October 25, 2011 - Constitution Day – Lithuania

Trakai in Lithuania features a
castle on an island in a lake.

Lithuania is a small nation in Northern Europe, one of the three countries called the “Baltic states” because they border on the Baltic Sea.

Lithuania's heydey, when it was the largest nation in Europe, was waaay back in the Middle Ages, specifically the 14th Century. (That means the 1300s.) The land that is now Belarus and Ukraine, plus parts of Poland, were part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, back then. Of course, as with other European nations, Lithuania's history is one of nations breaking apart, uniting, being conquered, being liberated, and so forth. When the Soviet Union broke apart in 1991, Lithuania was the first former-Soviet-state to declare its independence.

Did you know...?

  • The geographical center of Europe is in Lithuania. A large compass rose marks the spot!

  • Within the Lithuanian Art Museum is the Palanga Amber Museum, which boasts a huge collection of amber—more than 28,000 pieces! Amber is fossilized tree resin and is a beautiful gold (or amber!) color. Many pieces of amber, including many of the pieces of amber on display in this museum, encase insects, spiders, or plant parts. One of the largest pieces of amber in Europe is on display there —it's 3.5 kilograms, or almost 8 pounds.

  • On the edge of the Baltic Sea, in Lithuania, there is a very long spit of land called the Curonian Spit, and there are many sand dunes on this long, skinny peninsula. Between the peninsula and the mainland is a beautiful lagoon. This far north, I don't expect to see white-sand beaches and bright blue lagoons!

Enjoy!... the beauties of Lithuania

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