Vasaros sostinė (Summer Capital)
|Municipality||Palanga city municipality|
|Granted city rights||1791|
|• Total||10.976 km2 (4.238 sq mi)|
|Elevation||10 m (30 ft)|
|• Density||1,700/km2 (4,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
Palanga ( pronunciation (help·info); Samogitian : Palonga, Latvian : Palanga) is a seaside resort town in western Lithuania, on the shore of the Baltic Sea.
It is the busiest summer resort in Lithuania and has beaches of sand (18 km, 11 miles long and up to 300 metres, 1000ft wide) and sand dunes. Officially Palanga has the status of a city municipality and includes Šventoji, Nemirseta, Būtingė, Palanga International Airport and other settlements, which are considered as part of the city of Palanga.
According to a legend, there was a pagan shrine at the foot of a hill in Palanga where a beautiful priestess named Birutė used to tend the ceremonial fires. Having heard of Birutė's beauty, Kęstutis, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, came to make her his wife. It is written in the Lithuanian Bychowiec Chronicle that Birutė "did not consent, and answered that she had promised the gods to remain a virgin as long as she lived.
Kęstutis then resorted to take her by force, and with great pomp brought her back to his capital, Trakai, where he invited his kinsmen and celebrated with a lavish wedding..."Kęstutis was later murdered and Birutė returned to Palanga and resumed serving at the shrine until her death. The legend claimed that she was buried in the hill which is now named after her.
Not far from Šventoji, archaeologists discovered an encampment which indicates that the area was inhabited some 5,000 years ago. Between the 10th and 13th centuries Palanga had been one of the main settlements of Mēguva Land, inhabited by the Curonians. Situated upon the trail of the ancient Amber Road, it became a center of trade and crafts.
In historical documents the name of Palanga was first mentioned in 1161 when the King Valdemar I of Denmark disembarked there with his army and captured the castle of the Curonians.
Between the 13th and 15th centuries, the inhabitants of Palanga had to confront the Teutonic Knights in the south and the Livonian Brothers of the Sword in the north. Their adversaries were unable to achieve their goal of capturing the Lithuanian sea-coast from Klaipėda to Šventoji. Although Klaipėda (Memel) passed into the hands of the German feudal lords under the Treaty of Melno, in 1422, Palanga and Šventoji remained under Lithuanian control. The two towns gradually developed into harbours and even greater centers of trade. British merchants established enterprises in Šventoji in 1685. During the Great Northern War, the Swedish Army ravaged Palanga, destroyed the harbour at Šventoji, and blocked up the entrance with rocks in 1701.
After the Third Partition of Poland and Lithuania in 1795 Lithuania became a part of Russian Empire. In 1819 Palanga came from Vilna Governorate to Grobin County of Courland Governorate.
Palanga was purchased in 1824 by Count Michał Tyszkiewicz (1761–1839). His grandson Józef Tyszkiewicz built a pier and engaged ships to transport passengers and bricks to nearby Liepāja. Palanga began to develop as a resort in the early 19th century. The pier has been a favourite spot for taking a stroll and other recreation since 1892. Józef Tyszkiewiczs's son, Feliks Tyszkiewicz, commissioned the construction of the neo-renaissance Tiškevičiai Palace, built by the famous German architect Franz Schwechten in 1897.
The French landscape architect Édouard André designed a large park around the palace, between 1897 and 1907. The palace became a favourite gathering place for concert performances. Amongst the good friends and associates of Feliksas Tiškevičius was the notary, Jonas Kentra.
Following the Lithuanian press ban of 1864, Palanga became an important location for the smuggling of Lithuanian publications from the west. The Rev. Marcijonas Jurgaitis, physician Liudas Vaineikis, and notary Jonas Kentra, played significant roles in this activity. After Kentra obtained official permission, a public performance featuring the comedy, America in the Bathhouse (Amerika pirtyje), was performed in the Lithuanian language. This had previously not been permitted. However, later the Tsarist authorities deported Vaineikis and twenty-five other people to Siberia in 1901.
In 1919, after the breakup of the Russian Empire, Palanga became a part of Latvia, like the rest of the Courland Governorate. In 1921 the town was peacefully transferred to Lithuania following a Lithuanian-Latvian treaty and giving Lithuania access to the sea.
In June and August 1941, hundreds of local Jews were executed in the Forest of Palanga.
