Briefly about Klaipeda
Klaipeda – Lithuanian port, the third largest city in the country, located in the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea merging spot. Population about 160 thousand people. Klaipeda, like many coastal cities has maritime climate: mostly mild, but occasionally chilly winds, frequent rain characterized by wet and windy climate with weather volatility.
Smiltynė and Giruliai resort villages also belong to Klaipėda.
The city has about fifty hotels and guest houses, two hostels, camping. It also offers well-developed room and apartment rental in the private sector. Near-city homesteads are for rent. A standard double room in the port city costs 40-45 euros. Superior private or hotel suites can cost 90-180 euros. Meanwhile berth in a hostel or a camping place costs about 10-20 euros.
Infrastructure, Leisure and Entertainment
Klaipeda old town is situated on the left bank of the river Akmena (also knonw as Dange), on the estuary. It is characterized by a compact layout of the German and Scandinavian architectural elements in abundance. Interwar period, the port city of Old Town was considered one of the more beautiful in Northern Europe, but a large part of the architectural heritage was destroyed during the Second World War.
Klaipeda public transportation system is very user friendly, has shuttles and taxis.
Here, there is no shortage of cafes, bars and nightclubs, during the summer concerts, festivals and other entertainment events are held. However, families with children, quiet recreation and culture lovers can spend leisure time purposefully in Klaipeda. There are about ten museums, four theaters, thirteen parks, a unique Maritime Museum and Dolphinarium. Every year at the end of July there is the Sea Festival, which summons people to Klaipeda from all over Lithuania. It is also famous for the annual International Jazz Festival, the parade of ships on the first day of August to celebrate the city ‘s birthday.
Klaipeda has railway and bus stations, seaports, four Catholic churches, three synagogues, one Evangelical Lutheran Church. The city is surrounded by three forests : Klaipėda, Giruliai and Smiltynė and three rivers flow through the city: Akmena (also known as Dangė), Smeltalė and Kretainis.
Klaipeda is an important West Lithuania economic center and an international transport hub.
In Klaipeda International Ferry connects Smiltynė Spit with the rest of the Lithuanian territory. Although ferries sailing season is every half hour in summer (especially on weekends) on the abundance of tourists to ferry long traffic queues form and moving takes a few hours.
From the capital of Vilnius Klaipeda is 300 km away. It can be reached by the A1 arterial road linking the three major cities of the country: Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda. A13 road from Klaipeda leads to Palanga resort and neighboring resort in Latvia, Liepaja.
Bus routes come from many Lithuanian cities and towns. There are frequent stops of buses carrying passengers to the seaside resorts of Palanga, Nida. International voyages also available.
Bike trail connects Klaipeda with Palanga resort, and from the Smiltynė ferry terminal by bicycle path the Curonian Spit Holiday villages: Juodkrantė, Pervalka, Preila and Nida can be reached.
Palanga International Airport is located about 37 km away from Klaipeda.
A large railway junction runs through Klaipėda, serving the port. High-speed passenger trains going from Klaipeda to the capital and other cities.
Klaipeda territory since the first century AD was settled by Curonians. The current city started in 1252, when the village on river Dangė estuary was ravaged by Livonia Order and the bishop built a Memelburg castle in its place.
The old German name of Klaipeda – Memel, Memela, Mimela and so on is of hydronimical origin. It is believed that skalvians and curonians (tribes lived in the territory of the Baltic) called the lower reaches of the Nemunas flow so. Later, the name was used by the Teutonic Order. The castle and the town called Memel by the assumption that the isthmus on Dange Lagoon River – is the mouth of the Nemunas. Samogitian city name – Klaipėda – the origin is not known. Historical sources mention the name (Caloypede, later – Klawppeda) in the beginning of fifteenth century, mentioned in Vytautas letters and negotiations with the Teutonic Order summaries.
Intensive Klaipeda neighborhood residents began to settle when a permanent border between Lithuania and the Order was established (after the signing of the Meln peace agreement). German merchants were able to freely travel to Lithuania and use Samogitian waterways. This led to the rapid development of the Klaipeda in sixteenth century. Here were created the first craft workshops, merchants guild was established, ship building shops, maritime trade began . In seventeenth centurybesides Lithuanians and Germans English, Scottish, Swedish , Dutch, Danes started to settle. In eighteenth century due to English industrialists and traders timber exports through Klaipeda developed, and it became the largest port in the region. 1725 and 1731 in Klaipeda leather workshop – the first industrial plant in the port city was established . In 1904 first electric tram appeared.
