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CULTURE OF LITHUANIA

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Culture of Lithuania

The influence of several European nations and traditions on the Lithuanian culture can still be felt today. Starting from the Renaissance period mainly Western European tradition experienced influence on the Lithuanian professional art and enriched the culture of the country.

The versatile Lithuanian culture grew up mainly in the in the multicultural legacy of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (14th - 18th centuries). Throughout the years migrant artists, occupations, political unions all added something to the formation of Lithuanian culture. Anyway, the Lithuanians tended to protect their traditional culture.

Cuisine

Lithuanian cuisine features the products suited to its cool and moist northern climate: barley, potatoes, rye, beets, greens, berries, and mushrooms are locally grown, and dairy products are one of its specialities. Lithuanians like to eat good, tasty and filling foods. The tradition of eating well is inherited from our ancestors, who would say, he who eats well, works well.

Lithuanian cooks prepare simple but tasty foods. A good cook can create delicious meals using simple ingredients. It is said that each cook stirs the cookpot in her manner.

The traditional food preparer was and is mother, her knowledge and capabilities are handed down to the next female generation. Before food was prepared using only seasonal products, however during the last twenty-five years, fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs have been available all year round, imported or grown locally. The same applies to meat, now more fresh meat is used than salted or smoked. 

World Heritage

Curonian Spit
Human habitation of this elongated sand dune peninsula, 98 km long and 0.4-4 km wide, dates back to prehistoric times. Throughout this period it has been threatened by the natural forces of wind and waves. Its survival to the present day has been made possible only as a result of ceaseless human efforts to combat the erosion of the Spit, dramatically illustrated by continuing stabilisation and reforestation projects.

Kernave Archaeological Site (Cultural Reserve of Kernave)
The Kernave Archaeological Site, in eastern Lithuania about 35 km northwest of Vilnius, represents an exceptional testimony to some 10 millennia of human settlements in this region. Situated in the valley of the River Neris, the site is a complex ensemble of archaeological properties, encompassing the town of Kernavë, forts, some unfortified settlements, burial sites and other archaeological, historical and cultural monuments from the late Palaeolithic period to the Middle Ages. The site of 194,4-ha has preserved the traces of ancient land use, as well as remains of five impressive hill forts, part of an exceptionally large defence system. Kernave was an important feudal town in the Middle Ages. Although the town was destroyed by the Teutonic Order in the late 14th century, the site remained in use till the modern times.

Struve Geodetic Arc
The Struve Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through ten countries and over 2,820km. These are points of a survey, carried out between 1816 and 1855 by the astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, which represented the first accurate measuring of a long segment of a meridian. This helped establish the exact size and shape of our planet and marked an important step in the development of earth sciences and topographic mapping. It is an extraordinary example of scientific collaboration among scientists from different countries, and of collaboration between monarchs for a scientific cause. The original arc consisted of 258 main triangles with 265 main station points. The listed site includes 34 of the original station points, with different markings, i.e. a drilled hole in rock, iron cross, cairns, or built obelisks.

Vilnius Historic Centre
Political centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from the 13th to the end of the 18th century, Vilnius has had a profound influence on the cultural and architectural development of much of eastern Europe. Despite invasions and partial destruction, it has preserved an impressive complex of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and classical buildings as well as its medieval layout and natural setting.

Trakai Historical National Park
Trakai Park lies in the eastern part of the Lithuanian Republic, 25 km to the west of the capital city, Vilnius. Trakai Park stands in the Dzukija Upland area of the Baltic uplands at a height of 102-228 m above sea level. It covers an area of wooded lake land in eastern Dzukija, which is centred on the historical town of Trakai.

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