The Tiškevičiai Palace's park was converted into a botanical garden in 1960. Today it contains two hundred different types of trees and shrubs, including an oak tree planted by President Antanas Smetona. The palace, now the Palanga Amber Museum, has an extensive collection of amber jewelry and other artifacts. Symphonic concerts as well as other musical festivals and events take place in the summer, usually in the evening.
Palanga is a resort town through which the Šventoji and Rąžė (Samogitian: Ronžē) Rivers flow into the Baltic Sea. Rąžė was formerly known as Alanga and gave Palanga its name:[ citation needed ]Palanga which literally means on the Alanga River. The Palanga municipality extends 24 kilometers from Nemirseta in the south to the Latvian border in the north. Palanga is subdivided to Nemirseta, Vanagupė, Kunigiškiai, Manciškiai, and Šventoji – five neighboring fishermen villages which were united into one city following administrative changes to the area. During the time when the Klaipėda Region was part of Germany, Nemirseta was the northernmost village of East Prussia; conversely Palanga was a border checkpoint between Russian Lithuania and Germany.
The municipality is accessed by roads from Klaipėda and Šiauliai. There are no railroads in the municipality (the closest rail connection is in Kretinga, the capital of the Kretinga district municipality). Palanga's International Airport, the third largest in Lithuania, offers connecting flights to Scandinavia, Germany, United Kingdom, Poland and to the biggest city in Baltic States - Riga, Latvia. The airport is located between Palanga and Šventoji, and it handles more flights in the summer due to the resort nature of the municipality.
In the summer, a multitude of tourists stay in Palanga, both for its beaches and to enjoy the maritime atmosphere. There is a carnival centered on Jonas Basanavičius Street, which is a pedestrian-only thoroughfare during the high season. There are dozens of restaurants, bars, rides, and other forms of entertainment.
The aforementioned Palanga Amber Museum is open to the public, as are as the museum's extensive botanical gardens. Anaičiai Ethnographic Cemetery holds a collection of 19th- and early 20th-century graves. In the Sculptures Garden, one can find 28 contemporary Art statues by artists from Armenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine.
Also found in Palanga is one of the oldest operating pharmacies in Lithuania. It was established in the mid-19th century.
The city is also home to a regional radio station, FM Palanga.
Palanga is twinned with:
Lithuania is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. The most populous of the Baltic states, Lithuania has 262 km (163 mi) of coastline consisting of the continental coast and the "Curonian Spit" coast. Lithuania's major warm-water port of Klaipėda (Memel) lies at the narrow mouth of Curonian Lagoon, a shallow lagoon extending south to Kaliningrad and separated from the Baltic sea by Curonian Spit, where Kuršių Nerija National Park was established for its remarkable sand dunes.
Klaipėda is a city in Lithuania on the Baltic Sea coast. It is the third largest city with the only seaport in Lithuania, capital of Klaipėda County.
Samogitia or Žemaitija is one of the five ethnographic regions of Lithuania. Žemaitija is located in northwestern Lithuania. Its largest city is Šiauliai. Žemaitija has a long and distinct cultural history, reflected in the existence of the Samogitian dialect.
Klaipėda County is one of ten counties in Lithuania, bordering Tauragė County to the southeast, Telšiai County to the northeast, Kurzeme in Latvia to the north, and Kaliningrad Oblast in Russia to the south. To the west is the Baltic Sea. It lies in the west of the country and is the only county to have a coastline. Its capital is Klaipėda. On 1 July 2010, the county administration was abolished, and since that date, Klaipėda County remains as the territorial and statistical unit.
Samogitian is an Eastern Baltic variety spoken mostly in Samogitia. It is sometimes treated as a dialect of Lithuanian, but is considered a separate language by some linguists outside Lithuania. Its recognition as a distinct language is increasing in recent years, and attempts have been made to standardize it.
Kretinga is a town in Klaipėda County, Lithuania. It is the capital of the Kretinga district municipality. It is located 12 km (7.5 mi) east of the popular Baltic Sea resort town of Palanga, and about 25 km (16 mi) north of Lithuania's 3rd largest city and principal seaport, Klaipėda. It is part of the historic Memelland.
Palanga City Municipality is a city municipality of Lithuania, located in the west of the country, near the Baltic sea. It includes Šventoji, Nemirseta, Būtingė and other settlements. It is located in Klaipėda County, which is no longer an administrative entity, but only used for statistics.
