Lithuania Information - Page 1
The Republic of Lithuania is in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Latvia, Belarus, Poland and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.
Vilnius is the capital city. Other cities include Kaunas, Klaipeda (Lithuania's main port), Siauliai, Panevezys and Alytus.
Lithuania has over seven hundred rivers; the longest are the Nemunas, Neris and the Venta. The country's terrain is mostly low-lying with some hills.
Lithuania's climate is mild although it can be cold in winter. Summers are warm.
A significant percentage of Lithuania is forested. There are many rivers and over three thousand lakes. A number of Lithuania's wetlands are on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance: Cepkeliai, Kamanos, Nemunas Delta, Viesvile and Zuvintas.
Regional parks include Dubysa, Kurtuvenai, Pajuris, Rambynas, Salantai, Tytuvenai, Venta and Varniai. National parks are Aukstaitija National Park, Dzukija National Park, Zemaitija National Park, Trakai Historical National Park and Kursiu Nerija National Park including the Curonian Spit.
The Curonian Spit, an outstanding example of a landscape of sand dunes, was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000.
Animals found in protected areas are elk, deer, foxes, wolves and wild boar. Birds include eagles, hawks, geese, herons, swans and white storks.
The Old Town of Vilnius is a World Heritage site. Examples of architecture are Gothic (St. Anne's Church), Renaissance (Rulers' Palace of the Lower Castle) and Baroque (Church of SS. Peter and Paul's).
In the early fourteenth century the Lithuanian ruler, Gediminas (1316-1341), made Vilnius his capital extending the city's fortifications. Vilnius and Kaunas, Lithuania's second city, were significant centres of architectural style up until the end of the eighteenth century.
Twentieth century Lithuanian architecture has been influenced by the Modernist style of Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris (1887-1965), the Swiss born architect, known as Le Corbusier.
The population of Lithuania was estimated at 3,565,205 in 2008.
Lithuanian is the official language.
The majority of Lithuanians are Roman Catholic. Other religions practised in Lithuania are Lutheran, Protestant, Russian Orthodox, Evangelical Lutheran, Judaism and Islam.
Traditional Lithuanian cuisine includes soups (beet, sauerkraut and sorrel), stews, sausages, smoked meat and rye bread.
Main meals consist of meat (pork, chicken and duck) or fish (eel, pike and herring) served with potatoes and vegetables such as beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, onions, radishes and turnips.
Lithuania has a variety of potato dishes including pancakes and stuffed potato dumplings called "cepelinai". Dairy products, especially cottage cheese and curd cheese, are used in Lithuanian recipes. Eggs are used to make a variety of omelettes.
Cakes, pastries, fruit dumplings and ice cream are popular desserts. Cold sweet soups, such as cherry soup, are made with berries and fruit. Other fruits grown in Lithuania are apples, gooseberries, pears and plums. Bilberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries and mushrooms are collected from the woods.
Lithuanians drink milk, fruit juices, tea, coffee, beer (alus) and mead, an alcoholic drink made with honey.
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