May 16

Klaipeda, Lithuania

 en.wikipedia.orgIf you visit Lithuania then it is a must to go and see the only port there, Klaipeda. This is the place where you can discover little souvenir treasures during sea festivals, or where you can admire beautiful artifacts at the Sea Museum. The little beaches around the port are the delight of this area.

It is known that the city has been built in 1252 by the Teutonic Knights. Even if Klaipeda has an area called the Old Town, the buildings are actually new from 19th and 20th century, residential and of Soviet inspiration buildings, most of the ancient ones were destroyed by the fire of 1854.

To get an idea how the city looked like before, you have the choice to visit the Lithuania Minor Museum (Mazosios Lietuvos) situated on Didzioji Street where a display of photos are reconstituting the atmosphere from back in the days.

To get a glimpse of how the city buildings looked like in 1250, you can visit the ruins of the Klaipeda (Memel) Castle build by the Teutonic Knights. There is not much left of them, but you can still feel the breath of that time. For a modern kick, there is the option to visit the modern museum inside.

A truly romantic view it is offered by the pedestrian swing bridge, built in the 19th century on the Dane River. The bridge is lifted manually by two dockworkers 15 minutes of every hour to let the ships pass. The other 45 minutes are dedicated to pedestrian use and tourists can immortalize beautiful memories here.

Different events about ships are taking place on the cruise ship terminal. Here is the stop for many Baltic cruises as well. If photography is your passion than you will love to use the red brick port warehouses in that area as a source of inspiration.

In the Southern part of the Old Town tourists can walk through a large square called Turgaus (Market). Different pavilions are displaying different products to buy and taste, from fresh fruits to vegetables.

The Turgaus Square it is the place that marks the limit of the Old Town on the South part. From here it starts the suburb of Baltikalne. In this area, tourists are attracted to a building from 1960, known as Our Lady of Peace. This church and the beautiful tower have an interesting story. The church has been built based only on donations (during a period of economic struggle) and thanks to the hard work of volunteers. At that time the Soviet government apparently allowed people to build it, but after the construction was finished they arrested the builders and nationalized the church. After a while, they demolished the tower and a concert hall was constructed instead. In the 1988 the tower has been rebuilt.

No matter if you decide to visit Klaipeda for its ships, museums or beautiful beaches, the history of the town will win your heart and turn your staying into a great adventure.

Photo source