuanian independence
  • Rolandas Paksas (1956) was the first President in Europe, that was suspended after the impeachment process (in April 6th, 2004). He is also the first Lithuanian and the only president in the World, that all by himself flew around the Earth with single-engine plane (it took 47 days)
  • On May 1, 2004, Lithuania joined the European Union.
  • 83.6% of the population (from 3,6 millions) are ethnic Lithuanians who speak the Lithuanian language

Culture

  • The only statue in the world for honoring great musician Frank Zappa is in Vilnius.
  • The first Lithuanian book was published in 1547
  • Vilnius University – one of the oldest Universities in Eastern Europe was founded in 1579 by Grand Duke of Lithuania Stefan Batory.
  • the Old Town district of Vilnius – the largest in the Eastern Europe and has a number of well-preserved examples of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture
  • Lithuanian language differs from other modern Indo-European languages for its archaism. Two languages from this group, Lithuanian and Latvian, exist today while the third, Prussian, died out in the 18th century
  • TV tower in Vilnius is the biggest building (326,5 m) in Lithuania. In the disk form part (160 m height, weights 3500 tons) of tower on the trunk there is a restaurant and the sightseeing area where floors of the restaurant are turning round, so you can view all panorama, standing in one places (goes all around in 45 min).
  • Social project “1984. Survival drama” is strangest European theme park (according to British magazine “The Daily Mail”). It recreate life (3 hour experience) under Soviet rule. It takes place in KGB bunkers (15 miles from Vilnius). These tunnels, 15ft underground, that were dug in 1983 and used to house emergency TV and radio studios in case of Nato attack, now has become a tourist attraction.
  • Lithuanian beer Švyturio Ekstra is most likeable by locals as well as it is accepted worldwide: Golden medal in World Beer Championship (USA, 2001), Silver medal in World Beer Cup (USA, 2000), Golden medal in Stokholm Beer Festival (Sweden, 2004 )

Geography

  • The Geographical Centre of Europe – the real centre of Europe, marked by The National Institute of Geography of France in 1989, is 26 km to the North of Vilnius (located at 54°54’N 25°19’E). This fact is registered in Guinness records book.
  • Lithuania has 99 km (61.5 mi) of sandy coastline
  • Amber, formed by resin from ancient trees and insects in the resin, is found on the Curonian Spit
  • Aukštojo Hill (near Vilnius) is the highest point in Lithuania with an elevation of only 294 meters
  • Lithuania’s lakes: largest is the Druksiai (44.5 sq km), the longest – Asveja (21.9 km) and the deepest – Tauragnas (60.5 m). The Nemunas – largest and longest (937km) river in Lithuania.

Religion

  • Lithuania was the last country in Europe to be converted to Christianity. Roman Catholicism is now predominant religion
  • In Pagan (pre-Christian) Lithuania, the oak tree was of religious significance, it is still a symbol of long life and strength.
  • The Hill of Crosses – one of the most impressive places in Lithuania. Tens of thousands of crosses put up by people and do not fit on the hill anymore. Nothing is known about the reasons for choosing this place to put crosses