Republic ofLithuania Lietuvos RespublikaBY: ANGELICA GRACE BARNACHAVALDEZ
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION• Lithuania is located in Northern Europe. It is surrounded by Latvia, Belarus, and Poland. The largest of the three Baltic States, it covers an area of 65,200 km2. Thus it is roughly larger, in terms of total area, than the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark or Switzerland.• Lithuania lies between latitudes 53 and 57 N, and mostly between longitudes 21 and 27 E (part of the Curonian Spit lies west of 21 ). It has around 99 kilometres (61.5 mi) of sandy coastline, of which only about 38 kilometres (24 mi) face the open Baltic Sea and which is the shortest among theBaltic Sea countries; the rest of the coast is sheltered by the Curonian sand peninsula. Lithuanias major warm-water port, Klaipėda, lies at the narrow mouth of the Curonian Lagoon (Lithuanian: Kuršių marios), a shallow lagoon extending south to Kaliningrad. The main and largest river, the Nemunas River, and some of its tributaries carry international shipping.
CAPITAL: VILNIUS CITYThe city is an important cultural and industrial center,accounting for about one-fourth the manufacturingoutput of Lithuania. The principal products areprecision instruments and electrical equipment.Vilnius became the capital of the Grand Duchy ofLithuania in 1323 and, despite destruction by theTeutonic Knights in 1377, developed into a majortrading center.
CLIMATELithuanias climate, which ranges between maritime andcontinental, is relatively mild. Average temperatures on thecoast are −2.5 C in January and16 C (61 F) in July. InVilnius the average temperatures are −6 C (21 F) in Januaryand 16 C (61 F) in July. During the summer, 20 C (68 F) is common during the day while 14 C (57 F) iscommon at night; in the past, temperatures have reached ashigh as 30 C (86 F) or 35 C (95 F). Some winters can bevery cold. −20 C (−4 F) occurs almost every winter. Winterextremes are −34 C (−29 F) in coastal areas and −43 C (−45 F) in the east of Lithuania.
LANGUAGELithuanian (lietuvių kalba) is the official state languageof Lithuania and is recognized as one of the officiallanguages of the European Union. There are about 2.9million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about200,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closelyrelated to Latvian, although they are not mutuallyintelligible. It is written in a Latin alphabet. The Lithuanianlanguage is believed to be the most conservative living Indo-European language, retaining many features of Proto-Indo-European now lost in other Indo-European languages
CURRENCYThe Lithuanian litas is the currency of Lithuania. It is divided into100 . The litas was first introduced in 1922 after World WarI, when Lithuania declared independence and was reintroducedon June 25, 1993, following a period of currency exchange fromthe ruble to the litas with the temporary talonas then in place. Thename was modeled after the name of the country (similarlyto Latvia and its lats). From 1994 to 2002, the litas was pegged tothe U.S. dollar at the rate of 4 to 1. Currently the litas is pegged tothe euro at the rate of 3.4528 to 1. The euro was expected toreplace the litas by January 1, 2010, but due to the current rate ofinflation and the economic crisis, this date will be delayed foranother four years until 1 January 2014
BRIEF HISTORYThe Lithuanians, with the Latvians, are survivors of the Balticfamily of peoples who lived in the region in ancient times.Lithuania emerged as a united nation under Grand DukeMindaugas in the 13th century. Mindaugas’s successors founded anempire extending as far south as the Black Sea.As with most of the former Soviet republics, Lithuania experienceddifficulty in making the transition from authoritarianism todemocracy and from a socialist to a free-market economy. A newconstitution was adopted in 1922, however, helping to stabilize thegovernment. With help from the International Monetary Fund andother Western institutions, Lithuania initiated prudent policies tocontrol inflation and privatize the economy.
TYPE /FORM OF GOVERNMENT parliamentary representativedemocratic republic, wherebythe Prime Minister ofLithuania is the head ofgovernment, and of a multi-party system.
Palanga beach one of the most popular touristdestinations. The beach stretchesover many kilometers on bothsides of the Palanga pier. Since thetown is primarily a summer resortdestination, the beach is its starattraction and is known to be verycrowded because apart from theinternational tourist influx, thereare also several tourists from otherparts of Lithuania who head toPalanga for its beach duringsummers.
HILL OF CROSSESThe Hill of Crosses is an importantsite in Lithuania. The pilgrimagesite has come to be knowninternationally and is an acclaimedtourist attraction in the region.The Significance Of The Hill OfCrossesThe Hill of Crosses is a symbol ofthe spirit and peaceful strength ofthe Catholic faith of Lithuania andthe perseverance of the people touphold their faith despite severeexternal aggression and hurdlesover time. The Hill of Crosses hascome to be a symbol of peace andspirituality and is a landmark inLithuania.
Palanga Pieran interesting spotto head to. It is alocal tradition topay a visit to thepier at the time ofthe sunset. One canexperience thebeauty of the sunsetting into the seaas well as taking inall the fun andactivity on thebeach during theday.
