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LITHUANIA. Lithuania in the W orld. Lithuania in E urope. The State of Lithuania. Lithuania is an

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the state of lithuania
The State of Lithuania

Lithuania is an

independent and democratic republic. In Lithuania, the powers of the State are exercised by the Seimas (the Parliament), the President of the Republic, the Government, and the Judiciary. The scope of powers is defined by the Constitution. Public authorities serve the people.


Territory:65 300 km2: Lithuania is the largest of the three Baltic countries, twice the size of Belgium.

Borders:Inland borders with Latvia, Belarus, Poland and Russia (Kaliningrad) total 1,747 km. The Belarusian border is the longest, at 724 km. Coastline totals 99 km.

The capital of the Republic of Lithuania is VILNIUS. Naturally, it is the largest city in the country.

The Old Town, historical centre of Vilnius, is one of the largest in Eastern Europe

The buildings in the old town - there are about 1.5 thousand of them - were built in a number of different centuries, therefore, it is a mixture of all European architectural styles. Although Vilnius is often called a baroque city, here you will find some buildings of gothic, renaissance and other styles. The main sights of the city are the Gediminas Castle and the Cathedral Square, symbols of the capital.
night life

Night life has not only been intense but also diverse for several years now in Vilnius. The multitude of bars and nightclubs offers freedom of choice for people with varied tastes and preferences. People in this business must be right when they say that it is becoming increasingly harder to find a niche here.

However, the galaxy Nightclub established at the Forum Palace entertainment center became a fashionable venue as soon as it opened its doors. The connoisseurs of night life in Vilnius maintain that one can run into many famous people of Lithuania there. No matter what you want – to have a good time at a disco, to quietly listen to jazz or just to have a chat with your friends – you certainly have a lot of places to choose .

v ilnius tv t ower
  • The Vilnius TV Tower, 326.5 meters high, was completed in 1980. The transmitters installed inside made it possible to increase the number o programs being broadcast, and to improve the quality of image and sound. Today the Lietuvos radio ir televizijos centras company ( LRTC, the Radio and TV Center of Lithuania), that officially began its activity in 1945 when the restored radio station in Viršuliškės, Vilnius stated operating, is an exclusive broadcaster with a developed infrastructure of relay towers. The Vilnius TV Tower transmits 7 television and 14 radio programs.
  • Those wishing to admire Vilnius also come to the TV Tower. In fine weather one can see the entire capital and its environs within a 50 – kilometer radius from the Paukščių takas (Milky Way) cafe and the observation platform erected in the uppermost ring of the tower. It takes just 40 seconds to get by express elevator.
lithuania the geographical centre of europe
Lithuania - the geographical centre of Europe

In 1989 scientists of National Geographic Institute of France gave the description of the European geographic centre andapplying the scientific method of gravitation centres appointed that this centre is located in the North from Vilnius (26 km), near Purnuskes village.

the park of europe

The center of Europe, as estimated in 1989 by scientists of the French National Geographic Institute, is in Lithuania. It is 19 km. North of Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital. Gintaras Karosas , a young artist, decided to perpetuate the center of the Old Continent with the language of art. He created an open-air museum of sculpture in an aut- of- the- way neglected forest. The impressive terrain of the park – hillocks, hollows, small ponds – offers a wonderful background for exhibits. International symposiums of sculpture have been held in the Park of Europe since 1993.

The museum of the Park of Europe is believed to be one of the most interesting open – air museums in the world. Visitors are attracted by the opportunity to stay for a while in the center of the European continent, to see the world’s largest armchair filled with water, to stand under the world’s largest cobweb in the shape of sails, or to swing a boulder weighing several tons…

open air museum of lithuania

Open Air Museum of Lithuania in Rumšiškės. An area of 175 ha. Contains over 100 folk architecture monuments brought from various places of Lithuania. The museum presents authentic environment, exterior and interior of the 18th the 20th c. Lithuanian homesteads with household utensils.Various ethnographic festivals organized in the Museum of Rumšiškės attract crowds of participants.


The historical residence of the rulers of Lithuania. The castle was founded on the Galve lake in the end of the 14th c. - the beginning of the 15th c. There is a permanent exhibition open in the castle. In 1991 Trakai national park was established, covering the area of 8 thousand ha. The area contains lakes, forests, the little towns of Old and New Trakai, the castles of the peninsula and the island. The Great Hall of Trakai Castle.

