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Archive for lithuania

Lithuania’s Unique Cultural Heritage

By Linda Tancs

The craft and symbolism of cross-making is part of Lithuania’s heritage, recognized by UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than at the Hill of Crosses, Kryžių Kalnas. Located around eight miles from the northern city of Šiauliai, this sacred pilgrimage site boasts a stunning display of about 100,000 crosses of every shape, size and substance. Its origin is unclear, but many believe that the first crosses were placed at the mound following a peasant uprising against the Russians in 1831. The site is easily accessible via a train from Vilnius to Šiauliai, where a local bus will take you to the Domantai stop nearest the hill.

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Ancient Lithuania

By Linda Tancs

Trakai is Lithuania’s ancient capital. Officially founded in 1337, the medieval city is encircled by five lakes and is nicknamed “The Lake Town.” The pride of the nation, it’s known for its wooden architecture and an island castle that served as the summer residence of the Grand Dukes. Now home to a history museum, the picturesque, Gothic-style castle is one of the most visited sites in the country, attracting over 300,000 visitors each year.

Underground Monument in Lithuania

By Linda Tancs

So what do underground music and Vilnius, Lithuania have in common? Answer: Frank Zappa. Zappa, the late underground music czar and leader of The Mothers of Invention, has a monument in his honor in the artsy neighborhood of Užupis. Although perhaps better known for his collaborations with former Czech leader Václav Havel as a cultural consultant, Zappa exerted a strong influence on the underground music scene across Eastern Europe. What better time to visit Vilnius than 2009 as the city celebrates its designation as a European Capital of Culture (or is that subculture?).

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European Culture East to West

By Linda Tancs

Year-long festivities are kicking off in Lithuania and Austria as the cities of Vilnius and Linz, respectively, take top honors from the EU as a European Capital of Culture. In Lithuania’s largest city and capital, the program of events coincides with the country’s millenium celebrations and its contest to anoint a new Lithuanian Capital of Culture for the town or city with the best cultural project. A particular high note for the EU’s honoree is the song and dance festival in July, during which 30,000 voices will unite in song. On the western front, the Danube city of Linz (Austria’s third largest) will showcase its art and art exhibitions, including summer’s famous street art fair and Ars Electronica, the world-renowned media arts festival in early September. So which will it be–Lithuania or Austria? Why not go Baroque and visit both.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on sites such as StumbleUpon, vote for it, or bookmark it. Thanks for your support! Travelrific® was featured as Blog of the Day on NJ.com!

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