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About Lithuania » Klaipėda


Some facts: Klaipėda, the third largest city of Lithuania, is situated in the Western part of the country. It is an ice-free port with favorable geographical position on the coast of the Baltic Sea and Curonian Lagoon, within close distance to other Baltic Sea ports: Kaliningrad (Russia) and Riga (Latvia). The city covers 98,35 km2. Average monthly air temperature in January is: –0,6°C, in July: +17,4°C.
History: Teutonic Knights built the castle of Memelburg at the mouth of the Dane River in 1252 and Memelburg gave birth to Klaipeda City. In 1328 according to the agreement of the German Order in Prussia and Livonia, Klaipeda and its surroundings were transmitted to the German Order in Prussia and later became a part of Prussia Duchy and Kingdom. In 1455 Klaipeda was occupied by the Samogitians for the first time. In 1540 a fire devastated a large part of the city. In the middle of the 17th century new fortifications were established and Klaipeda became a city-fortress. In 1808 for one year Klaipeda became the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia, the order of abolishment of serfdom was legislated in Klaipeda, major reforms were started in the Kingdom of Prussia. 1873. The King Wilhelm’s Channel was constructed in 1873 and it joined the mouth of river Nemunas and Klaipeda port. In 1919 as stated in the Versailles Agreement, Klaipeda was separated from Germany and placed under the protectorate of the Entente States. In 1923 Klaipeda was returned to the Republic of Lithuania. the first non-communist city council was elected in 1989. In 1991 the University of Klaipeda was founded. One of the first Free Economic Zones of Lithuania was established in Klaipeda in 1997.
Town: Klaipėda is one of those cities on which history has left all sorts of fingerprints. It seems just about everyone’s had a bit of a fiddle with the destiny of this city, with fascinating results. One of the strongest or at least the most visible influences is German. If Klaipėda wanted to look any more German, it would have to slip into lederhosen. Of course there have also been Russian ‘visitors’ at different times in history, and they have also left their footprints on the mat. The other big influence is of course, mother nature, for much of Klaipėda’s history has been shaped by its coastal location at the mouth of the Curonain Lagoon. The history of Klaipėda just goes to show that you can’t have a nice beach house without all sorts of ‘friends’ turning up from time to time. You don’t have to get bogged down in the mind-boggling history of the place to enjoy it, however. You can just go the beach if you want. Or sit in a nice café or a pub. You see, Klaipėda is still changing, attracting new influences, and asserting its own unique personality and atmosphere. Regardless of what you actually do in Klaipėda, you’ll be enjoying a unique city writhing with change and surrounded by some lovely nature. Is there any better place to spend your leisure time than at the beach where one can stroll or just sunbathe and relax listening to the murmuring sea, enjoying white sand and bright sun? The beaches of Klaipėda are favorite leisure spots for the locals and Klaipėda guests. Here one can play beach volleyball, football, enjoy riding a water-scooter. The beaches often serve as venues for various entertainment events and there are special playgrounds for children.
Outdoor cafes offer snacks and beverages and, of course, „Švyturys“ beer.
What to see: The History Museum of Lithuania Minor of Klaipeda city municipality. The museum was established in 1924. All museum activities are oriented towards preservation, research, fostering and promotion of Klaipėda city and Lithuania Minor historical heritage. Over 56 thousand exhibits.
Lithuanian Maritime Museum. Complex of museums consisting of: Maritime Museum and Aquarium (located in the 19th century Kopgalis fort); Curonian Spit Nature Museum; Dolphinarium (1000 seats for visitors). Core activities - museum work (fields: navigation and shipping history, marine biology) and breeding sea animals. The museum organises show performances (in Dolphinarium) and educational activities for school children.
Clocks and Watch Museum. The exposition consists of three parts: development of clock and watch constructions; development of clock and watch-making styles; sundial park (back-yard of the museum used as a venue for various events as well as for listening to the concerts of the Klaipėda carillon (in the tower of the nearby Central Post Office).
Accommodation: There’s no shortage of accommodation in Klaipeda. Keep in mind that Klaipeda is the gateway to some fun summer beachy type destinations, prices can rise in the holiday season. And bookings become increasingly necessary (especially for the budget and hostel options).