From the sixteenth century Klaipeda belonged to the Duchy of Prussia, and from the eighteenth century – the kingdom of Prussia. 1629-1635 town was ruled by Sweden, and 1757-1762 (during Seven-year war), it belonged to the Russian Empire. Napoleon defeated the Prussians, and in 1807-1808 Klaipeda became the Prussian royal family residence, in fact – the temporary Prussian capital. In 1871 Klaipeda, together with Prussia, became a part of the German Empire. In 1920 by the Treaty of Versailles Klaipeda region was ruled by the Entente. After 1923 revolution by Klaipėda inhabitants the city is connected to the Republic of Lithuania. During the interwar years, the Klaipeda region formed an autonomous territory whose status is defined by the Lithuanian and European powers of Klaipėda Convention. In 1939 city was occupied by Nazi Germany. In 1945 like the rest of the Lithuanian territory, was seized by the Soviet Union .
After the restoration of Lithuanian independence in 1991 Klaipeda University was founded. In 1997 a free trade zone was set up. In 2003 Klaipeda cruise ship terminal was opened.
Lithuanian Sea Museum
In this museum all year round aquariums, diverse marine flora and fauna, coastal birds and mammals, dolphinarium, maritime history exhibit can be found. For more information visit: www.muziejus.lt
Here you can see a Sundial Park, watchmaker shop, clock and watch history exhibition from ancient times to the present, revealing the evolution of forms of watches from the Renaissance to the modern times.
History Museum of Lithuania Minor
Continuous exposure shown since 1992. Originally prehistory, numismatic, cartography expositions, and from year 2000 equipped with the latest – Klaipeda and it’s region exhibition of years 1939-1960.
Klaipeda Castle Museum
In 2002 Castle Museum was founded in Klaipeda, commemorating the 750th anniversary. Curonian guns and jewelry, copies of castle and the city founding letters and diagrams, XIV – XV century household items found in Klaipeda Castle are exhibited.
In 1992 Blacksmith Museum was opened on locksmith Fr. Grimm’s smithery location. The exhibition presents produce gas lamps, agricultural implements, tools, Klaipeda cemetery crosses, fences, gates, Great Lithuanian Crosses – daisies, Klaipeda old town architectural details, gear, household items made in ifferent Klaipeda smitheries
In 1970-1977 in the central part of Klaipeda a Sculpture Park was raised, which holds 116 modern sculptures by 67 different artists.
Resistance and Deportation exhibition
It was opened in the basement of the former Soviet State Security (KGB) Klaipeda department. Here, two cells are available to the visitors. Klaipeda inhabitant exile history and various information about the partisan movement in western Lithuania 1945-1954 is shown.
Monument to unanimous Lithuania “Arka” (The arch)
In 2003 commemorating the 80th anniversary of Klaipėda Region connection to Lithuania, 150 ton, 8.5 meter tall “Arch” monument in the center of Klaipeda was built. Made of red granite a small column represents Lithuania Minor, and gray column – Lithuania Major. The upper part is like cleaved and depicts Konigsberg (Kaliningrad), currently owned by Russia. On the monument words by Ieva Simonaitytė “We are one people, one land, one Lithuania ” are carved. Author of the arch – Arunas Sakalauskas.
Churches and houses of worship :
Christ the King Church
Mary Queen of Peace Church
St. Joseph the Worker Church
St. Casimir Church
The Orthodox Churches:
Klaipeda Michael’s Church of Providence
Klaipeda Russian Orthodox Church of Saints
Klaipeda Temple of Martyrs Vera, Nadezhda and Lyubov and their mother Sofia
Old Believers Church:
Klaipeda Old Believers Church
Klaipeda St. Mother of God Assumption Church
Klaipeda Evangelical Lutheran Church
Other houses of worship:
Klaipeda Baptist Church
Klaipeda New Apostolic Church