Klaipeda, Lithuania's port city on the Baltic Sea, is the third largest town in the country. It is located on the seashore of the Baltic Sea,connecting the Curonian lagoon with the sea.
sea festival

The Sea Festival begins on the last weekend in July, in Klaipeda. This festival was arranged in 1934. The Sea Festival that goes three days has become a traditional event people are looking forward to more eagerly than to any other. About one million people who are sure they see a vestige of sailor’s striped shirt beneath their street clothes come to festival every year. Since 1994, Sea Day has been officially recognized as a commemorative day in Lithuania. The organizers, assisted by the ruler of the seas, Neaptune, who sails down the Dane river, reminds the public of the significant role of the sea history of civilization, and about maritime traditions. During the Sea Festival of 2003 “Moor your boat in Klaipeda”, a cruise ship terminal was opened. The initiators of the festival turn the whole city into the large ship on the last day with an impressive carnival.

neringa sea sand and tranquility
NeringaSea, sand and tranquility

Neringa is the Lithuanian part of the Curonian Spit, a long and narrow sand peninsula that seperates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. This natural resort is listed as UNESCO World Heritage site..

gold of the baltic sea

Now pieces of amber that waves throw onto the Baltic shore, remind a legend about Jūratė’s palace at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Amber also is known, as the gold of the Baltic Sea, is fossilized pine resin. The sea usually washes ashore only small pieces, weighing 100- 300 gramms. The largest humps weigh 6- 10 kilograms. They are kept in museums. Amber is yellow, less often white, bluish, green, or brown. A piece of amber can contain a reptile’s slough, a swarm of mosquitoes, bees, and ants. Amber with such inclusion is highly valued by scientists and collectors. The Museum of Amber opened in the palace of Count Feliksas Tiškevičius in Palanga forty years ago. The pride of the museum of Amber is the Stone of Sun weighing 3.526 kilograms. Nowadays decorations, boxes and other artifacts made by the amber craftsmen from Juodkrantė, Palanga and Šventoji are taken all the way to Western Europe and North America.

kretinga conservatory
  • There is a place in Lithuania where numerous and various plants from the farthest corners of the earth can be observed. Although smaller than in their native lands, they are true representatives of the tropical forests of Indonesia, India, and Brazil, of African and Mexican deserts.
  • Kretinga conservatory is over 100 years old. Count Juozapas Tiškevičius established in the 19th century in the manor house of Kretinga. Fan palms used to stand in splendor here, banana trees thrived, and climbing plants decorated the walls. Ornamentall fish swam in streams among the plants. Count Aleksandras Tiškevičius had the Conservatory renovated and new rare species of vegetation planted.The modern history of the Conservatory began in 1987, when nearly five decades after it had been destroyed in 1940, restoration was completed and the first plants were installed.

Ballooning, having become a way of life to many, and the aim of life to sportsmen, is becoming more and more popular in Lithuania and the entire world. Lithuanian balloonists have been participating in international hot – air – balloon competitions for 15 years. They achieve good results and make the name of Lithuania widely known.

One third of the Lithuania territory is covered with forests. First, pines birches, oaks and ashes prevail in the Lithuanian forest.

The oak is often mentioned in the Lithuanian folklore.

song festival

Every four years Lithuanians from all over the world, as well as separate regions in Lithuania – Aukštaitija, Žemaitija, Dzūkija, Suvalkija, - gather together to sing folk songs, dances and culture.

we are the winners
We Are The Winners

Lithuania’s Eurovision Song Contest entrants, LT United, and their song  We Are TheWinnersdeclare themselves the winners of a competition in which they haven’t even competed yet, and in which we don’t reckon they’ve got a snowflake’s chance in hell of winning.

Judge yourselves!


Some say that Lithuanians, besides being of the Catholic faith, also worship basketball. If there still remains any lingering doubt, the night of September 15, 2003, was a reassurance. After the Lithuanian men’s team won the 33rd European championship , the entire country miraculously changed. People who had not taken much interest in basketball before, celebrated the victory in the streets together with hundreds of thousands of fans.

Names of many Lithuanians have been etched in gold in the world history of basketball : M. Paulauskas, A. Sabonis, V. Chomičius, Š. Marčiulionis, R. Kurtinaitis. After Lithuania has become independent, basketball also made its name known far and wide.