Aizpute is a town in western Latvia's Aizpute Municipality in the valley of Tebra River, 50 km (31 mi) northeast of Liepāja.
Jūratė and Kastytis is one of the most famous and popular Lithuanian legends and tales. The first time it was recorded was in 1842, in the writings of Liudvikas Adomas Jucevičius. Since then it has been adapted many times for modern poems, ballets, and even rock operas. The authenticity of the entire story is questioned due to the possible influence of popular contemporary romantic tales.
Vladas Petronaitis was a Lithuanian military officer. He was tortured and executed in the infamous Rainiai massacre by members of the NKVD.
Birutė was the second wife of Kęstutis, Grand Duke of Lithuania, and mother of Vytautas the Great. There is very little known about Birutė's life, but after her death a strong cult developed among Lithuanians, especially in Samogitia.
The Treaty of Melno or Treaty of Lake Melno was a peace treaty ending the Gollub War. It was signed on 27 September 1422, between the Teutonic Knights and an alliance of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at Lake Melno, east of Graudenz (Grudziądz). The treaty resolved territorial disputes between the Knights and Lithuania regarding Samogitia, which had dragged on since 1382, and determined the Prussian–Lithuanian border, which afterwards remained unchanged for about 500 years. A portion of the original border survives as a portion of the modern border between the Republic of Lithuania and Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, making it one of the oldest and most stable borders in Europe.
The Palanga Amber Museum, near the Baltic Sea in Palanga, Lithuania, is a branch of the Lithuanian Art Museum. It is housed in the restored 19th-century Tiškevičiai Palace and is surrounded by the Palanga Botanical Garden. The museum's collection of amber comprises about 28,000 pieces, of which about 15,000 contain inclusions of insects, spiders, or plants. About 4,500 pieces of amber are exhibited; many of these are items of artwork and jewelry.
The Tiškevičiai Palace, Tiskevičius Palace, or Tyszkiewicz Palace is a Neo-Renaissance style building in Palanga, Lithuania, built for the Tyszkiewicz family. The construction was started in 1893 and finished in 1897. The palace is surrounded by a park with ponds, fountains, and collections of rare plants. Since 1963 the palace has housed the Palanga Amber Museum and is surrounded by the Palanga Botanical Garden.
Nemirseta is a district of the Lithuanian seaside resort Palanga, located on the Baltic coast north of Klaipėda. The place, which consists mainly of two deserted buildings which lost their former purpose as an inn and customs house, is notable for having marked for about five centuries the northernmost point of Prussia and the northeastern tip of the German Empire from 1871. Its German name literally means "glutton", although etymologically it is a corruption of the Old Curonian toponym Nimersata denoting marshy land (nemiršele).
Šventoji is a small resort town on the coast of the Baltic Sea in Lithuania. Administratively it is part of Palanga City Municipality. The total population of Šventoji as of 2012 was 2631. The town is located about 12 km north of Palanga center and close to the border with Latvia. Further north of the town is Būtingė and its oil terminal. Šventoji River flows into the Baltic sea at the town. The town also has a famous lighthouse, which is located 780 meters from the sea. Its height is 39 meters. The town is a popular summer resort for families, during summer it has many cafes, restaurants and various attractions for the visitors.
The government of Lithuania has made provision for ethnic minorities since 1918. A substantial Jewish group that existed up to World War II was almost eliminated in the Holocaust. The Census of 2011 showed that 15.8% of inhabitants belonged to ethnic minorities: the two largest groups were the Poles and the Russians, although the proportions had decreased since independence in 1989. Other minorities include the Samogitians - not classified in the Census - and the historically important Latvian-speaking Kursenieki.
The Curonians or Kurs were a Baltic tribe living on the shores of the Baltic Sea in what are now the western parts of Latvia and Lithuania from the 5th to the 16th centuries, when they merged with other Baltic tribes. They gave their name to the region of Courland (Kurzeme), and they spoke the Old Curonian language. Curonian lands were conquered by the Livonian Order in 1266 and they eventually merged with other Baltic tribes participating in the ethnogenesis of Lithuanians and Latvians.
Samogitian Sanctuary is a pagan sanctuary in Lithuania, a reconstruction of a medieval pagan observatory. The poles corresponding to the gods and goddesses of the Balts can be used to observe the main calendar holidays.
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