The Millenium of Lithuania
In the year 2009 Lithuania celebrated a millennium since the first mention of its name in written records. In the Quedlin-burg Annals (Germany) of the 11th century there is a short entry devoted to Lithuania, which reads: “In the year 1009, St Brunon, archbishop and monk, in the eleventh year of his conversion, was knocked on his head by pagans at the Russian and Lithuanian border and went to Heaven together with 18 of his people on the 19th of March”. A thousand years is about fourteen lives of the present-day “statistical Lithuanian”. One man`s life is interesting enough, imagine how much a state could tell having lived ten lives of its name.
Geographical Center of Europe is in Lithuania
Historically Lithuania was always a bridge between East and West. The geographical location never let Lithuania to distance from the main European events and this is not surprising as it is the real scientifically agreed geographical center of Europe. The location caused many problems and disasters to Lithuanians, on the other hand, nowadays the nation can be proud to be official owners of this important European spot. In 1989 scientist of National France Geography institute subjected the definition of geographical center of Europe and sustaining the scientific methods of gravitational center measured that the unique and unassailable geographical center of Europe is located just 26 kilometers north from Vilnius city in Lithuania, just by the village of Purnuškiai.
Symbols of Lithuania
The flag was officially designated in 1918, and was re-instituted in 1988. Yellow represents the sun, light, and goodness, green symbolizes the beauty of nature, freedom, and hope, and red stands for the land, courage, and the blood spilled for Lithuania.
Coat of Arms
The state emblem of the Republic of Lithuania is Vytis (the White Knight). The heraldic shield features a red field with an armoured knight on a white horse holding a silver sword aloft in his right hand. The charging knight is known to have been first used as the state emblem in 1366 on the seal of Algirdas, Grand Duke of Lithuania. The earliest coins featuring Vytis date from the second half of the 14th century. Vytis is engraved on all current Lithuanian coins, is displayed on many Lithuanian postage stamps and official documents.
Vilnius is the capital city of Lithuania. It is the largest city in the country with an estimated population of 523 050. The city is considered to be the economic centre of the country and is one of the largest financial centers for the Baltic states. The first known written record of Vilnius as the Lithuanian capital is known from Gediminas‘ (Grand Duke of Lithuania) letters in 1323. In the year 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture.
The Old Town of Vilnius
Vilnius Old Town is the place where almost anyone feels good. It is surprising how far Italian Renaissance and Baroque have stretched to the North and how very much belonging these styles look amidst the buildings of Russian Byzantine style, Jewish elements, dwelling houses and even in the foundations of the remains of pagan structures. Vilnius is an authentic portrait of Lithuania, it is at the juncture of three cultural zones – Central, Northern and Eastern Europe. The Old Town of Vilnius is among the largest in Eastern and Central Europe, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Vilnius University is the oldest and the largest university in Lithuania established in 1579. As for a long time it was the only one university in Lithuania, it influenced Lithuanian society a lot. Nowadays it includes 19 academic subdivisions, almost 3000 employees and more than 23700 students in total. Vilnius University is one of the most important educational institutions in Lithuania which has operated for more than 400 years already. As a part of Lithuanian history, it also distinguishes in owning some objects of heritage of historic architecture. It is the Old ensemble of Vilnius University located in the Old Town.
More detailed information about Lithuania
- Travel Lithuania
- Tourism in Lithuania: conference tourism, active tourism, cultural tourism, health tourism, urban tourism
- Museums of Lithuania
- Vilnius: places to visit, sightseeing tours, accommodation, leisure, transport, catering