Klaipeda & the german heritage
Favorite thing: Klaipeda was founded in the year 1253 and has a population of 157.000 inhabitants nowadays. Memel was the german name for Klaipeda in the time, when it was part of Germany and it used to be the northernmost town in Germany.
In 1923 the Memel Territory was detached from Germany and the French government became provisional administrators of the region.
Fondest memory: Because of the german heritage you will still see a lot of inscriptions in german, german names and houses built in the german styles halftimbered or similar.
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: Klaipeda is also known for German tourists. Some of Germans come here to investigate old roots of family, some just to see how this land looks now. Also It is popular just for German architecture style lovers, but pity that not so much of it left.
Most traditional here is German fachwerk architecture, that is possible to see on some older houses. Also you could hear stories about famous German people, who lived, worked, visited this place. For a few years 19th century it was even as a capital of Prussia :)
Small sculptures, decorations
Favorite thing: Despite Klaipeda old town and central part is not really big one, there are nice small secret sculptures all around, that make city lively.
You could see a small mouse, locals always their wishes to her ears. Also you could find an exotic mystical animal – dragon on one wall of old town‘s house and so on.
Architecture in the Old Town
Favorite thing: Klaipeda's Old Town is home to many half-timbered (Fachwerk) buildings which were built in the 18th and 19th century.
This architectural style was influenced by Germanic cuture and is known for its large wooden frames in walls and ceilings. Nowadays many of the old buildings house galleries, museums, little souvenir shops or cafes.
- Budget Travel
Famous people of Klaipeda
Favorite thing: When thinking about famous people from Klaipeda the German poet Simon Dach (1605-1659) probably springs to one's mind at first. He wrote the well known folk song Ann from Tharau (Ännchen von Tharau)".
Other famous people include the astronomer Friedrich Wilhelm Argelander (1799-1875) and Michael Wohlfahrt (1687-1741) who was a religious leader in Pennsylvania.
- Budget Travel
Klaipeda In Your Pocket: highly recommended
Favorite thing: I have HORSCHECK to thank for introducing me to the 'In Your Pocket' series of tour guides, which we first had the opportunity to 'road test' in Tallinn (when the hotel we stayed in provided a copy of Tallinn In Your Pocket in each room).
For my money, it's a much more useful travel guide than the Lonely Planet or Rough Guides that we tend to use when we travel. In many ways, it's an unfair comparison, as the 'In Your Pocket' series focus on a single city, and are updated every couple of months, so, as you would expect, it is more current - particularly on events - and can provide information on a wider range of attractions than a regional guide which is only updated every couple of years. Also, you do have to have identified the city (rather than just the country) that you want to visit before the In Your Pocket guides come into their own, so I would suggest using a conventional tour guide for your initial planning and then supplementing this with the more local insight these publications offer.
For me, the strength of this guide is that it is written by English-speaking writers who are resident in the city. This means that the descriptions are livelier than often awkwardly phrased tourist material which is clearly translated from another language. I also thought that the mix of attractions and events listed was varied and would appeal to a range of interests and ages.
At present, the In Your Pocket series tends to focus on cities in Central and Eastern Europe, although new titles are continually being added.
For the Klaipeda guide, follow this link: http://www.inyourpocket.com/lithuania/klaipeda
Sea and nature
Favorite thing: Klaipeda and its surroundings are an ideal place for sailing, swimming and fishing. The nature is beautiful and one can see cranes flying. The birds nest on the trees (sometimes on chimneys) are amusingly well-built.
Fondest memory: Nature, sea, calmness, folklore, people
Favorite thing: Lithuania was under Soviet rule from WWII until the late 1980s. Most of the statues or symbols from this time have nowadays disappeared, but there are still some remains from communist times left.
At some unrenovated buildings you can still see Soviet symbols like hammer and sickle.
A monument to Soviet soldiers can be found in the western part of Mazvydas Sculpture Park.
- Budget Travel
One of the nicest man-made landscapes
Favorite thing: Take the ferry over to the Kursiu Nerija (Couronian Spit, Kurische Nehrung). Your first impressions will suggest you a fantastic nature but it is one of the most remarkable man-made landscapes in Europe. If it would be the pure nature it would be nothing else than huge dunes wandering around and covering from time to time all vegetaion or settlement which might have happened there. Fascinating dunes still exist but all is tamed by the forests planted and the various constructions at the beach of the Baltic Sea. Before that was done the dunes throughout many centuries covered from time to time whole villages. Some of the highest dunes in Europe are south of the main village Nida.There is a fine beach along these dunes, of course, but when you are more into fun and 'beachlife' Palanga, a few km north of Klaipeda and the Couronian spit is the better option.
Fondest memory: The nice nature around it.
Symbol of Klaipeda - ship "Meridianas"
Favorite thing: This ship stands near the bridge over river Dane in the city center. It became the symbol of Klaipeda. Nowadays there is a restaurant inside.
Fondest memory: Famous Lithuanian beer company "Svyturys" which means "Lighthouse" (located in Klaipeda) uses the symbol of this ship as its beer trademark. And they do very well as "Svyturys" is probably the most popular beer among Lithuanians and foreigners who visit Lithuania.
Famous hearts fell for Klaipeda's girls..
Favorite thing: In XVII century the famous German poet Simon Dach was born.
He fell in love with Klaipeda's girl named Anike and wrote her a beautiful poem which became very popular in Lithuania.
In honour of the poet the sculpture of Anike was put on the square of Theatre and has become the symbol of the Klaipeda city.
Walk along the river Dane
Favorite thing: Dane is the river on which banks Klaipeda is situated. Traditionally the whole life of Klaipeda's people goes near this river..
And like in all Lithuanian "city rivers" swans live in this river. Like a symbol of eternal love for Klaipeda...
Fondest memory: Following the river you can get to the port from where you can take the ferry to Curonian Spit (beaches, Lithuanian sea museum etc.).
Walk in the port
Favorite thing: In day time the sea port is full of people, ships, cars, shipping goods - all in constant movement..
But at night time the noise disappears and all stand in quiet... You just walk on the pier rocks and listen to the waves splashing on them, look at the city in lights.. All sea port is just for you.. and maybe for your dreams :)
Get down to Nida. It's hard to...
Favorite thing: Get down to Nida. It's hard to get to, but very worth it. It's a little slice of heaven.
Pelanga, on the other hand, is a partying beach town. Stroll along the main drag, listening to Russian rock bands play.
Fondest memory: The beaches at Nida.
Every year Klaipeda has a...
Favorite thing: Every year Klaipeda has a festival in July, it's called 'Yuros Svente' or the Sea Festival. Lots of people came to the town, there were a lot of concerts, beer, fish and fun everywhere. Everybody wore striped blue and white navy shirts that were sold everywhere. There was a Christmas tree on the main street decorated with huge paper fish. That showed how important the festival was for local people - as much as Christmas! And the last day of the festival was marked with great fireworks. I'm very glad that I came to Klaipeda right in time!