KLAIPEDA AND PALANGA
Klaipėda is the oldest city in Lithuania, which was firstly mentioned as Memelburg in 1252. It has the only seaport and cruise ship dock in Lithuania. The largest city in western Lithuania offers numerous shops, museums, cosy cafes and bars, as well as cultural monuments and all kinds of entertainment. Klaipėda’s Old Town radiates with the spirit of old German cities as the German-built Fachwerk houses are the city’s unique feature. These kinds of construction works were very popular during the first half of the 19th century. The heart of the city is the Theatre Square where in 1912, a fountain was built in remembrance of Karaliaučius University professor and poet Simon Dach. The sculpture depicts a young barefooted girl who was the heroine of the poet’s works. The love song of this girl can be found among German folk songs, and the Munich town hall bells ring the song’s melody to this day. The citizens of Klaipėda call the sculpture Annie of Tharau. The Castle Museum lies hidden under the rampart where artillery was kept in the 17th century. Its entire exhibit is underground. On the surface you can take a look at the unearthed 16th–17th century foundations and the gunpowder tower. The underground passage embraces you with dimness and its history reveals itself in the glow of flickering lights. Before the Order settled in Klaipėda, its surroundings belonged to the Curonians (Kuršiai). That’s why the niches in the walls are full of their weapons, jewelery and other belongings. Here you can have a walk on the oldest paving in the city, laid down in the 16th century.
The sea resort of Palanga is certainly a top lithuanian destination during the summer season. The town offers a wide variety of entertainment and remedial procedures, there are numerous cafés, inns, discos, pubs, nightclubs and casinos. One of the best cultural attraction is the Amber Museum in Palanga, where nature is in union with history and architecture. The palace built in Neo-Classicist style is the symbol of Palanga. It is situated in the wood of the pagan priestess Birutė, which was considered by locals to be a sacred place, close to the Baltic Sea. The Counts Tiškevičiai who had owned several buildings in Palanga, established their mansion-house here in 1897. They were the initiators of the idea to make Palanga an impressive resort town. To build the mansion two famous architects of the time were hired. The palace was designed by the German architect Franz Heinrich Schwechten, while the park is the creation of the famous landscape designer Édouard François André, the author of numerous impressive parks. Now the park is the 100-hectare botanical garden of Palanga. The scenic park offers a variety of views and moods, and the paths in the park are surrounded by a rich array of plants, a variety of spaces, ponds, and sculptures.
Source: Lithuanian State Department of Tourism under The Ministry of Economy
Here’s a sampling of major yearly recurring events in Klaipeda:
Klaipeda Street music day
On the first Saturday in May thousands of people go out to the streets to play music. Street Musician Day is the event which unites all who speak the worlds most universal language – the language of music.
For more info visit the official website www.klaipeda.lt
Klaipeda Castle Jazz Festival
It is the international event and has the status of the city festival. The motto of the festival is “Good music for good people”. It reflects the purpose of the festival for the jazz and world music lovers of various ages, educational background, music taste in Klaipeda city and in the whole Republic of Lithuania.
For more info visit the official website www.jazz.lt
Klaipeda Sea Festival
This festival, which has been organized in the city since 1934, is the greatest summer fiesta. The event is visited by around half a million guests from Lithuania and abroad. In the course of the celebration there are organized more than 100 different events- ceremonies, walkings, exhibitions, concerts, street festivals, fairs and much more.
For more info visit the official website www.jurossvente.lt