Arvydas Sabonis undoubtedly is the most prominent star in the entire constellation of Lithuanian basketball.
In Lithuania, children start attending school at 6-7 years of age. The total duration of general school education is 12 years: 4 years at primary school, 6 years at lower secondary school and 2 at gymnasium or upper secondary school.
  • The duration of a regular lesson is 45 minutes. In the first year of primary education, lessons last 35 minutes.
  • Children from remote places are taken to school by special yellow school buses.
  • A ten- point system is used for grading. A 3 or less is considered to be a fail mark. A non- mark system is applied to assess educational achievements in primary school.
  • Pre – school education is provided for children from 1 to 5-6 years of age. The pre-school education curriculum is implemented by traditional kindergartens, nurseries – kindergartens, kindergartens-schools and other providers.
  • Although the demographic situation is changing towards a decreasing birth-rate ( during the last 5 years on average 1,500 less children are born every year), the number of pre- school education institutions has not changed significantly ( in 1996-2000 from 729 to 714).
  • Pre-school education institutions are attended by more than half of the children of appropriate age (more than 90,000).
  • A new idea for establishing preparatory pre-school education groups has been fostered since 1997. The preparatory pre-school education shall provide one-year education for 5-6 year-old children targeted at helping them to get ready for school.
pre primary education
  • The purpose of pre - primary education is to assist a child in his/her preparation for school and to enable him/her to successfully complete the programmes of primary education. Such education is obtained in the family or pre – primary educational institutions on the basis of a pre –primary education programme.
    • Pre – primary education is accessible to everybody and provided for children between the age of 5 and 6.
  • A one – year programme of pre – primary education is carried out at kindergartens, joint kindergarten / schools, primary school , lower secondary schools or other educational institutions with the appropriate conditions for educating children of pre – primary age. The pre – primary education can be provided by teachers and other specialists licensed to provide such services.
General secondary education is obtained at 3 levels: primary, lower secondary and secondary. In the school- year, 2002-2003 576,000 students were enrolled in 2,311 general education schools in Lithuania.
    • Primary education consists of 4 years schooling ( form 1-4). The primary education curriculum comprises language( mother tongue, foreign language), moral( basics of religion and ethics), social and natural sciences( perception of the world), mathematics, arts( visual art, music, theatre, choreography), technology( crafts), health (physical training) education.
  • Early foreign language teaching starts in the second form. At form 4, learning of a foreign language is compulsory for all.
  • The purpose of lower secondary education is to provide an individual with a foundation for socio-cultural and civic development as well as general literacy, the rudiments of technological literacy, to lay the basis for life-long learning.
The lower secondary curriculum is targeted at two stages: forms 5-8 and 9-10. The aim of education at the first stage is integrity providing as all-round foundation of knowledge, abilities and skills. The curriculum of forms 9 - 10 aims developing abstract thinking as well as summarizing the knowledge and abilities acquired. At this stage, the elements of diversified education are implemented, giving the students the possibility to choose and try subjects (modules) of different curriculum areas as well as to help them to choose the right profile of further education and profession. The curriculum comprises compulsory subjects: moral education (basics of religion and ethics), and groups of subjects: languages, science and mathematics, social sciences, arts and craft education, physical training. Every subject besides compulsory subjects covers the optional subjects that students are free to choose.
The two-year secondary education programme leads to the acquisition of a secondary education, preparation for further education or gaining a professional qualification. The programme is oriented to education diversification, curriculum differentiation. The curriculum comprises two structural parts: the main group of general education subjects is obligatory for all pupils and the curriculum chosen by each pupil that depends on a profile of learning. Students may choose of 4 profiles: humanities, science and mathematics, technological subjects (implemented at vocational schools and technological gymnasiums), arts( implemented at art gymnasiums, National art school, conservatories). During two-year studies in forms 11-12 a student can take up to 12 subjects.
There is an International Baccalaureate school in Vilnius – a gymnasium that provides education in English.
  • The alternative schools providing basic education are offered for pupils lacking learning motivation and failing to adapt to other types of schools. The Youth schools provide bothwork skills as well as general education knowledge.
  • Special education schools cater for the needs of pupils who due to serious physical dysfunction or impaired development are unable to attend general education schools. Foster homes for “difficult children”( penitentiaries) are attributed to this type of school. The number of children in special education schools decreases because more and more parents wish their children to attend schools located closer to their place of residence.
  • Examinations. On the completion of 12-year education and after having passed the maturity examinations students are awarded a maturity certificate. The final examinations are two types: external state maturity examinations (available for mathematics, history, chemistry, physics, Lithuanian, foreign languages) and the final school examinations. Graduates take external state examinations at examination centers and a commission approved by the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for assessment. The results of external state examinations are used for admittance to institutions of higher education throughout the country.
higher education
  • The beginning of higher education in Lithuania is associated with the founding of Vilnius University in 1579, the first one in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Eastern Europe. However, Lithuanians had tried to attain higher education earlier than that: the first Lithuanians are known to have graduated Prague University in 1389. Later on, young people from Lithuania went to study in Krakow, Poland.
  • In the late 15th century, children of Lithuanian noblemen were sent to study at he universities in Rome, Bologna, Wittenberg, and elsewhere. Vilnius Academy ( Alma academia et universitas Vilnensis societatis Iesu), established in 1579 by the privilege from King Stephan Batory and the bull from Pope Gregory XIII, at first had only Departments of Theology and Philosophy. Later on, the Law Department was established as well as a library and a printing house. Some 800 young people were studying at the university in the late 16th century, and 11-12 professors were teaching.
  • At present, Vilnius University is Lithuania’s oldest and largest school of higher learning. It has 13 departments, university-type and scientific institutes, a university hospital, study and research centers, an astronomic observatory, a botanical garden, etc. Among lecturers teaching 22,000 students, there are around 200 docents and nearly 1000 PhDs.
  • Vilnius University is not the only school of higher learning in the country. Many Lithuanian schools started preparing for reforming their curricula of studies as well as their structure and management even before the country regained independence. In 1989, Vytautas Magnus University was restored in Kaunas. Higher schools that in Soviet times were called institutes later university status , new educational institutions were set up.
  • Currently, youths from Lithuania and abroad are studying for higher education diplomas at 31 higher education establishments (10 universities, 5 academies, and 16 colleges), and 17 non-state institutions
  • ( 6 of the university type and 11 colleges).