Trakai (Lithuania)

Distance: 80 km
Travel time: 1 h 50 min
Inhabitants: 5.400



Only a few kilometers away from today's capital of Lithuania lies on a peninsula in the midst of a lake district the community of Trakai, founded in the 13th century. Trakai gained its greatest importance as the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Touristic attractions:

Grand Duke Gediminas decided in the 14th century to build a moated castle as a fortress to defend himself against the attacks of the Teutonic Knights. The strategic location of the peninsula in Galve Lake favored the decision Gediminas to build this residence. The Gothic building of the moated castle was built in the 15th century and is today the only preserved moated castle in Eastern Europe. After the destruction of the castle in 1655 was only in the 50s of the 20th century, a complex restoration of the entire system. Since 1962 there is a historical museum in the castle complex.

Trakai with its medieval moated castle is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Lithuania. The tour of the castle and the annual performance of the opera "Pilenai" since July 2001 as well as the various jousting tournaments of the numerous "knight clubs" are worth a day trip to Lithuania.



Since the 14th century, various nationalities settled in Trakai until the 17th century. German craftsmen, for example, found a wealthier future with their families in the East, as did the Karaimen ethnic community, which has almost disappeared today.

Grand Duke Vytautas brought after a campaign the nomadic tribe of Karaimen from the Crimea into Lithuanian land and placed under the protection of the fortress walls of Trakai. At that time about 60 Karaimen lived in Trakai.

The Karaim House of Prayer has been preserved in its original state and is now a listed building. Trakai is similar to St. Petersburg or Venice built on the water, but without having access to the sea. The four lakes Galve, Luka, Totoriškiu and Akmena surround Trakai and make the castle a "fairytale castle".



The unique moated castle and other architectural monuments of the city, such as the Karaima Kenassa and the Church of the Nativity are part of Trakai National Park, established in 1991.

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