• The first fortifications were built of wood by Duke of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Gediminas. Later the first brick castle was completed in 1409 by Grand Duke Vytautas. Some remnants of the old castle have been restored, guided by archeological research.• Gediminas Tower is an important state and historic symbol of the city of Vilnius and of Lithuania itself. It is depicted on the national currency, the litas, and is mentioned in numerous Lithuanian patriotic poems and folk songs. The Flag of Lithuania was re-hoisted atop the tower on October 7, 1988, during the independence movement
• The Cathedral of Vilnius is the main Roman Catholic Cathedral ofLithuania. It is situated in Vilnius Old Town, just off of Cathedral Square. It is the heart of Lithuanias Catholic spiritual life.• The coronations of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania took place within its confines. Inside its crypts and catacombs, many famous people in Lithuanian and Polish history are buried, among them Vytautas (1430), his wife Anna (1418), his brother Sigismund (Žygimantas) (1440), cousin Švitrigaila (1452), Saint Casimir (1484), Alexander Jagiellon (1506), two wives of Sigismund II Augustus: Elisabeth of Habsburg (1545) and Barbara Radziwiłł (1551), as well as others, are interred.• During the Soviet regime initially cathedral was converted into a warehouse. Masses were celebrated again since 1985, although officially still the cathedral was called "The gallery of images". In 1989 the cathedral was restored.
Violeta Urmana• Violeta Urmana, born Violeta Urmanavičiūtė is a famous Lithuanian operatic soprano who began her career as a mezzo-soprano but has transitioned successfully into soprano roles.
Rolandas Kazlas• Rolandas Kazlas is a Lithuanian actor and theater director. In 1991, Kazlas graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre with a degree in acting. He became a Valstybinio Jaunimo Teatro actor in 1993.
Jurga Ivanauskaitė• Jurga Ivanauskaitė (14 November 1961 – 17 February 2007) was a Lithuanian writer.• She was born in Vilnius, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union. Studying at the Vilnius Art Academy, her first book was The Year of the Lilies of the Valley, published in 1985. She subsequently published six novels, a childrens book and a book of essays. Her works have been translated into several languages, including English, Latvian, Polish, Russian, German, and Swedish.
Bronislovas Lubys• Bronislovas Lubys (8 October 1938 – 23 October 2011) was a Lithuanian entrepreneur, former Prime Minister of Lithuania, signatory of the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania, and businessman.
Mindaugas• Mindaugas (ca. 1203 – fall 1263) was the first known Grand Duke of Lithuania and the only King of Lithuania. Little is known of his origins, early life, or rise to power; he is mentioned in a 1219 treaty as an elder duke, and in 1236 as the leader of all the Lithuanians.
RELIGIONBefore the Communists seized Lithuania, fourout of every five Lithuanians belonged to theRoman Catholic Church. About one in twelvewas of the Jewish faith, and the rest of thepopulation was divided about equally betweenthe Lutheran and Greek Orthodox churches.Lithuania was officially converted to the RomanCatholic faith in 1386.
•FESTIVALSSaint Casimirs Dayis celebrated on March 4, the anniversary ofthe death of Saint Casimir, the patron saintof Lithuania and Poland. The Kaziuko mugė, afolk arts and craft fair, is traditionally held onthe Sunday nearest to March 4.St. Casimir is the patron saint of many RomanCatholic Churches in the United States whichwere established by Polish or Lithuanianimmigrants. He is the principal patron saint ofLithuania. Casimir was a royal prince of theruling Jagiellon dynasty of Poland andLithuania, while St. Stanislaus of Krakow isusually cited as Polands principal patron saint.
• Kaziuko mugė is a large annual folk arts and crafts fair dating to the beginning of the 17th century. It was originally held at the two main markets in Vilnius, Lithuania, as well as in the city streets.• The fair is traditionally held on the Sunday nearest to St. Casimirs Day, March 4, the day Saint Casimir died. In Lithuanian, Kaziukio mugė means "Little Casimirs" Fair (Kaziukas is a diminutive of Casimir). Today, Kaziuko fair also features music and dance; it attracts tens of thousands of visitors and many craftsmen from all over the country as well as from neighbouring states such as Latvia, Russia, and Poland.FEATURESThe arts and crafts at the fair include hand-made goods from local craftsmen, such as apparel, knitted clothes, footwear, toys, utensils, metal crafts, souvenirs, and paintings. Foodstuffs like rye bread, bagels, honey cookies, meat and dairy products, natural honey, beer, and gira are sold as well.
• Užgavėnės is a Lithuanian festival that takes place during the seventh week before Easter (Ash Wednesday). Its name in English means "the time before Lent". The celebration corresponds to Roman Catholic holiday traditions in other parts of the world, such as Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, andCarnaval.
•TRIVIA•Arvydas Sabonis was the first Lithuanian to beinducted into the prestigious Naismith MemorialBasketball Hall of Fame on August 2011.•Simona Krupeckaitė is currently the countrys mostfamous professional track cyclist. She holds twoworld records in 500m time trial and flying 200mtime trial.•The other famous Lithuanian sportsman abroad isone of the worlds foremost strongmen ŽydrūnasSavickas. He is currently nominated as theStrongestMan in the World.
INTERNET: REFERENCEShttp://www.mapsofworld.com/lithuania/society-and-culture/saint-casimirs-day.htmlhttp://www.lithuaniatribune.com/2012/06/17/10-most-appealing-tourist-attractions-in-lithuania/http://www.baltictravelcompany.com/http://www.hoteltravel.com/lithuania/guides/festivals.htmbook:The world book encyclopedia Vol.12 (R 030 W89 1972) copyright1972, USA by Field Enterprises Educational CorporationThe world guide 2003/2004 R910.3 W893 2003 copyright 2003 byInstituto del Tercer MundoGrolier Encyclopedia of Knowledge Vol.11-12 copyright MCMXCVby Grolier Incorporated